Earth Issues

Making the shift to using solar energy

 | November 30, 2011

In 2011 the federal government announced the return of the ecoEnergy Retrofit for Homes Program, granting up to $5,000 for homeowners to improve their home’s energy efficiency. Including an allowance of $1,250 for installing a year-round solar hot water system. As homeowners evaluate their home’s energy efficiency, many are turning to solar thermal systems.

Advancements in solar energy production have resulted in two main types of solar energy systems.
“Flat panel is the old technology,” says Sun Peaks resident and systems architect Vladimir Grebenyuk. “Although they’ve been proven and work quite well in many installations, the new technology is vacuum tube which uses not only the visible light, but UV (ultra violet).”

The ability of the vacuum tubes to capture UV light is especially important for homeowners in British Columbia.

“They (the panels) could be covered in two feet of snow, it still penetrates,” notes Grebenyuk.
A vacuum tube solar thermal system is slightly more expensive than the older solar panel technology. Regardless of your choice, you will reduce greenhouse gases, improve energy efficiency, and reduce costs, while helping to save the planet.