The residents and members at Better Living Housing Co-operative made a commitment to achieving the five standards set out in the Co-operative Housing Federation Canada’s Vision 2020 Program. One of them is ‘a commitment to environmental sustainability,’ and residents decided that a rooftop solar system would be a great way to meet that standard.
Lori Simpson of LSM Services, Better Living’s management company, said that the Board realized they would not have access to enough capital to build the project themselves, so a partnership with the Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-op (OREC) seemed like a good option. OREC could provide the funds for the solar system and also shares co-operative values.
“The members of Better Living Co-op ambitiously committed to becoming certified under the Vision 2020 program. The solar system was an important component of that,” said Ann Cioppa, Chair of the Vision 2020 Committee at Better Living Co-operative.
The additional benefit was the revenue from the rental of the roof space. Simpson explained, “It is attractive to Better Living Co-op to have a revenue source coming from non-housing related activities. This helps them diversify their income while doing something good for the environment at the same time.”