The demand for electricity in Quebec is expected to increase by 14 percent by 2032 due to economic expansion and the electrification of the economy. Faced with this ever-increasing demand and the desire to address it in a cost-effective manner, Hydro-Québec is urging companies to optimize their energy consumption. It is really important for businesses to start adopting energy-efficient practices and become agents of change.
hydro-quebec Skilled Solutions Program, which provides financial support for businesses willing to lead the way in energy efficiency, says adopting these practices from the start pays off. Participants receive guidance and funding to conduct energy-efficiency analysis and implement solutions—from simple measures to complex, innovative projects. The program is open to small, medium and large companies as well as public organizations in Quebec.
Here two businesses have taken advantage of Hydro-Québec’s Efficient Solutions program.
As a grower and processor of organic cranberries and wild blueberries, fruit d’or Prioritizes sustainable practices in its operations as its products directly impact the environment. Agri-food production often requires switching between hot and cold conditions, leading to significant energy consumption and heat loss. Martin Le Moine, president and founder of Fruit d’Or, turned to Hydro-Québec for help assessing his company’s energy use.
hydro-quebec Skilled Solutions Program Gave Fruit d’Or approximately $300,000 to install a heat pump. Instead of wasting heat by venting it out, the pumps circulate the heat generated from commercial dryers to heat your wash water in a closed-loop system for a practical and more energy-efficient solution. Fruit d’Or was also keen to replace the chlorofluorocarbon (freon) refrigeration system with a carbon dioxide system to further reduce its energy use.
In the first year of operation, the new heat pumps alone saved Fruit d’Or more than $23,000 in energy costs, as well as reducing their carbon emissions by 350 tons per year.
However, adopting energy-efficient practices isn’t just about the bottom line. “The move toward sustainable practices attracts job seekers who are sensitive to the actions companies take,” explains Le Moine.
Earlier it was not easy to improve the energy efficiency of the organization. “It’s very broad and the technologies evolve rapidly,” Le Moine says. “Hydro-Québec’s experts helped us prioritize the projects that will deliver the fastest returns.”
KrugerOperations in the pulp, paper, cardboard and packaging sectors are energy intensive. A significant portion of the company’s production costs stems from its energy use, with aging equipment being a notable culprit. The company applied for Hydro-Québec Skilled Solutions Program and received $900,000 to maintain production levels while reducing energy use, but without completely replacing functional machinery.
Kruger upgraded older paper production machines by replacing ventilation shutters with variable-frequency drives, which reduced the amount of energy consumed by the machines. Other energy-efficient measures were also implemented, such as installing efficient lighting and optimizing the screening, purification, pumping and air-compression processes. With these solutions, Kruger expects its annual energy savings to reach $153,000.
Thanks to Hydro-Québec’s financial support, Kruger has been able to more quickly implement energy-efficient solutions, which have yielded immediate results and put the company on track to reduce its carbon footprint.
While saving money is a top priority, Maxime Cosset, corporate vice president of fibers, biomaterials and sustainability at Kruger, says adopting energy-efficient practices at his workplace is also about values. “For me, it is important that the company I work for respects and reflects my values. When I go to work in the morning, I feel like I’m contributing.”
To learn more about how your business can benefit from Hydro-Québec’s Efficient Solutions program, click here,