Village Vancouver

Vancouver's Leader in Transition toward Strong, Resilient, Complete Communities

Solar Roof

Village Vancouver continues to try to showcase at least one solar energy installation on a home, a real step we all can take to reduce Vancouver’s carbon footprint. There is even a not insignificant tax break if you do it! This installation will comprise both Solar PV and Solar Hot Water installations on a residential roof. Sadly, Vancouver's Building Bylaw and practice make even simple roof installations untenable or impossible; it is apparently too risky in this city to save the world.

That said, we in Vancouver soldier on, falling farther and farther behind the rest of the world...and with apparently no idea why. If the average Vancouver resident cannot figure out how to maneuver around the building code regulations to pursue sustainable goals, then nothing significant will happen.

The following is from the web site of Village Vancouver partner, the Vancouver Renewable Energy Coop: Solar hot water systems supplement your hot water heating by preheating the water that goes into your existing hot water tank, saving you on energy costs. Any home with a sunny roof can benefit from a solar hot water system. The greatest cost savings is realized by a household or building with a lot of people using hot water.

An elegant, mature technology, a solar hot water system can be expected to last 20 years or more. (A system over 25 years old is currently installed on the SPEC building at 6th and Maple in Vancouver and is open to public viewing 10-4 weekdays.)

How do I get started? Call the Vacouver Renewable Energy Cooperative (VREC) at 778-869-8333 to book your assessment, a consulting service that will give you all the details, specific to your site and needs. Cost of the assessment is deducted from the price of a system purchased from and installed by VREC.

•Hot Water for Housing Cooperatives
•Heat your pool with the sun
•Hot water for homeowners
•Costs & prime plus one financing
•Background info on solar energy from the David Suzuki Foundation

Hot water for housing cooperatives and apartment buildings

VREC does full site assessments and arranges for installation of complete custom solar hot water systems for apartment buildings and housing cooperatives. As cooperative ourselves, we understand how cooperatives work and are aligned with your goals. Ask about our guided tour of housing cooperatives who love their solar hot water systems for board members and decision-makers. Read the Natural Resources Canada buyers guide to solar hot water systems.

More information on housing cooperatives and solar hot water

Call us at 778.869.8333 or email us for more information. Hot water for homeowners VREC partners with a reputable solar hot water installer to provide affordable solar hot water systems to homeowners and businesses. Call or email for more details. Read the Natural Resources Canada buyers guide to solar hot water systems.

Call us at 778.869.8333 or email us for more information. Costs and Financing Solar hot water systems generally supply energy at a cost of Cdn $6GJ, with paybacks ranging from 8-10 years. Lifecycle ROI (Return on Investment) is 20-20% for a 30 year life expectancy. Solar thermal for heating water and air is economical today for all situations over the long term when offsetting natural gas fueled heating systems.

Residential systems cost approximately $5,000-6,000 installed. Apartment building systems are in the $30,000-60,000 range. Grants may be available to cover 25% of the cost of any commercial system. Housing coops may also be eligible for funding from Carbon Offset Credits.

Please contact us at 778-869-8333 or email us for more information.

Financing at prime plus one is available to VREC's customers on renewable energy systems up to $10,000. Check out VREC's web site for more details.

Call us at 778.869.8333 in Vancouver or email us at

Village engages individuals, neighbourhoods & organizations to take actions that build sustainable communities & have fun doing it. Join us!

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Ongoing Activities

Interested in getting involved or volunteering with Village Vancouver? check out

Regular activities:

Interested in participating in a VV garden? We have collaborative gardens/garden spaces in 5 neighbourhoods. Contact us at Gardening now in progress. New gardeners welcome (space allowing).

Kits Village Recycling Depot (2nd or 3rd Thursdays Kits Community Centre) Next depot: Thursday, August 19th 

Main St. Village monthly gatherings (1st Tuesdays Little Mountain Neighbourhood House) Currently on hold due to COVID

Permaculture Vancouver Meetups (3rd Wednesdays VV McBride Park Fieldhouse (sometimes elsewhere) Next meetup: Special date Thursday, July 29th

West End Community Potluck/WE Urban Garden Club (3rd Sundays West End Community Centre, in July and August 4th Thursdays - July 22nd and August 26th.

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