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NEWS RELEASE · 29th May 2010
M. of Energy, Mines & Petrol
Seven communities have been named Solar Communities and have been awarded a total of $35,000, Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources Minister Blair Lekstrom announced today.

The funding will enable the communities to further develop solar hot water programs and other solar initiatives in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote clean energy and a sustainable energy future.

"These seven new Solar Communities are showing how solar technology can be a part of their energy solution," said Lekstrom. "We now have a total of 16 Solar Communities across B.C., with innovative and sustainable energy solutions like solar hot water to help us become energy self-sufficient, while improving the environment in which we live."

The communities selected are: the city of Richmond, the corporation of Delta, the city of Campbell River, the district of Invermere, the city of Fort St. John, the city of Grand Forks and the regional district of Nanaimo and member municipalities. These communities were chosen through a request for proposals process and will each receive $5,000.

On July 17, 2008, the Province announced a $5-million investment in the SolarBC initiative to support six solar hot water programs, including installations on residences, local government buildings, First Nations homes, social housing, schools and the Solar Communities initiative.

"These Solar Communities will provide leadership by their innovative deployment of solar technologies and will become role models for communities across B.C.," said Nitya Harris, executive director of SolarBC.

A solar hot water system can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by one to two tonnes per year for a single family home using natural gas for water heating. The increased use of solar energy technology is part of a broader sustainable energy strategy that will help the Province reach its goal of curbing greenhouse gas emissions by 33 per cent by 2020.

The SolarBC initiative supports the proposed Clean Energy Act and the BC Energy Plan conservation and clean energy objectives. For more information on SolarBC, please visit

British Columbia's new Clean Energy Act, currently before the Legislature, sets the foundation for a new future of electricity self-sufficiency, job creation and reduced greenhouse gas emissions, powered by unprecedented investments in clean, renewable energy across the province.