Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mike Holmes' Push For Solar Energy

This article, from the National Post (Canada), Mike Holmes discusses his ever-growing love for "green energy." He explains why he feels that green energy, solar in this instance, is the technology of the future given the rising cost of energy. Holmes is never without his critics, however. I found the user-submitted comments about the article almost as interesting as the article itself. Not being Canadian, I found it a bit hard to follow without Googling some names and terms, but I got the gist of the complaints. Still, good article. Anytime Mike has something to say, his passion for building the best always comes through.

Mike Holmes: Sunny days with solar leasing

May 14, 2012 – 8:00 AM ET | Last Updated: May 14, 2012 9:04 AM ET

The Rick Mercer Report

Mike Holmes helps to install solar panels on a residential roof.

The move for renewable energy and greener technologies has been really important to me for years now. Why? Because I’m building homes that are going to be around for years. So if I’m going to do it right, I have to think about the environment these buildings are going to be in today and tomorrow.

Let’s look at the facts: The cost of energy keeps rising. A lot of the resources we use for energy are on the verge of depletion. And the environmental fallout of modern living has reached a critical point. As a homeowner, what do you do? As a builder or contractor, how do you respond?

Many people might look at the current situation and say it’s hopeless, but I don’t. I deal with hopeless situations every day, and time and time again we push forward and make things right.

If we look at what’s going on in the economy and the environment, we’ll see there’s actually a huge opportunity here. For new infrastructures, new technologies, new skills and an economy that gets stronger the more we help our environment. There’s no conflict of interest here.

Another bonus is that green economy creates long-term jobs for different skill levels. This includes skilled tradespeople to manufacture all the parts for solar panels and turbines, contractors to install them and engineers to dream them up.

The good news is more and more governments and organizations are realizing this and they’re working together to build stronger communities for the future. For example, in Ontario we have the Feed-in Tariff program. This program lets homeowners and businesses feed the electric grid with renewable energy, such as solar, wind, hydro and/or biogas. This is great. The problem is the upfront investment exceeds most homeowners’ budgets. Solar panels and windmills aren’t cheap, folks — at least not yet. In the meantime, organizations are stepping up and doing what it takes to help make both ends meet. For example, PURE Energies and the David Suzuki Foundation are working together and it looks like they’re on the right path.

PURE Energies is a microfit company that facilitates solar leasing. They install, operate and maintain solar power systems on suitable residential homes, at no cost to the homeowner. They’ll also monitor a home’s HVAC system to make sure it runs as efficiently as possible, given the weather

and temperature. And even though PURE Energies owns the solar power system, they share the revenues from the energy produced with the homeowner. Everybody wins. Right now, PURE Energies will make a donation to the David Suzuki Foundation for every inquiry they receive from homeowners interested in a solar power system. And if an inquiry leads to the installation of a system, PURE Energies will make another donation. Why the David Suzuki Foundation? Because they’re helping lay down the groundwork, through science and education, for a shift to sustainable living.

The collaboration is a smart setup. It reinvests in energy conservation and renewable energy solutions. The benefits here are exponential: We’re using solar energy, we’re taking pressure off the grid, we’re putting money toward better green solutions, we’re putting money back into homeowners’ pockets and we’re moving away from combustible energy sources, like coal. Most people don’t know but a side affect of coal-fired power plants is mercury emissions.

There are real facts driving the green movement. It’s important people know what they are and the options they have. Education has always been key to what I do. I’d say it’s the most important part of everything I do. Why? Because building affects the people involved, but education affects everybody.

As a contractor and builder, I take my job seriously. And I don’t take this responsibility lightly.

No matter the project, I always try to go for green options and renewable energy solutions. I could be working on a house for the new series, a custom home, a hurricane resistant house in New Orleans, a children’s village in Haiti or a First Nations reserve. I always try to incorporate green solutions that make sense. Not just for short-term maintenance but also for long-term sustainability. And solar leasing is a good way to start weaning our homes off non-renewable energy.

Solar leasing is on the rise, especially in the U.S. due to their high-energy costs. Currently, Enmax Energy is making solar leasing possible in Alberta. But I want to see more provinces push for legislation that lets solar leasing be an option for all homeowners across Canada.


  1. Wonderful post you have here by approaching viewers through your best content with great knowledge. thanks for sharing and do keep up posting more.

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  2. yeah solar energy is really fulfilling its purpose, thanks for posting :)

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