Downtown West Multi-Unit Solar Energy Project -

Next Meeting:
Wednesday, September 10, 2008, 7:30 pm
Windward Co-operative, 34 Little Norway Crescent (near the Island Airport)

When 50 people from multi-unit residential buildings attended a late September 2006 meeting at the Harbourfront Community Centre, it confirmed that there is great interest among many people in seeing solar water heating and solar electricity-generating projects sprout on the rooftops of downtown condominiums and cooperative housing buildings.  More than 50% of Toronto residents live in multi-unit buildings, yet there are financial and other challenges that make it difficult to establish solar energy projects on their rooftops.

Since that time, the Downtown West Multi-Unit Solar Energy project, an all-volunteer working group, has brought together representatives of corporations, government, not-for-profit organizations and interested residents in order to catalyze discussion around rooftop solar for condo and co-op residences.  Several of the co-ops and condos that are members of the DWMUSEP are working on their own energy conservation and renewable energy projects.  At our bi-monthly meetings, participating co-ops and condos report on the progress they have made on their projects, sharing the challenges and opportunities and building on the experiences of each other.

Each meeting also includes brief presentations from renewable energy equipment vendors, condo or coop federations, or granting agencies, when they explain what they do and how they can benefit the coop and condo boards and residents.

The DWSEP pays particular attention to the various government incentives that are available to multi-unit coops and condos.  Please see below for a summary of some of the government incentives that are available.

Attendance at our last meeting on May 27th was the highest we've ever had and we are looking forward to another productive year, starting in the Fall.  The agenda for the next meeting will be set in late August - please check back for details.

You can learn more by attending our next meeting on Wednesday September 10 at 7:30pm at Windward Co-operative, 34 Little Norway Crescent (near the Island Airport), or by contacting either of the Project co-chairs below.

Tim Grant, (416) 960-1244, [email protected]
David Booz, (416) 806-2669, [email protected]


Seeking Condos and Co-ops Interested in Solar Study


Over the last couple of years of the DWMUSEP, we have found that there are lots of MURBs that are interested in exploring renewable energy opportunities for their buildings, but don't know how to get started.  There is grant money available to help subsidize feasibility studies to determine if renewable energy systems are viable for these MURBs, and the City is very interested in facilitating this kind of work, but we need to figure out a way to get the work done.

David Booz, Fidel Reijerse, and Ken Traynor, in conjunction with the Toronto Renewable Energy Cooperative, are putting together the TREC Multi-Unit Renewable Energy Project.  Our plan is to assemble a group of 10 to 20 MURBS who are interested in a renewable energy feasibility study.  Once we have a good solid group, we will submit a single application for grant money to subsidize the cost of the feasibility studies for all of the buildings.  Our target is to have each MURB pay about half the cost (up to $ 5,000), with grant money subsidizing the other half. 

We are looking at a few different granting agencies that may be interested in supporting this project.  Submitting a single application covering multiple projects to each granting body would be more efficient than a separate application for each MURB, both for the project and for the granting organizations.  We also believe that there will be significant efficiencies and synergies to doing several studies at once, such as having site visits at multiple MURBs on the same day or using what we learn for one project and applying it right away to the next one.  Once we have done a number of feasibility studies, we want to generalize the results in a manner that will provide a template for action for other buildings, highlighting things that are common between buildings and things that are different. 

If the TREC project is going to ask funding bodies for money, they need to demonstrate that there are a number of buildings that are serious about doing a facility study.  Is your MURB interested in joining this project?  Will your condo or co-op board be willing to come up with the funds required to participate?  If so, please contact us:

David Booz, [email protected], 416-806-2669
Ken Traynor, [email protected], (416) 654-7362
Fidel Reijerse, [email protected], (416) 361-0752


Government Incentives for Renewable Energy

There are a number of government incentives available for installation of solar energy systems on multi-unit residential buildings.  Some of the more attractive incentives are listed below.  Please follow the links to the web sites for more detailed information on these incentives.

Federal Government Programs

EcoEnergy for Renewable Heat:

The ecoENERGY for Renewable Heat program runs from April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2011. Incentives are offered to the industrial/commercial/institutional sector to install active energy-efficient solar air and/or water heating systems. Eligible projects must be completed and commissioned within six (6) months of the signing of a contribution agreement with NRCan. Preliminary estimates suggest that, by 2011, the program will have supported installations in about 700 buildings.

ecoENERGY for Renewable Heat will offer an incentive to industrial, commercial and institutional purchasers of solar heating systems. The incentive will rebate 25 percent of the purchase, installation and certain other costs of qualifying systems up to $80,000 per building.

Funding is available for Industrial, Commercial and Institutional (ICI) buildings and MURBs (i.e. multi-unit residential buildings) that are greater than 600 square metres, more than three storeys and have a common entrance.

For more information visit:

Class 43.1 Accelerated Capital Cost Allowance and Canadian Renewable and Conservation Expenses:

A 50% accelerated CCA is provided under Class 43.2 of Schedule II to the Income Tax Regulations for specified clean energy generation equipment. Eligible equipment includes solar thermal, solar air and solar photovoltaic equipment while project size restrictions have been eliminated.

Class 43.2 was introduced in 2005 and is currently available for assets acquired on or after February 23, 2022 and before 2012. For assets acquired before February 23, 2005, accelerated CCA is provided under Class 43.1 is 30%.

For more information visit:

Provincial Government Program

Industrial/Commercial/Institutional Solar Thermal Heat

The Ontario government is making $14.4 million available over four years to encourage the industrial/commercial/institutional sector to convert to solar thermal heating. This initiative is piggy backing on the Federal ecoENERGY Renewable Heat Program. The Federal program allows businesses, industries, schools, universities, municipalities and hospitals to receive 25% of the cost of the installation of a solar thermal heating system to a maximum of $80,000. The Ontario Provincial government will match the Federal offer and contribute an additional 25% leading industrial/commercial/institutional solar projects to receive a 50% rebate on the initial upfront development costs.

To access the provincial grant you must first access the federal grant program.

Qualifying details (and other key FAQ's) can be found at:

Last Updated July 5, 2022