Boneheads in hot water

“This isn’t news to us.”

Susan Desjardins is part of Eco Energy Choices Ottawa, a not-for-profit research group that promotes community-focused energy efficiency in Ottawa. I just talked to her about the City of Ottawa’s refusal to issue permits to home owners who want to install a passive solar water heater on their roof.

Passive solar water heaters save energy by preheating water using sunlight. This water is then heated to hot by the traditional water heater. Passive solar systems in optimal south-facing sites can save the homeowner up to 50% on the cost of water heating — hundreds of dollars per year on average. A complete system, including installation, costs about $4500.

Eco Energy Choices Ottawa has done considerable research on this topic, and is at the forefront of the movement to get passive water heating recognized as a viable individual contribution to the fight against climate change. The systems are safe and reliable, and dozens of people are ready to take the solar water plunge. The City’s not helping.

Susan bristled at the word “bonehead” when used to describe the municipal decision. “Let’s just say they are very conservative at City Hall,” she said.

Eco Energy Choices Ottawa is a partner in our very own Project Porchlight.

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