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SolarBC Funds Solar Equipment for Penticton Indian Band's Passive House

SolarBC, a program of the BC Sustainable Energy Association (BCSEA), is pleased to announce that it is providing funding for the installation of a solar hot water system and a photovoltaic (solar electricity) system on the Passive House being constructed by the Penticton Indian Band(PIB). A Passive House is one of the world’s most energy efficient and environmentally sustainable types of building.

Architect's Rendering

Image Copyright Allen + Maurer Architects Ltd.

Tabitha Eneas, Housing Manager for PIB, commented, “The Penticton Indian Band is looking to create a blueprint for future residential and commercial development. Being able to provide this type of home that is so energy efficient and green is a great step forward for our Nation. The next step is to figure out how to do it affordably, so that all members of our Band will be able to live in homes built to this standard.”

Nigel Protter, Chief Executive Officer of the BCSEA said, “Indian Bands in BC are particularly ripe to benefit from resource-saving energy efficiency initiatives and small scale advanced power systems. We salute the Penticton Indian Band's wise and well-organized effort to reduce its members' energy demands and minimize their greenhouse gas emissions, while also saving money. BCSEA's SolarBC is proud to support the Band in this effort.”

A Passive House is designed to be so efficient that it can be heated by passive solar gain alone,with subsidiary heat generated from its occupants and electrical equipment. To minimize energy requirements, the house is extremely airtight and very well insulated. A certified Passive House will use 80% less energy than a house built to today’s BC building code.(www.passivehouse.ca/ )

It is estimated that the solar hot water system at the Passive House will reduce electrical demand by about 2,400 kWh per year, and the 2 kW photovoltaic (PV) system will generate about 2,110 kWh per year. These reductions in energy demand will contribute to its certification as the first Passive House in the Okanagan Valley.

Over the past four years, SolarBC has contributed funding to solar hot water installations in First Nations communities on Vancouver Island, Haida Gwaii, the central coast, and the Chilcotin.  The PIB project is the first project on First Nations land for which SolarBC has extended funding for a PV system.

The performance of the Passive House including the solar hot water and PV systems will be monitored for three years by FortisBC. The monitoring data will contribute to a better understanding of how well solar hot water and PV systems perform in the Okanagan Valley.

The BC Sustainable Energy Association’s Okanagan Chapter will be highlighting the Passive House and its solar equipment at a free public meeting at Okanagan College, Centre for Learning, Room E103, 1000 KLO Rd, Kelowna, on Wednesday, April 24 th , at 7pm. 

Members of the public are invited to come and learn about the design and construction of the Passive House, and its solar equipment. Refreshments will be provided. FortisBC has contributed an energy savings gift basket and a free home energy assessment as door prizes.


Media Contacts:

Julia M. Roberts


Fax: 250-352-5492

Email: julia@solarbc.ca

Tabitha Eneas, Housing Manager for PIB


Fax: 250-493-2882

Email: teneas@pib.ca