Stories Tagged - solar
Oct. 05, 2017 | David Dodge and Scott Rollans
Have you ever dreamed of living in a net-zero home? According to Peter Darlington, that dream might be closer than you think. In fact, you might already be living in your future net-zero home.
Darlington runs Solar Homes Inc., a Calgary company specializing in renovating existing homes into net-zero homes, which produce as much energy as they consume. Net-zero might seem like a remote, ambitious target, but Darlington insists it's more attainable than you might think. In fact, his first green renovation project was on his own 1980s-era home.
Oct. 12, 2017 | David Dodge and Scott Rollans
St. Albert's Ron and Carole Kube had never known anyone with a solar-powered home. Then, in 2014, Ron Kube read a story in the newspaper about a household that installed a solar array. He was surprised to learn they were his former neighbours.
"In fact, the guy was Craig Dickie – he used to live across the street from us," said Kube. "And I was so excited that I called up Craig and I said, 'can I come over to the house and see the solar system?' And he said, 'yeah, sure, come on over.' "
The moment Kube saw the system, he was hooked.
Oct. 25, 2017 | David Dodge and Scott Rollans
What if we told you that with a few simple changes, you could cut your household electricity consumption in half? It's possible, and Ron Kube is living proof.
Kube recently installed a solar-power system on his St. Albert home. But before going solar, he checked to see how much electricity his home was using. He was shocked to discover his family was using 70 per cent more than the Alberta average of 7,200 kilowatt hours per year – they were energy hogs.
June 08, 2017 | Karen Durrie
With the cost of solar power generation dropping, and a provincial rebate program launching, it's a pretty good time to be living in the sunniest city in Canada.
More homeowners are investing in solar as it becomes more economically viable.
In the past, many who embraced it traded the wallet shock for the feel-good vibes of reducing their ecological footprints.
That's the original reason Michael Betzner added solar to his Bowness home about eight years ago.
Dec. 16, 2016 | Gerald Vander Pyl
New research at the University of Calgary could lead to condominium and apartment high-rises being retrofitted to become energy-efficient and green-energy-producing buildings.
Caroline Hachem-Vermette, an assistant professor of architecture in the Solar Energy and Community Design Lab at the University of Calgary's Faculty of Environmental Design, is looking at new ways to optimize solar capture on multi-storey buildings to help offset their energy use.
"Most of the buildings that exist now will be existing in 50 years, so we really need to move in this direction," said Hachem-Vermette, whose interest in the area came out of wider research she did on the design of mixed-use solar communities.
Sept. 07, 2016 | Miles Durie
When we last saw headlines from Alberta's home solar energy sector, the news was a bit discouraging. But things have changed, and solar power is now looking like an increasingly bright idea.
Back in 2012, University of Alberta professor Andrew Leach analyzed the costs of Enmax's solar panel leasing program and publicized his finding that homeowners who participated would actually pay more for power than those who stayed with a conventional plan.
Enmax concurred, saying the program was aimed at people who had reasons other than economic ones for choosing solar power.
April 21, 2016 | Tyler Difley
Long considered a darling of the green energy industry, solar technology is evolving at such a rapid pace that many experts predict it will soon become commonplace in our everyday lives.
David Silburn, a researcher at SAIT who specializes in green building technologies, said the popularity of solar systems, especially photovoltaic, in residential and commercial applications has skyrocketed in the past seven years as prices have plummeted.
"In 2009, I was paying $10 to $12 a watt installed, whereas now you're spending $2.50 to $3 a watt installed on the same scale of system," he said.
April 21, 2016 | Joel Schlesinger
Calgarians seeking a more net-zero lifestyle don't have to rely soley on big-ticket solar panels, geothermal heating and other energy-efficient technologies, say experts.
"There are plenty of little things people can do in their homes to move toward a net-zero lifestyle that aren't necessarily costly," said Areni Kelleppan, executive director of Green Calgary, a non-profit urban environmental organization that encourages Calgarians to live greener.
Don't know where to start? No need to worry: CREB®Now asked some green experts to offer up a few low-cost ideas to walk a more net-zero path:
April 21, 2016 | Joel Schlesinger
No one can accuse Chris Stevenson of being all talk and no action when it comes to living green. The 51-year-old Calgarian is walking the walk when it comes to reducing his carbon footprint.
So much so he built his own net-zero home – that is, one that generates as much energy from renewables, such as solar panels, as it consumes.
"I like to do things right, and I'm cheap: I didn't want to be paying a lot for utilities," joked Stevenson, who, until recently, made a living investing in real estate.
Feb. 12, 2016 | Cody Stuart
While the sun is set to shine a little brighter on some Albertans with news the provincial government will be offering increased incentives for solar power, others in the province are saying they're being left in the dark.
The Alberta government recently announced a $5-million Municipal Solar Program as part of its Climate Leadership Plan. Included in the plan are rebates of up to $0.75 per watt, to a maximum of $300,000 per project, to communities that install solar panels or set up solar panels in fire halls, community centres and offices.
Another $500,000 will go toward Alberta farmers who wish to generate their own electricity.
However, with the program largely ignoring the vast majority of residences, critics of the new incentives say they don't do enough to encourage more Albertans to go green.