Belltech Electric is locally owned and operated with a commitment to give back to the community. Through the Vancouver Island Construction Association (VICA) we have had the honour to be involved in the Young Construction Leaders (YCL) Legacy Project this year. The YCL legacy project involves construction leaders volunteering their time, labour and resources to develop projects that support the local community. The current YCL Legacy Project is the Gorge Waterway Nature House operated by World Fisheries Trust.
The House is located in the Esquimalt-Gorge Park and serves the general public, community groups and schools. Each year over 9000 people have visited the nature house for community celebrations and educational programs on the local aquatic biodiversity and environmental conservation.
The house requires substantial renovations to increase the size of the learning facilities, renovate bathrooms, and provide heat for a longer operational year. Planning is now underway for construction to begin in September. Belltech Electric has contributed volunteer time, materials and labour to help make this project a true long-term legacy to the community.
For more information on the Gorge Waterway Nature House click here.
Belltech Electric understands that today energy efficiency and cost savings are both high priorities for our customers. In order to better understand how a Lighting Audit can help improve your environmental footprint and save you money we asked Devin Meads of DDM Electrical Design. Here’s what he had to say about Lighting Audits.
Lighting is something that is taken for granted in all types of working environments. We turn lights on everyday to see what we’re doing and as long as they turn on then they are quickly forgotten about. Because we work under these lights day in and day out we don’t notice the changes that take place with them. These changes are decreased light output due to lamp lumen depreciation which leads to eye strain and headaches, as well as subtle flickering and humming that also leads to headaches and poor work performance. If your lighting system hasn’t had a makeover in the past 5-10 years then it’s time for a lighting audit to show you what improvements can be made and how they will be beneficial.
The following are some frequently asked questions about lighting audits:
Q – What exactly is a lighting audit?
A – We will do a walkthrough of your facility and note all of your existing lighting by area, noting how they are performing, controlled, and how long they are used each day. We then create a proposed system and compare the benefits against your existing system in terms of energy savings, maintenance cost savings and return on investment.
Q – What kind of energy savings can be had from a lighting conversion?
A – Common energy reductions will range from 40-70%. With lighting generally accounting for at least half of your electrical bill, these savings can often add up very quickly.
Q – I don’t like fluorescent lighting, what will this get replaced with?
A – Either T8 or T5 fluorescent most likely. The hate for fluorescent lighting is based on the old T12 fluorescent technology which had horrible colour rendering abilities, flickering light and humming ballasts. All of these issues lead to eye strain, headaches and generally poor working environments. New T8 and T5 fluorescent lighting has none of these issues. In all cases where we convert T12 to T8 or T5, employee response is always favourable.
Q – What kind of return on investment can I expect from a lighting conversion?
A – This depends on quite a number of factors but most conversions will see a return on investment in 2 – 4 years on average. Many retail stores that use large quantities of halogen track lighting will often see an ROI in as little as 6 months when converting to LED lamps.
Q – Are there any government rebate programs available for lighting conversions?
A – In most cases, yes. BC Hydro has their Power Smart Program which generally applies to all business types that are serviced by BC Hydro. Rebate values vary depending on account type and lighting configurations.
Q – How long does it take to have a lighting audit done?
A – The initial walkthrough typically takes anywhere from 10 minutes to over an hour, this depends on the size of the facility and how complex the lighting system is. From there we strive to have a detailed audit completed and ready to present to you in a week or less.
Q – What does it cost to have a lighting audit completed?
A – There is no cost for the audit itself. We complete audits as a sales tool to prove the value of a lighting conversion to our clients. Our goal is to drum up projects for ourselves which in turn gives us an income while at the same time reduces your operating costs which will increase your income.
For more information on rebates visit BC Hydro’s PowerSmart Program online here.