Solar electrical power should be promoted

The use of installed solar panels, without any batteries, can be used to produce electricity.

Dear Editor:

A recent visit to a couple of homes in Osoyoos where a solar system had been installed, convinced me that it would be possible to put in such an arrangement into our home.

The use of installed solar panels, without any batteries, can be used to produce enough electricity, particularly in the summertime, to more than offset the need for any electricity you have to purchase from Summerland’s grid.

On average, with enough panels, you can produce enough electricity to put back into a city grid, and get paid for it, or at least get credit for it, which you can use to reduce your winter bills.

At least that is the idea.

In Osoyoos, electricity is supplied by Fortis directly.

It also bills its customers. In Summerland, as most residents know, Fortis supplies the  electricity to the municipality, but the municipality looks after the infrastructure of supplying electricity to its residents, and charges them for both the electricity and the supply of same.

But so far, as far as I know, nobody has taken the opportunity to tie into Summerland’s electrical grid with either solar, wind or geothermal supplies.

From what I understand, our municipality is not too keen on it either.

In Osoyoos, Fortis not only allows this, but doesn’t charge a fee for it either.

If and when Summerland allows tie-ins, they plan to charge a fee of nearly $1,000 for the privilege.  As far as I have been able to find out BC Hydro also allows tie-ins without charge.

In European countries, trying to reduce their carbon emission and get out of dirty coal for the production of electricity, all green production is promoted.

In Germany, every new home is required to have solar panels installed.

Every home renovation must also include solar power installation.

It is very apparent, even though it has faced a number of electrical outages recently due to faulty equipment, that Summerland is way behind the times.

It is an expensive proposition for the homeowner. In my case about $15,000.

But I believe it certainly adds to the value of the home, even though it will take some time to recoup.

If more people think about going solar, the price of installation should also go down. But it needs the municipality to start promoting the idea.

Frank Martens

Summerland