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BNI program proving popular with Alberta food/hospitality industry

Don Horne   


Alberta’s food services and hospitality industries have new ways to reduce emissions and energy bills following the expansion of a popular program from Energy Efficiency Alberta.

The Business, Non-Profit and Institutional Energy Savings (BNI) Program, launched in May 2017, has helped more than 1,200 organizations reduce their energy bills and greenhouse gas emissions by replacing outdated and inefficient equipment with new energy-efficient technologies.

Following the successful launch of the initiative, the Alberta government is expanding the program. Organizations and businesses can now purchase and install eligible energy-efficient lighting, heating and other products to receive a rebate to a maximum of $100,000 per year, up from $60,000 originally.

The province is also adding new product rebates for the food services and hospitality sector, including energy-efficient ovens, fryers, griddles, dishwashers and more. Rebates for lighting, water-heating and HVAC products have also been expanded.


“This expansion will help Alberta’s many excellent hotels and restaurants save both money and energy,” says Shannon Phillips, Minister of Environment and Parks and Minister responsible for the Climate Change Office. “By installing new energy-efficient products, businesses can lower their energy bills, reduce their emissions and reinvest in their operations. These rebates support a growing energy-efficiency sector that creates jobs, diversifies the economy and helps businesses thrive.”

The Residence Inn Airport by Marriott and Courtyard upgraded their lighting last year, removing 33 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions over the lifetime of the products and saving 206 gigajoules of energy.

This amounts to roughly $3,520 in energy cost savings each year—money they can reinvest in other areas.

“Programs like this support Marriott’s commitment to energy conservation improvements while also supporting the tourism and hospitality industry with meaningful savings,” says Richard Main, general manager, Residence Inn Airport by Marriott and Courtyard. “They help with capital costs and lower operating and maintenance costs for our businesses. Our lighting improvements have increased the comfort for our staff and guests while benefiting the environment.”

Rebate amounts have been increased for certain HVAC measures to better reflect the price of products in the Alberta market. Pre-approval application time frames have also been shortened from 12 to six months to ensure funding is available for projects when required.

“The Business, Non-Profit and Institutional rebate program has had outstanding program participation so far,” says Monica Curtis, CEO, Energy Efficiency Alberta. “We are always listening to feedback from Albertans, and some of what we’ve heard has been that we can do more to help increase energy efficiency in certain industry sectors. We’re pleased to add products that will help this sector save energy and money.”

There are 88 hotel and motel projects and 40 restaurant projects underway that, once complete, will amount to over $320,000 in rebates and 32,000 gigajoules in energy savings.

More than 1,200 organizations participated in the BNI program in 2017, with total rebates amounting to $3.5 million, or an average of $2,600 per project.


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