Letter: Solar Colwood paying off

I would like to correct a great deal of misinformation on the Solar Colwood program.

In recent weeks I have seen and heard a great deal of misinformation on the Solar Colwood program which I would like to correct.

The program was developed through an open process. The funding proposal was developed with input from a public committee, approved by council at a public meeting, and reported on in the Goldstream Gazette in 2009.

Initially, the funding request was not approved—as reported in the Gazette. Later, in 2010, the City was notified that it was in line for funding, and the City was required (as is a common condition of this type of grant) not to make this public until announced by the federal government.

This happened at a well-attended public event in January 2011, and from then on the process has been very public. The funds are being expended as set out in the approved grant, and major spending decisions go through Council.

The overall program cost is estimated at $12 million over four years. This includes cash and in-kind contributions from partners (including Natural Resources Canada), and the homeowners’ portion of costs (someone installing a solar hot water system pays only about 60 per cent of the actual cost after the grants).

The actual cost to Colwood property taxes is $31,400 over the four years—$5 per household or $1.70 for this year. Over the last year, the total amount of staff time contributed to the project is valued at about $20,000 — far less than is spent on many other city projects.

In return, Colwood homeowners and businesses are eligible to take advantage of significant savings for getting an energy audit, and installing solar hot water and ductless split heat pump systems. We can also connect you to available energy retrofit grants from the provincial and federal governments.

Solar installations at the fire hall will reduce its operating costs, and the program is being recognized and earning awards for its innovative approach. Colwood should be proud of this program.

Judith Cullington

Colwood councillor


Just Posted

New accessible playground opens at View Royal’s Eagle View Elementary School

Students overjoyed while faculty and parents feel relief

With $4M investment, Camosun College offers first sonography program on Vancouver Island

Starting in May 2020 students from Vancouver Island can pursue a career in sonography

Greater Victoria developer rushes to demolish historic wall before Oak Bay applies heritage permit

Abstract Development punches holes in one of Oak Bay’s oldest stone walls

$775-million wastewater project on track to be completed on time, within new budget

Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins praises public education aspect of project

Scheer, Trudeau, Singh haggle over potential minority government outcome

If you believe the polls, it appears the Liberals and Conservatives are neck-and-neck

POLL: Do you think the day of the federal election should be a statutory holiday?

Increasing voter turnout has long been a goal of officials across the… Continue reading

Canucks beat Stanley Cup champs 4-3 in a shootout

Leivo nets winner, Vancouver dumps St. Louis for fourth straight win

Campbell River homicide suspects arrested in Vancouver

Two men remain in custody, but have not been charged

‘The more you test, the more you find’: Beef recalls a sign of success, experts say

Despite appearances, experts say a recent rise in major recalls is not a sign of food supply problems

Elizabeth May confirms plan to eliminate fish farming in open ocean pens

Green Party leader stops in Qualicum Beach as part of Island campaign

STRIKE: WFP and USW are back at the table for mediation

“No further updates until either an agreement is reached or one party or the other breaks off talks”

Green Party leader Elizabeth May rolls through Vancouver Island to boost a party stronghold

Mocks media, evokes Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and promises change

Japanese buyer expands wood pellet contract with B.C.’s Pinnacle

Mitsui and Co. increases contract with Interior energy producer

Most Read