Monday, October 20, 2008

Renewable Rooftops

"Tim Grant was the co-chair of the Downtown West Solar Energy Project, a neighbourhood association formed two years ago to educate people about solar energy and to arrange bulk-buying discounts from installers of solar thermal and PV systems. He said that while Toronto Hydro struggled, they eventually ironed out the wrinkles.

“Toronto Hydro had been mandated by the province to provide homeowners with access to the (Standard Offer) program, but were given no resources to do it and really scrambled. They had a really tough time creating monitoring and billing systems,” said Grant. “And it was the tenacious efforts of a couple of my neighbours that forced them to do that and they did it.”Grant said that while solar PV systems are not a great investment, they’re not bad either.

“With the tax deductions you get by selling electricity to the government - thereby turning your house into a business - you’ll actually do better than a 4 per cent return,” he said. But not everyone can do what Sue Dexter did. For people with less access to cash, a solar water-heating unit might be the way to go.

“Of all the renewables you can put on your rooftop - solar hot water, PV, wind - solar hot water gives the best bang for the buck. And it’s the cheapest to do,” said Aaron Goldwater, the president of a contracting company specializing in solar water heaters.

David Pylyp; This is worthwhile and profitable technology that should be mandated for all highrise condo buildings.Condominiums Buildings along the Humber Bay Shore should all adopt this technology as a money maker for the condo corporations to offset ongoing maintenance costs. Green Planning and construction would be better done at the concept phase to encompass eco friendly uses.

The hydro power provided could make the building hydro self sustaining and still feed power back into the grid.

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