DAWSON CREEK- ? A report prepared for the City of Dawson Creek sheds light on the potential for city residents to use solar energy to heat water, generate electricity and reduce the carbon footprint of the city.

Prepared by the Pembina Institute, the Residential Solar Opportunities report looks at the use of solar hot water (SHW) and solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in Dawson Creek and evaluates the economic impacts and environmental benefits of roof-mounted systems in our northern climate.

Matt Horne of the Pembina Institute, co-author of the report, is enthusiastic about the potential for Dawson Creek to become more self-sufficient using solar power. ?When we compare Dawson Creek with some of the most solarized cities in the world, we find Dawson Creek has as good or better potential.?

Mayor Calvin Kruk, co-chair of the provincial 100,000 Solar Roofs Program and winner of the Solar Leader of the Year Award, welcomes the report and encourages residents to investigate opportunities for using solar power in Dawson Creek. ?We are making progress towards sustainability, and we need to keep the momentum going. Everyone can get involved by looking at green choices and making decisions that result in long-term benefits for themselves and the community.?

SHW systems, like the ones installed at City Hall and the Fire Hall, are a mature technology common in many countries and can be added to a majority of homes in Canada. The report states that a conservative estimate of 60 percent of homes in Dawson Creek could install solar hot water systems, an estimated 2,141 homes. If that many households were retrofitted, over 2,190 tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions would be reduced annually.

In practical terms, solar PV panels in Dawson Creek could be expected to generate 1,178 kWh per kW of capacity. This rating is considered good for a Canadian community and is higher than several of the world?s leading solar countries.

The report concludes there is a significant opportunity for reducing the demand for grid electricity and natural gas in Dawson Creek as well as the associated greenhouse gas emissions. Although the costs associated with these systems remain higher than traditional sources of electricity, the City remains committed to supporting the principle of using renewable energy resources.

?We know we have to make the conversion to renewable sources of power and heat. This report gives us the confidence that as we do, we will see the benefits,? says Emanuel Machado, Director of Corporate Planning and Sustainable Community Development for the City.

More information on sources of renewable energy and practical steps towards sustainability, including the complete Residential Solar Opportunities report, can be viewed at the Sustainable Dawson Creek website: