New homes must be solar ready

All future residential homes must be able to accommodate a solar heating system after city council voted last week to change its building bylaw.

All future residential homes must be able to accommodate a solar heating system after city council voted last week to change its building bylaw.

Campbell River is one of 36 B.C. communities governed by the provincial Solar Hot Water Ready Regulation which applies to new single-family dwellings and those with secondary suites.

“This is a major step forward for the City of Campbell River,” said Peter Woods, chair of the city’s Environmental Advisory Committee. “Every new home in Campbell River will now be solar ready. This saves the homeowner thousands of dollars in retrofit fees and energy costs, minimizes the carbon footprint by using alternatives to conventional energy and helps to stimulate local economy for qualified solar technicians.”

Construction of new residential homes must include a roof area designated for future installation of solar collectors, or panels, as well as a space directly adjacent to the building’s hot water tank and the installation of two conduits between the areas.

The new regulations will be applied to homes built on or after Oct. 3.

“This grace period would allow for builders to accommodate changes in upcoming projects while not impacting projects that are midstream in design,” said Sara Brodie, the city’s land use services supervisor, in a report to council.

The cost of adding the new building requirements during construction is between $250-$500, said Brodie. The cost of retrofitting an existing home with solar hot water is about $6,900, according to Brodie.

Existing homes are exempt from the new bylaw but Woods said some homeowners may opt to go with solar power because of the huge cost savings for the average home.

“As BC Hydro rates continue to rise, retrofitting to solar becomes more financially viable,” Woods said.

Solar panels are already being used on four city buildings – the downtown Fire Hall, RCMP stations, the Sportsplex and the new Simms Creek lift station along Highway 19A. The panels collect the sun’s heat to warm up the buildings’ water supplies.

The city was recently named B.C. Solar Community of the Year for 2010 in recognition of its effort to use solar panels as well as for using solar-powered crosswalks in 12 different locations.

Adopting the Solar Ready Regulations falls in line with the city’s goal of demonstrating that solar power is a viable renewable energy source, even in colder, rainy climates because the energy is generated from the sun’s light, not its heat, when it hits the solar panel.

“I think it’s time to show we’re leaders, not followers, and we’re leading the way,” Coun. Roy Grant said.

The Solar Hot Water Ready Regulation was approved in June 2010 by the B.C. government as a tool for local governments to further the development of solar energy in their community.


Just Posted

28 townhouses on the way to 525 Dogwood

Council approves latest phase of development, but not before expressing traffic concerns

Diver discovers possible historic anchor off Campbell River

The rusted, barnacle-encrusted anchor was wedged into the bottom off Quadra Island… Continue reading

Cold weather puts pressure on homeless shelters in Campbell River

Salvation Army and Sobering Centre offer a total of 40 beds

Campbell River School District passes on grant opportunity

Trustees troubled by condition of needing to consider school closure

SRD chair, CAO to respond to 32 letters from Cortes Island

Board votes for responses in light of delegations being turned down

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Ammonia leak shuts down curling club in Nelson

It’s not yet clear when the leak was detected

Pavelski’s 31st goal helps Sharks top Canucks 3-2

Vancouver one point out of second NHL wild-card spot

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Names keep adding to vaccine petition started by B.C. mom

Maple Ridge mom started campaign to make vaccination a condition of attending school

Most Read