2016-6-1 : Email to Bruce MacKenzie

Hi Bruce : Proline (our Property Manager) shared with us the system you have installed (see image below). I am studying potential solar heating (and wind) for our 36 unit condo, Hampshire House, next to the Oak Bay Beach Hotel.

We are keen to benefit from your expertise and experience. And to see if we can drive the costs down as you have done. Your website is excellent – thank you. http://www.bcsea.org/solar-on-strata

ProlineSolar (Large)

Some Paragraphs from The website


Each suite has its own electric baseboard heating on its own meter, but our common area electricity costs was $5,000 in 2014 for indoor and outdoor lights, the elevator, make-up air fans, laundry machines, and some hallway heating.

We have done the obvious lighting upgrades, taking part in the BC Hydro Product Incentive Program in 2009. There may be some more efficiency opportunities, such as LED lights or motion sensors in the hallways.

BC Hydro has announced price increases of about 17% over the next four years, after a rise of 9% in 2014.

Natural Gas

We have a 2006 central natural gas boiler supplying all hot water, and gas heated clothes dryers in our laundry room. Our natural gas bill is about $17K/year.
I’m expecting our gas cost to drop. Vancouver Island currently has a higher price than the rest of BC, but the BC Utilities Commission has approved a single rate across BC, to be implemented over the next few years, which will drop our rate by about 1/4 in relation to the rest of BC. In BC we pay market price for natural gas, so future prices are not nearly as predictable as electrical rates, but are expected to stay low in North America until the export of Liquefied Natural Gas begins – if that ever happens.

Solar Power

I’ve been an energy geek for years and a BCSEA member since 2004, so in 2011 I got a quote for solar hot water on our roof from Rob Barry at Island Energy. The cost was just over $70,000 (+taxes) for 20 flat panel collectors, tanks and pumps to run it all. I asked for a show of hands at our 2011 Annual General Meeting, and there was good support to pursue it more. At that time PV was too expensive.

PV Pricing and Output

As I learned in our April 2014 BCSEA Webinar on the future of solar PV in BC, PhotoVoltaic panel prices have been falling, so now they are economic in most of BC. Also, Dave Egles of HES-PV mentioned his ‘1100’ rule – in our part of BC, on average, a PV panel will generate 1,100 times its capacity in power each year – e.g. a 1 Kw panel will generate 1,100 kwh of electricity. This makes it really easy to calculate their energy output. I am using $3.00 / watt + GST as a completeinstallation cost for a 10 KW system, and a bit less for a 20 KW system.

I plan to keep the system small enough that it doesn’t generate more electricity than we use in a year, because the ‘net metered’ refund is higher than the price on extra power sold to BC Hydro.

– See more at: http://www.bcsea.org/solar-on-strata#sthash.a0gYak7S.dpuf


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