There are many steps municipalities can take to help make solar more affordable and accessible to consumers within their jurisdiction. We're working in select Lower Mainland cities to:
1. Create an expedited permitting process for standard residential solar installations.
2. Require all new homes to meet the NRCan solar ready construction guidelines.
3. Complete the requirements and apply to become an Official Canadian Solar City.
EXPEDITED PERMITTING PROCESS
A recent study by SPEC BC found that homeowners who choose to install solar panels on their properties are paying out thousands of dollars in order to navigate municipal permitting requirements. Many jurisdictions including Toronto, Calgary, and Colwood BC have addressed this by adopting an expedited permitting process, and we’re advocating for similar policies to be implemented across the Lower Mainland in order to benefit homeowners and stimulate market uptake of solar technology.
NRCAN SOLAR READY GUIDELINES
We are also advocating for our municipalities to require all new homes to meet NRCAN’s Solar Ready guidelines, which “specify a number of design considerations and modifications builders can make to new attached and detached homes in preparation for the installation of a future solar thermal system or solar photovoltaic system.” Edmonton, Port Coquitlam, New West, and North van all have adopted variants of this legislation.
CANADIAN SOLAR CITIES PROJECT
Finally, we're inviting Lower Mainland municipalities to apply to become Official Canadian Solar Cities. The Canadian Solar Cities Project is a non-profit organization that recognizes Canadian communities for leadership in sustainable practices, with a focus on solar. By meeting the Canadian Solar Cities criteria, qualifying Canadian communities will be among the most sustainable places in the world. Requirements for the official designation can be found here: http://solarcitiescanada.com/application-form/
We're currently working asking the municipalities of Burnaby and Port Moody to implement these three solar policy asks. You can sign up on our volunteer page to plug into our campaigns, or e-mail an organizer at firstname.lastname@example.org.