Encouraging energy efficiency and renewable energy on Vancouver Island



March 2019

We were invited to come attend a booth at a screening of the environmental documentary Call of the Forest on March 24th, so ESVI’ers Kalie Gossen, Scot Merriam and Ken Romanyshyn along with Bill Woolverton of Island Community Solar Coop headed up to Parksville to engage with interested members of the community who were interested in solar PV and other home energy issues.  Like other events, attendees expressed keen interest in ESVI’s Small Solar PV System Installation Specification.



January 2019

First thing in 2019, ESVI was invited by Don Giberson, an instructor for VIU’s Elder College, to come provide an overview of ESVI activities and answer questions regarding home energy related matters such as solar PV.  Scot Merriam presented this overview and history of ESVI to a very interested and attentive class of 20, which had numerous questions after and lively discussion.



October 2018

On October 15th we were pleased to perform an overview presentation about solar PV at the Nanaimo Old City Association (NOCA) AGM.  This is a service ESVI provides free of charge for community non-profit and corporate members of ESVI.  Scot Merriam and Ken Romanyshyn co-presented this powerpoint, which provides an overview of residential solar PV systems, key things to consider and how to go about acquiring a solar PV system.  The meeting was well attended and it was obvious that many of the folks from that community area have a keen interest in exploring and if feasible proceeding with solar PV on their homes.  As a benefit for becoming an ESVI member, all paid NOCA members now have free access to ESVI’s Small Solar PV System Installation Specification, a valuable document that can be used when requesting quotes from vendors.

Interested NOCA members taking in ESVI’s solar PV presentation.



June 2018

We held our AGM on June 10, where members received an update of the events of the last year and regular annual business of the society was conducted.  Our demo program coordinator Scot Merriam gave a short presentation on some of the important pitfalls of solar PV to avoid as well as the importance of using specifications when requesting bids or proposals from solar PV vendors.

ESVI also participated in the June 2 Clean Green Energy Event in Parksville, where Michael Mehta of Sweet Spot Solar, Michael Kazyss of Island Community Solar Coop and futurist Guy Dauncey gave presentations and various solar PV and other vendors presented their wares.  As well as our booth, we had a working solar PV demonstration outside thanks to members Derrick and Ken!  About 100 interested members of the public attended.

Display Booth

Solar PV Demonstration

The last event of the month on June 23 was REVOLUTIONSS – a gathering on Salt Spring Island focused on clean transportation and other sustainable living approaches.  Attendees had an opportunity to test drive quite a few makes of electric and hybrid electric vehicles as well as peruse the tradeshow and take in presentations.  ESVI staffed part of a booth and Ian Gartshore delivered a talk on home energy efficiency and moderated a panel discussion after.  Tesla owners brought their cars from all over BC to enjoy the Salt Spring hospitality.  The Vancouver Electric Vehicle Association even showed up with their vintage (BEFORE Henry Ford started pumping out Model T’s) electric car.  Minimizing environmental footprints is second nature to Salt Spring folks and they have the highest per capita ownership of electric vehicles in NORTH AMERICA!  What a pleasure to be surrounded by people who work together to make things better.



April 2018

The first community event of 2018 was the Earth Day Celebration at John Barsby School.  The visitors kept us on our toes answering questions from start to finish.  Great enthusiasm!


March 2017

We kicked off March with a team trip to BCSEA’s Energy Connections 2017 conference in Vancouver.  The event was packed with enthusiastic members of the public, students and speakers with messages to share.  Our own Ian Gartshore spoke about ESVI’s history and how we decided to focus on solar PV.  Then Scot Merriam picked up the story and shared the progress and learnings from our Solar PV Demonstration Program.  All of us did a lot of great networking and the day flew by.  BCSEA Energy Connections 2018 is scheduled for September 15, 2018 – don’t miss it!

The really big excitement for March – even bigger than Energy Connections – was that ESVI’s first solar PV demonstration project was commissioned at Nanaimo Foodshare!  Read the local news coverage here and click on the icon below to see a video documenting this exciting community supported project.  For more details, go to our Solar PV Demonstration Program page.

June 2016

We held our second community solar event, this time with Elizabeth May to talk about the Global Climate talks where she spoke about the transition now underway -replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy.  Also, Michael Geldreich of Power to the People spoke about the potential for solar PV on Vancouver Island and project developments in the Victoria area.  Click here for the event press release.  A portion of the presentation can be viewed below.

July 2015

A bunch of us toured the Errington home of two Vancouver Island pioneers in solar electricity, who can live off-grid using their solar PV and battery system.





May 2015

Energy Solutions for Vancouver Island partnered with the City of Nanaimo to co-sponsor a community solar education event in May of 2015. About 120 people turned up!

Here is a shortened video recording of this event:

Following this event two homeowners had solar PV (power) placed on their roofs!

June 2014

Having developed a keen interest in the blooming solar PV sector, the ESVI membership began our education by visiting the ground breaking T’sou-ke First Nation solar PV system, where we learned from their graciously shared experience what to do and what not to do with solar PV, solar thermal and energy efficiency.  The excitement began to brew!

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