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Small businesses can now 'flip' for savings

Small businesses in the Kootenays and Okanagan can now upgrade to energy-efficient lighting systems at virtually no cost, thanks to a new program sponsored by the Province of British Columbia and FortisBC.

‘FLIP’ stands for the FortisBC/LiveSmartBC Lighting Installation Program. The $5-million program will arrange for and provide eligible small businesses with the direct installation of up to $5,500 in energy-efficient equipment such as lamps, occupancy sensors and controls.

The FLIP program is available to small and mid-size businesses that have spent less than $20,000 in electricity over the preceding 12 months.

FortisBC-approved contractors will visit participating small businesses to perform lighting audits, identify potential upgrades, and schedule licensed electricians to install the equipment and systems.

The average small business is expected to save nearly 8,000 kilowatt hours per year, or more than $800 annually. The FLIP program hopes to reach 1,000 small businesses over the next two years and reduce total electricity use by nearly nine gigawatt hours – enough electricity to power 450 small businesses annually.

Businesses must be within the FortisBC service area, a municipal electric customer of Grand Forks, Kelowna, Penticton, Summerland and Nelson Hydro or located in West Kelowna, Peachland, Central and East Kootenays (Slocan Valley, Cranbrook, Fernie, Kimberly and Invermere).

For more information about the FortisBC/LiveSmart Lighting Installation Program, call 1-866-932-8283 or email

For more energy efficiency and power outage tips, visit or call the toll free number at 1-866-4FORTIS (1-866-436-7847).