Builders and Developers

Thirty-six  communities in BC have adopted the Provincial Solar Ready Regulation

House under construction

The regulation requires all new single family homes to be built to accommodate future installs of solar hot water systems for water heating.

A solar-ready home is one that has been designed and constructed to maximize the solar potential and to accommodate easy installation of the solar system. Benefits of solar ready homes include easier install of solar hot water system, less cost to install systems down the road, added re-sale potential of homes and increased energy efficiency and reduction of GHGs.

To read more visit our Regulations and Government Policies page. You can also read about the BC Building Solar Regulation here.


Advantages of SHW on New Homes

Solar hot water will help to differentiate proactive builders in a crowded market. Some advantages of solar hot water in new homes are:

  • Unique ‘green’ marketing opportunity and selling feature
  • Greatly reduced monthly operating costs for homeowner
  • Extended life on traditional water heaters
  • Increased re-sale value now and into the future
  • Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and reduced carbon footprint
  • Protection from rising energy prices and security from power outages


The Built Green Checklist awards the following points:

* Ready homes (2 points). This involves a small additional cost of about $300, and the solar hot water collectors can be installed at a later date. This is considerably cheaper than installing solar hot water once a home has been built. You can also read here about the optional solar hot water ready requirements on single family homes, put forth by the province of BC.

*A fully commissioned solar water heating system, sized for 30% of DHW load (4 points) 50% (6 Points) or 80% (8 points).

Find out more about Built Green BC at


Easy 2-Step Installation Process

Step 1: Do a Self-Assessment

To be suitable for solar hot water, new homes should incorporate these design criteria:

  • Have at least 6 square meters of south-facing roof space.
  • Ensure no shade or limited shade from 10am – 4pm on the south-facing part of the roof.
  • May need additional space may next to the conventional hot water tank for an additional solar storage tank.

Builders and developers should also check with their local building officials about permits and local requirements for solar hot water installations.


Step 2: Choose an Installer

SolarBC recommends choosing a Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA) certified solar hot water installer to advise on the best size and model of solar hot water system for your house and to install the system.  SolarBC does not monitor the installations of these installers and does not warranty the performance of any of the installers in the CanSIA Installers Directory found here. SolarBC recommends that builders and developers note the Best Practice Guidelines provided for Choosing an Installer and do the necessary due diligence to ensure that a qualified installer is used for the installation.