The city council did the “right thing” by recently awarding a $5,000 grant to one of Whitehorse’s most forward-thinking private developers to cover part of the costs of installing roof-top solar energy panels.
Apparently they will generate enough power to light the public areas of two new developments. It is to be hoped that this action will encourage other shrewd and responsible developers to quickly follow suit and reap the considerable energy rewards that sustainable solar energy provides.
The small size of the city’s environmental grants fund will hardly be enough to lead the way for encouraging developers and homeowners to build solar installations into their building projects. But nonetheless, this grant, and the thorough project review process that preceded it, are very important actions on the city’s part.
It is interesting that the City of Whitehorse’s “vision statement” says that it “will be a well planned community that is a leader in energy conservation and innovation.” Neither of the city’s proposed 2014 operating or capital budgets truly advance that vision.
Therefore, it is to be hoped that the city will follow this initial small but significant step towards supporting practical and widely used energy projects with a plan to use solar power technology in all of its own buildings. The vision statement was a useful place to start from and this grant is a very important step to take; now it’s up to the city to put this part of the “vision” into action.
Kenneth de la Barre