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City Councillor Joe Mihevc Sheds Light on Solar Power

Wednesday, October 14th 2009 9:44:21am

City Councillor Sheds Light on Solar Power

Councillor Joe Mihevc leads the way with his residents and the West Toronto Initiative for Solar Energy (WISE)

Toronto, Ontario - October 14, 2009 - Councillor Joe Mihevc, Ward 21 St. Paul's West-an environmental leader on City Council-is taking his work home with him. The Councillor recently purchased his own domestic solar hot water heater, installed it on his home and is hoping more Torontonians do the same.

By enrolling with the West Toronto Initiative for Solar Energy (WISE), the Councillor joined with over 80 residents in his Ward who are determined to reduce their environmental footprint. WISE is a community-led renewable energy project that has organized a bulk purchase of two of the most popular types of residential solar systems: hot water systems and electricity generating solar photovoltaic (PV) panels. WISE helps demystify the steps involved in going solar, and its bulk purchase also provides a discount to participants.

"I feel all Councillors should set an example for their community when it comes to energy conservation and the environment," said Councillor Mihevc. "Going solar was the next step for me after I did my energy audit and the more impactful upgrades like improving my insulation and draft proofing. It's amazing how even the smallest improvements help a homeowner save money and the environment."

WISE chose GreenSaver, Ontario's largest non-profit dedicated to environmental energy efficiency, to manage and conduct the solar hot water audits, permits and installations. GreenSaver conducted the Councillor's solar audit and recently installed their solar solution unit on his Humewood residence.  

Solar hot water systems can save an average household (of four persons) up to 60 per cent on water heating bills. Moreover, this system when operating reduces the volume of greenhouse gas emissions by 0.5 tonnes every year.

With about 25 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions coming from residential properties, the Councillor believes it is imperative that as many Torontonians as possible go solar. The City of Toronto has made its solar hot water permit process easy for residents, and is proactively working on streamlining the permit process for photovoltaic systems. Toronto is a leader in proactively reducing emissions with programs such as the Solar Neighbourhoods Program, geared to help residents assess their homes' suitability for solar panels. This initiative is just one step in the many ways the City is working towards reaching its Climate Plan targets.

Councillor Mihevc will continue to work with WISE and the City to help promote residential solar power as a smart option for Torontonians. Updates on Councillor Mihevc's green initiatives can be found at www.joemihevc.com.

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To schedule an interview with Councillor Mihevc, please contact:

Lydia Hanson, Executive Assistant to Councillor Joe Mihevc, 416-392-0208, 647-886-5388 (cell on the day of the event), lhanson@toronto.ca

Photo or Video Opportunities

• Solar hot water unit on the roof (from the ground) and a demonstration unit (on the ground)
• System connections to water tank in basement
• Joe Mihevc's kitchen for shots of running water