Franklin Energy ahsbeen hired to offer energy efficiency technical and program services for Canada’s PowerStream Inc.
This will help PowerStream cut its energy in the following years.
“Canada is where we’ve been looking to take our business for some time,” said Dan Tarrence, Franklin Energy Services executive vice president. “Beyond expanding our national footprint, Franklin Energy recognizes the promising opportunity with our northern neighbor. The province of Ontario shares many of the same conservation drivers, market challenges and rising regulations we’re seeing in the states we operate, making it a familiar move in an unfamiliar territory.”
Franklin Energy will help PowerStream implement programs that are designed to cut energy use as part of a directive from the Ontario government. The province is ramping up spending on energy efficiency by utilities in a bid to bring down energy use by customers and delay the need to build new power plants.
The government’s Conservation First program is designed to promote energy efficiency as the most cost-effective way for the province to plan for its future energy needs, since cutting energy use lowers customers’ bills.
The program’s goal: to cut electricity use by 7 billion kilowatt-hours over the next five years, according to the Ontario Independent Electricity System Operator.
“It’s kind of like your first fuel,” Tarrence said of energy efficiency. “So as utilities are planning for how they’re going to meet demands in the future, they first need to look at efficiency before building new (power plants).”
Franklin Energy said it is opening an office in the Toronto region. Tarrence said the office could grow to 20 people within a year.
Franklin has expanded across the United States in recent years, and after winning several projects this year has added 50 employees. Employment is up to 450 nationwide and 150 in Wisconsin.
Financial terms of the PowerStream deal were not disclosed, but Tarrence said the market for energy efficiency programs is expanding. The spending on energy efficiency by Ontario is pegged at $300 million a year for the electric industry and $100 million for the natural gas utilities. “It’s up 30% to 40% on the electric side, and on the gas side it’s double what they had been spending,” Tarrence said.
Franklin is bidding to do work for another Ontario utility and mulling whether to bid on a third company’s energy efficiency programs, Tarrence said.