›› Ruben Anderson

As reported in the February Village Vibe, the Fernwood Community Association hosted an information session aimed at ­neighbours interested in bulk buying solar panels to generate clean, renewable energy on their rooftops. ­Representatives of ­Viridian Energy Co-operative and the ­Salish Sea ­Renewable Energy Co-op answered ­questions and busted myths—we have plenty of sunshine here in Victoria, and a solar installation on your home could earn you better than 6% return on investment. Try to get that from your mutual fund.

The more neighbours join in, the better pricing available when buying panels and equipment and the larger the rate of return. An average home installation could be a 7.4 kW system with 24 solar panels that will cost $17,000 and produce over 200 MWh of electricity over its lifetime. This will save about $1000 on your electricity bill the first year, and even more as hydro rates go up. Factoring in expected rate increases, the system should be paid off in about 13 years—but the sun won’t stop shining after that, and you will still be producing clean electricity.

More examples of system costs can be found at tinyurl.com/solarexamples.

If you would like to join the mailing list to receive updates, please email ruben@fernwoodnrg.ca. The waitlist will close June 15th so we can get to work!