Are you among the growing number of people considering solar power for your home as a way to reduce reliance on BC Hydro for your electricity?
People have various reasons for wanting to make the switch, from long-term cost savings to environmental concerns, says Andrew Gudmundseth, owner of Cowichan Valley-based solar installation provider GreenCoast Electric.
With a growing Vancouver Island population needing hydro power generated on the Mainland to service its demand, in addition to power generated at stations fed by Island reservoirs, the long-term outlook supports going solar, he adds.
“One client told us his main motivation for going with solar power was to help preserve the reservoirs on the Island,” he says.
Solar growth catches trades’ attention
Gudmundseth and GreenCoast lead designer Bruce Moss recently gave a seminar to Grade 11 Introduction to Trades students, at North Island College in Courtenay. Not only were the students keen to learn more about the installation process and the science of solar power, the instructors wanted know more about this growing industry, Gudmundseth says.
“With the cost going down and more households going with solar, we’re getting more people interested in the installation side of things.”
From residential to large-scale users
While GreenCoast keeps busy installing residential systems, Island businesses are also making the switch to solar. A North Island First Nation that operates a luxury hotel had a major installation done this year to convert much of the resort to solar power, with 64 panels placed on a large new roof.
“They could have invested their money into anything and they chose to put on a lifetime roof, arguably the most environmentally friendly roof you could put on your house,” Gudmundseth says. “They use a lot of power, but this gives them control over their energy and insulates them from hydro price increases that can happen.”
New roof offers perfect opportunity
While solar panels can be installed on many roofs, an ideal time to add them is when you’re replacing your roof, Gudmundseth says. GreenCoast works closely with Coast Roofing, whose staff are experienced in preparing the new roof for a solar installation, he adds. “It’s good to plan ahead, so that way you get a new roof and solar at the same time.”
To find out more, book a solar power consultation or ask about other electrical projects, send GreenCoast an email or call Andrew Gudmunseth at 250-597-0672. You can also follow GreenCoast on Facebook.