Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Going Solar?

Have your ever wondered whether installing solar panels on your home was a viable energy alternative? Many people have, only to drop the idea because of the expense or daunting technical nature of such a project.
Energie Verte Benny Farm understands your reticence and offers a possible solution.
EVBF is a non-profit company that promotes alternative and renewable energy solutions. It has a program called Acces Energie that puts together buying groups to bring down the cost of solar-powered energy systems.
According to EVBF's web site, the typical solar hot-water system for a household of 4 costs about $5,000 installed. Subsidies and savings through the collective buying process could reduce that by as much as 50 per cent.
Accès Energie's consultants will help you figure out which system is best suited to your home and will send out tenders to contractors to get the best equipment and installation price. It will even walk you through the municipal permit procees.
All this to say that Energie Verte Benny Farm is planning at least two information sessions for those interested in learning more about installing a roof-top solar energy system.
The info sessions will be held at the Urban Ecology Centre, 3516 Park Ave. on May 27
and at Coop la Maison verte, 5785 Sherbrooke W., on June 10. Other sessions are being planned. Check the web site for more details.
UPDATE Sometimes, I'm too clever by half. After talking to Alex Hill, the engineer who coordinates the Accès Energie program, I now realize that the panels in my picture are photovoltaic and not the solar thermal panels that Accès Energie promotes. My bad.

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