Clean Energy Options
Solar Panels at T'Sou-ke Nation
Solar Photovoltaic (PV)
Solar photovoltaic (PV) panels use the sunís energy to generate electricity. They can be linked to the Hydro grid, so that when the panels produce more electricity than needed by the home, the excess power can be fed back into the grid (another option is to store excess power in batteries).
At this time, the cost of solar PV panels is quite high, and the low cost of electricity in B.C. means that they are not an economically viable option for most homes. Solar Colwood will not be funding solar PV on homes, but will be installing demonstrations of this technology at the Fire Hall and on a few units for the Colwood Corners development.
Solar Colwood will outfit some homes with
Smart Home energy management systems.
Smart Grid/Smart Home Technologies
Smart Home and Smart Grid technologies take advantage of recent advances in the Internet, hand-held computers and phones with touch screens, wireless communications and a new generation of Smart appliances. They make the modern Smart Home easy to operate and economically attractive, while saving energy costs. Solar Colwood will offer Smart Home "starter packages" with state-of-the-art, wireless, table or wall mounted control panels, which not only display energy consumption, but also control appliances. Other products may include communicating thermostats which allow an array of furnace or boiler settings, while signaling your hot water tank to provide additional savings. People can even remotely control their Smart Home from a Smart phone.
Modern Smart Home systems also have options for the addition of security, safety, entertainment and other modules currently on the market, plus save money when operated with the new Smart Grid appliances and Smart Meters.
BC Hydro will be installing smart meters in homes in Colwood, and throughout the province. The Smart Metering Program involves replacing existing customer meters with smart meters starting later this summer and upgrading the technology and telecommunications infrastructure that BC Hydro uses to manage the electricity system in a reliable, safe and cost-effective manner. Major program benefits include improved safety and reliability; enhanced customer service; reduced electricity theft; improved operational efficiency and reduced wasted electricity; greater customer choice and control; and modernization of B.C.ís electricity system.
BC Hydro are aware that some homeowners are concerned about electromagnetic fields, and note that the radio frequency from the smart meters is safe, and less than that emitted from a baby monitor. However, for customers who are concerned, Hydro have committed to collaborate with the objective of identifying solutions that can be mutually supported.