Practical Solutions for Sustainable Cities — since 1969
The ranking which looked at the cost of municipal requirements for installing residential photovoltaic systems highlights a significant range of regulations. The costs in Vancouver, which has the most expensive policies, are over twenty times the costs in the the top ranked municipality. Seventeen municipalities from across Canada were included and data was collected both from online policy statements and surveys of local solar energy installers.Vancouver’s place at the bottom of the list is especially noteworthy given that the city has set a target of moving to 100% renewable energy. Prior to 2014,, Vancouver would have ranked number 10 but new policies moved it further down the list.
Eugene Beregovoy, a home owner in Surrey who is currently installing a solar energy system, said that the municipal requirements add 12% to the system cost. He stated that the requirements make the system, “Worthless to install. It will take an additional 3 years for my system to pay for those costs.”SPEC's Canadian Solar Cities Ranking 2015
The table below ranks Canadian Cities on the cost of municipal requirements for a 5 kW photovoltaic system (standard flush mount on a residential roof).
(to expand table: right click and choose "View Image")
RECOMMENDATION:SPEC is recommending that municipalities adopt the Solar America Board for Codes and Practices recommendation for an expatiated permitting process for installations that meet specific requirements. Many cities in both the US and Canada have already adopted these guidelines as policy. More details on this can be found at:http://www.solarabcs.org/about/publications/reports/expedited-permit/pdfs/ABCS-11_1page.pdf
Additionally, municipalities could move to a lower flat fee for the electrical permit as Toronto has done.