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“Solar Ready” Sweeps the Province

There’s a solar revolution happening in BC as local governments around the province are passing resolutions to sign on to the new Solar Hot Water Regulation bylaw. The regulation requires all new single family homes (where applicable) to be built to accommodate future installation of a solar hot water system for water heating. Communities signed on so far are:
  • Village of Ashcroft
  • City of Campbell River
  • Cariboo Regional District
  • City of Colwood
  • Cowichan Valley Regional District
  • City of Cranbrook
  • City of Dawson Creek
  • City of Duncan
  • City of Fernie
  • City of Fort St. John
  • District of Invermere
  • Village of Kaslo
  • Township of Langley
  • District of Maple Ridge
  • Village of Midway
  • Municipality of North Cowichan
  • City of North Vancouver
  • City of Port Coquitlam
  • District of Sparwood
  • District of Tofino
  • Town of View Royal
  • Resort Municipality of Whistler

"It is great to see so many communities committing to being solar ready," says Nitya Harris, Executive Director of SolarBC. "This shows the vision that these communities have for the role of solar not only as a future energy source but also helping them to become carbon neutral."

Earlier in April the province of BC developed the regulation in partnership with SolarBC and in consultation with the development industry. This is in part to support the province’s Greenhouse Gas reduction target of 33 % by the year 2020. BC local governments were invited to "opt-in" to the Solar Hot Water Ready Regulation under the BC Building Code. This type of opt-in requirement is similar to the Adaptable Housing provisions introduced in January of this year, which give municipalities the option to require building features supporting aging-in-place and persons with disabilities. The deadline for communities to be included as a solar ready community is August 1, 2010. It is expected that the new regulation will become effective in the fall of 2010.

A solar ready home is one that has been designed and constructed to maximize the solar potential and to accommodate easy installation of the solar system. Benefits of solar ready homes include: easier installation of solar hot water system, less cost to install systems down the road, added resale potential of homes and increased energy efficiency and reduction of GHGs. For further reading about Solar Ready, visit SolarBC's Builders and Developers page.

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