Canadian Cities Ranked on Solar Energy Policy

Vancouver and Surrey ranked lowest

Vancouver, BC – 2015 May 12 – SPEC (Society Promoting Environmental Conservation) has released the first ranking of  Canadian cities-based on solar energy policy.  Amongst the large Canadian cities – Edmonton, Calgary and Toronto were ranked best, with Surrey and Vancouver  at the bottom of the list.

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 is recommending that municipalities adopt the Solar America Board for Codes and Practices guidelines for an expedited permitting process.  This policy developed by a team of professional engineers has already been adopted by cities in both the US and Canada, including Toronto, Calgary, Seattle and San Jose.  Municipalities could also move to a low flat fee electrical permit as the city of Toronto has done. 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.

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).