Solar Stories: Fernwood Reno

Fernwood Reno is the project that we can all learn from, one of the first of its kind, it is the creation of a net-zero home through a systems approach that anyone can replicate. It is the journey of the conversion of a 1912 house in Victoria, BC. Wendy Littlefield shares her inspiring story and the persistence it has taken with her husband Don Feinburg, their extensive team and the community to making it all happen.

As the majority of homes in the Greater Victoria Area are older homes, renovation to create more energy efficiency is vital to reducing an old home’s significant carbon footprint. As seen in this episode of Solar Stories, Wendy and Don’s home (along with dozens of neighbouring homes) has a south facing roof which optimizes the amount of solar power generated. Viridian Energy Co-operative designed and installed the 10.98 kW solar power system that will generate %110 of this home’s annual energy demand. This project is a model for the Fernwood neighbourhood, Greater Victoria Area, and beyond as it demonstrates the possibilities of making an old home energy efficient and how solar energy works and integrates into a net-zero design.

There are many renovation tips, energy efficiency system recommendations and resources to be learned from this project, including the important role of solar energy. To learn more about this inspiring net-zero project visit Fernwood Reno’s website:

The benefits of solar energy are extensive, here are some that inspired Wendy and Don in their choice of a solar energy system by Virdian Solar Co-op for their project:

  • Solar energy provides clean, local renewable energy.
  • Solar energy provides a return on investment.
  • It reduces environmental impact.
  • It increases energy independence while contributing to community resilience.

This project demonstrates an example of the type of project that is working towards climate action and leadership in a replicatable way. Fernwood Reno shows that any old home can be converted into a energy efficient building. It obtains the Climate Leadership Goals that buildings are highly energy efficient and are powered by renewable energy in the City of Victoria Climate Leadership Plan (CLP). The CLP is Victoria’s plan to reach an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050.

Viridian Solar Co-op is a renewable energy company that is helping clients work towards objectives such as the Climate Leadership Plan. Viridian is a worker’s co-op that aligns with the values and objectives of this net-zero, community model project and is a proud member of Fernwood Reno’s team.

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