A Sylvan Lake man is hoping the addition of solar panels to his home will begin a conversation about green technology and climate change.
Brian Inglis installed a large number of solar panels on his home near Ecole H.J. Cody School roughly one year ago.
He said he has believed in climate change for many years, and decided it was finally time to contribute to the reduction of green house gases.
“It just seemed like it was time to put my money where my mouth is, sort of speaking. I’ve believed in global warming for the last 20 years or so and decided it was time to do my part,” Inglis said.
In the year since installing the numerous solar panels on his roof, Inglis says they haven’t created the conversation he was hoping for.
Some people have been curious, but conversations normally don’t move past curiosity, according to Inglis.
Inglis says he is looking to start a group for those who are interested in learning and speaking more about climate change, energy efficiency and green technologies.
“To be able to make a difference you start with a grassroots movement, and with education,” he said.
Inglis would like to meet with locals to speak intelligently on the subject with the potential to learn more about other topics in the environmentally friendly industry.
The solar panels installed on his home cost roughly $20,000 after a rebate, and he expects it will take him 20 years to pay off the investment.
While costly, Inglis says he is looking at the solar panels as 40-year investment, one that makes him less reliant on fossil fuels, which in turns takes some pressure off of the system.
His plan for the solar panels was never to become self-sustaining, or to live off the grid.
“It was never my intention to live off the grid. It’s nice to still be connected in the winter when snow covers the panels and I’m not producing any electricity.
“And, I couldn’t survive a winter without natural gas to heat my home,” Inglis said.
Instead, he said he wanted to “do his part” to alleviate the stress on fossil fuels and become more knowledgeable on green technology and fossil fuels.
“I can speak more intelligently on electricity and kilowatts and the grid system we use,” he said.
Inglis says Canadian society is behind the times when it comes to using green technology. He says the infrastructure isn’t in place to make using green technologies more feasible.
The cost of solar panels puts many people off, even with potential rebates in place. Many Canadian won’t buy an electric car, because charging stations aren’t easily accessible.
On top of that, green energy and technology faces adversity with nay-sayers chanting climate change is not real.
“It’s amazing that we will trust scientists and experts in one area but not in another,” Inglis said.
For those who are interested in moving towards living a more efficient life, Inglis has some tips.
He recommends scheduling using the dishwasher and other similar appliances for early afternoon or later at night. He says there is less of a demand on the system, and will stop the need for building more lines in the future.
He also recommends checking your home for drafty points and how it is insulated. Think insulation throughout the home and making sure there no leaks where cold air can get through, will help make the home more efficient and lower utility bills.
“This last year we have noticed we have changed how we use electricity, and when we have appliances on,” said Inglis.