Shoppers across British Columbia might get a chillier welcome than they’re used to at local stores, Oct. 23 to 29.
Stores and shops in 17 business improvement areas, including downtown Maple Ridge, are turning down their thermostats for Turn Down the Heat Week.
As an initiative of Business Improvement Areas of British Columbia in partnership with FortisBC, the goal of Turn Down the Heat Week is to encourage businesses and their customers to don a sweater and save energy.
Each BIA will also have its participating members collect warm clothing that will be donated to a local charity. Each business approaches the campaign a little differently, with some offering discounts on warm clothing or hot beverages, or perhaps giving out tips on saving energy at home.
The Downtown Maple Ridge Business Improvement Association is taking part in the promotion and sharing tips on energy conservation, as well as collecting warm clothing for The Hive Neighbourhood Centre and Salvation Army.
“Turn Down the Heat Week allows participating BIAs to change their own habits to save energy, but also to give back to their communities,” said Corry Hostetter, president of BCBIA. “Local business owners are connecting with those who live in their area every day, and are able to share their enthusiasm and knowledge about saving energy by making small changes like putting on a sweater.”
FortisBC offers a range of resources for businesses to help them save energy and cut down on heating and hot water costs.
Along with a wide range of energy saving tips, FortisBC also has a robust rebate program for business owners to take advantage of when upgrading their premises, or retrofitting to improve energy efficiency.
Tips and rebates are also available for home customers interested in conserving energy.
“Turn Down the Heat Week shows a real commitment to saving energy and we’re glad to be a part of it,” says Danielle Wensink, director, conservation and energy management, FortisBC. “We encourage all businesses to consider how they use energy every day for heating, water and even cooking and pledge to take at least one or two simple steps to save where it counts the most for their operation.”
Turn Down the Heat Week is in its fourth year. Previously, the campaign was held in February each year, but the decision was made to move it to October at the start of the cold season.
“Fall is when most of us turn on the thermostat, so moving the campaign to October means we can help people set up good habits when the temperature first begins to drop,” said Hostetter.
• More information about Turn Down the Heat Week, including participating BIAs can be found at bia.bc.ca/turndowntheheatweek, via BIABC’s Facebook page or Twitter account, or by following the hashtag #turndowntheheatweek.