“By Owner” My Truck

People often ask me “why shouldn’t I sell my home myself?” and I don’t usually have a great explanation for them. I know why, but I’ve never been really good at explaining it. Until now.

See, this month I’ve been in the market for a new truck to pull our holiday trailer. I don’t want a fancy truck, and I don’t want a lot of bells and whistles; the only thing this truck will be doing is towing and hauling. Most importantly I don’t want to pay very much for it because it’s just not worth it to me.

So I’ve been watching sites like kijiji.ca and autotrader.ca for great deals to pop up. I’ve done my research, I know what I want, and I know what I should pay for it. But, and I admit this freely, what I SHOULD be paying for it isn’t what I WANT to be paying for it.

It wasn’t until today that I finally made the connection between buying my truck and the “For Sale By Owner” mentality in real estate. But it’s the clearest analogy I can come up with, and it works quite well in explaining why a REALTOR is so valuable.

I’m very well educated on what I want in my truck, what it’s worth, and what I’m willing to pay. I know the features, options, and abilities of the various trucks. I’d also say that 15 years of negotiating real estate transactions (combined with being the parent of 4 children) makes my negotiating skills significantly above average and gives me the confidence to negotiate with just about anyone.

The deal I’m looking for isn’t going to be on a car lot. I know this. Why? Because the dealerships also know their product and understand the market conditions surrounding a truck in Alberta. They know what it’s worth, what the features are, and what influences the value. They make a point of detailing the cars, doing the “value added” repairs, and are also experts at negotiating a sale. They’re professionals at what they do, and they do it full time every day.

So I’m focusing my time and attention on someone selling their own truck privately. It’s not as well detailed (if at all), some of the small repairs aren’t done(if any), and that’s OK. Because I’m using those items to hammer down the prices on the trucks that I’m interested in. The seller likely isn’t a professional negotiator with years of experience and market knowledge behind him. But most importantly, I know that the sellers not focused on THIS truck, but rather on the NEXT truck. He has “skin in the game” as it were; an emotional attachment to making the transaction complete.

It’s “seller beware”, and I’m holding all of the cards.

It dawned on me today that buyers like me exist in real estate as well. They don’t mind the inconvenience of working with the seller directly, because they know they can leverage the situation for more than the inconvenience is really worth. They know the seller isn’t a professional in this field. But most importantly, they know the seller has an emotional attachment to the transaction than the buyer doesn’t. They can use their direct access to the seller to leverage this position, and get a better deal on the price.

See, one thing sets buyers like me apart from the ones who go into a dealership. I’m not in love with my truck. I could care less, it’s a commodity to me. The same goes for many of the buyers who are looking at privately listed homes; the buyer knows the seller has an emotional involvement in the sale and can use that emotion to profit from. That buyer also knows that a Realtor doesn’t have an emotional attachment, so those types of “mind tricks” just don’t work.

There you have it. My explanation of why it’s a bad idea to sell your home privately.

Renovating your home? Make some choices before you start.

There are different reasons for renovating our homes. To finish the unfinished basement, modernize the kitchen, or to convert that living space into something more useful?

Whatever the reason, do your research and homework well before you start.  Ask yourself, “Am I renovating for me or am I renovating to sell?”

I have had some sellers who go about renovating to sell, only to find out that the money they spent was not completely realized when the home sold.

I advise sellers and prospective sellers to check with me for my experience and to also consult a Home Renovation Guide, like the one published by Jackson Appraisals.

The guide takes a good look at home renovation costs and projected pay-backs, when you sell your home.

The link to the guide is: Reno Guide

Call us at 780-701-9090, if you have any questions.


  1. (required)
  2. (valid email required)
  3. (required)

cforms contact form by delicious:days

The Benefits of Pricing your Home Correctly

Why is it that we need to price your home correctly?

You would think it would be easy to come up with a perfect price for a home that will be going on the market for sale. For a REALTOR®, its somewhat straight-forward. Real estate markets fluctuate up and down. No one can be assured of a certain selling price in advance. A REALTOR® will do a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) and come up with a price that will hopefully bring the buyers.

Care should be taken if the price is set a bit higher than fair market price (room for negotiating), and is not backed by evidence that makes perfect sense why that house is the price it is.

Buyers these days are very savvy. On their own, with the Internet, or with an agent, after visiting a bunch of homes, they know what a house price should be. They get a feel for the value of what you are getting, and the price range it should be in. Many times I’ve been with buyers and right away after walking into a place that is over priced, I get the raised-eye-browed look, “what are these sellers thinking?”

What sellers are usually thinking is:

–  I have to re-coup my money that I put into renovations…

–  I’ve lived in my house for years and it’s the best house around…

–  My neighbour who has the exact same place, has their place up for much more then what you’re suggesting (and it’s still on the market…??????)

Sellers become emotionally attached to their home. There are many times when I present them with a suggested selling price, they feel insulted and become defensive. They’ve put their life into their home; their kids grew up there…

I do understand. However, the buyer, even if they fall in love with the place is rarely going to pay more than it’s worth. They are most times thinking, “re-sale value” and “getting their bang for their buck”. Besides, we are in a market now with more homes for sale than buyers. Buyers are taking their time picking and choosing.

Statistically speaking, homes sell at a higher price when they start at fair market value. When they are overpriced, they may still get some lookers, however the house sits on the market waiting for an offer. After months gone by, the house price drops and then the buyers think, “what’s wrong with the place” and “I’m going to low ball the price because they must really be ready to sell and desperate.”

So, why is it that we need to price our homes correctly? To sell it quickly and get the best price possible.

  1. (required)
  2. (valid email required)
  3. (required)

cforms contact form by delicious:days

Your home is listed for sale but what about the photos?

Some days you just have to get a pet-peeve out in the open.

Listing and selling real estate in Edmonton, St Albert and area is all about getting the details right and especially getting good MLS exposure. When I see a home or condo get listed, and it takes 3 to 5+ days to get the pictures on, I know that marketing time has been lost.

When I list a home, I have the photos ready to go. That way, when the new listing comes on, it has pictures to go with it.

Tell me that you don’t just skip listings with no pictures? I would too. No picture = Low interest.

The system even allows for up to 20 pictures for each listing. I try to get as many good representative photos as possible. (The only issue is when a property is tenant-occupied. You must get permission from the tenant to have inside photos)

If the listing warrants it, I even have a company that comes in to do additional pictures and a virtual tour. I know that pictures and virtual tours normally don’t sell the listing, but they sure do get more interest and more showings.

And that’s one of the reasons why you hired us.

  1. (required)
  2. (valid email required)
  3. (required)

cforms contact form by delicious:days



What is a Real Property Report? Is it important?

As a home-owner, or prospective home-owner you have a lot of information to sort through. One item is the Real Property Report (RPR). It can also be called the Survey.

The Alberta Land Surveyors’ Association defines it as: “A Real Property Report is a legal document that clearly illustrates the location of significant visible improvements relative to property boundaries.” When you are purchasing or selling a home or bareland condo you need to understand what an RPR is and how it can affect the transaction.

Basically, its a report on the location of any structures, decks, sheds, and land locations of your property. Once the report is completed by a survey company, it is sent to the city or county to make sure all of the information complies with their regulations. A current RPR is normally required in most cases for the sale of a home.

When you are looking to purchase or sell a home it’s important to talk to your REALTOR® early about the RPR, so you get advice on how to handle the situation and who to consult with further, to ensure a smooth purchase or sale. We have the experience to handle issues like the RPR.

You can find out more from the brochure at the Alberta Land Surveyors’ Association website at:



  1. (required)
  2. (valid email required)
  3. (required)

cforms contact form by delicious:days

Possible Downsides to Waiting until Spring to Sell your Home.

The Edmonton real estate and St Albert real estate markets have been doing better than expected over the past year. Now, I am definitely not an alarmist. I always try to present information to Buyers and Sellers as objectively as possible.

I have been seeing a trend of possible Sellers that say they will wait until the Spring to put their homes on the market. Entirely their choice.

Now, I tell Sellers (and Buyers too) that the only true known factors are what is happening right now. The future is always uncertain. I recommend that folks make their decisions on what is known, not what is uncertain.

I have eleven reasons why this is might particularly relevant:

1.    House might be worth less   (House prices may go down next year)

2.   New home might cost more   (If buying a brand-new home, then costs may increase prices)

3.   Law of supply and demand    (Lots more homes on the market means more competition and possibly lower selling price)

4.  Repair and lose money    (Why not put that new furnace in a home you will be living in for years to come)

5.  Tax change    (What if they bring in the Land Transfer Tax?)

6.  Political change    (Uncertain government changes may affect the market)

7. Cost of marketing    (Cost of advertising, gasoline etc.., increase costs to sell)

8.  Loss of opportunity time    (Make your move when you have the time)

9. Double house payment   (Say it takes a while to sell, you leave it vacant, and you move to a new home…. this can be expensive)

10.  Lost in the shuffle    (A big increase in Spring home listings means you have lots of other homes to compete with)

11.  Job stability     (You know what your employment position is now. If you are looking to change your mortgage then your employment stability has a direct effect on your qualification)

Not all of these factors may affect the housing market and they may affect it in ways that are different than I have suggested.

I am definitely not trying to urge anyone make a choice that they shouldn’t make. If you are considering waiting until next Spring to list your home, then take a good look at these factors and weigh how they may come into play in the future.

  1. (required)
  2. (valid email required)
  3. (required)
  4. (required)

cforms contact form by delicious:days

Homes with Attached Garages and their Indoor Air Quality

Canadians can spend an average of 90 per cent of their time indoors. Having clean indoor air is therefore critical for respiratory health.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and others have published material on how to provide good indoor air quality (IAQ). However, there is one source of pollutants that we are just discovering: automotive pollution from attached garages. This About Your House discusses the risks of attached garages and how to keep car-based pollutants out of your house.

Attached garages are convenient, and are a common part of suburban houses. The attachment could be to the side of the house, with a room over top of the garage, or even as a part of what traditionally is the basement (see figures 1, 2 and 3).

Garage attached at the side of the house
Figure 1 — Garage attached at the side of the house
Room over top of the garage
Figure 2 — Room over top of the garage
Garage as part of the basement
Figure 3 — Garage as part of the basement

Automobiles give off pollution. Starting a car in a garage, even with the garage door wide open, can result in a higher concentration of combustion pollutants (for example, carbon monoxide) in the garage and house.

Driving a car into the garage and closing the door results in emissions of various chemicals over the next several hours as the engine and its fluids cool down. The pollutants in the garage air can be drawn into the house over time.

This is not just a theoretical problem. In a survey done by Health Canada in more than 100 houses in Windsor, Ontario, the results were very clear.

Houses with attached garages had measurable concentrations of benzene (a gasoline related pollutant) in their indoor air. Houses with no garages or detached garages had little or no benzene. This is true of a host of other airborne chemicals. The study revealed that pollutants in attached garages can find their way into the house.

There are also secondary sources of pollutants in garages, apart from car-based emissions. There are many gas-powered appliances, such as lawn mowers, chain saws and edging tools whose emission systems are not as good as those found in cars. Chemicals such as pesticides and herbicides are also sources of pollutants.

One disconcerting fact is that garage-to-house air movement is not obvious or straightforward. In the 1990s, when the first inexpensive carbon monoxide (CO) sensors became commercially available, many started going off without an evident source of carbon monoxide. Responders such as utilities and fire departments often wrote off the incidents as false alarms, prompted by over-sensitive CO detectors. However, research in Minnesota (Wilber & Klossner, 1997) showed that the time delay of CO entry to the house from the garage could be a factor. When a cold car engine starts up in the garage, even with the main garage door open, it can generate up to several hundred parts per million of carbon monoxide gas in the garage. Once the car has left and the garage door is closed, the garage may still hold a relatively high CO concentration for hours. Air leaking from the garage to the house can cause the CO level in the house to start climbing. After several hours, the house CO level is high enough to set off the CO alarm, but by then the garage is low in CO and is not recognized as a source.

How Garage Air Gets Into Your House

It can be difficult to understand how and why garage air moves into the house. After all, there is at least one layer of drywall between the house and the garage, and a significant amount of insulation. The door from the attached garage to the house typically has weatherstripping and a spring to hold the door closed. So how does air enter?

Air can move through small cracks in the walls between the house and the garage, and through the top floor ceiling. There are many tiny holes and cracks that permit this air exchange to take place and they exist in all houses. It takes a sophisticated test with specialized tools, such as a blower door and leakage detection equipment, to find infiltration and exfiltration points.

Field tests by CMHC have discovered that the walls (and perhaps ceilings) between garages and the house can be as air leaky as the rest of the house. Some houses get most of their “fresh air” through the garage. One or two of those tested had so little leakage that there was no measurable air movement through the walls between house and garage. However, most garages have some air leaks, roughly in proportion to the size of the exterior wall.

But air movement into a house requires both a hole and a pressure difference. Does a pressure difference exist? Yes. CMHC measured the pressure difference across the house-garage wall and the house pressures are often lower than garage pressures, especially in winter. This is quite common in colder weather. Having exhaust fans or vented heating appliances also creates lower pressures inside the house, and garage air is drawn in through the leaks.

Preventing Garage-to-House Transfer in New Houses

The best way to prevent garage air entry into the house is to make sure that there are no leaks between the garage and the house. In new construction, this should be easy. The builder should make the interface walls and ceilings as airtight as possible. This is more readily done if the builder knows that reducing pollution transfer from the garage is a priority.

The builder should:

  1. Ensure the airtightness of the garage ceiling and walls that are next to the house, before the insulation is installed and before installing drywall on the garage side.
  2. Check all wall-to-wall junctions or wall-to-floor junctions and seal them. If the top of the basement wall is exposed in the garage, that header space can be notoriously leaky.
  3. Diligently seal all penetrations from the house to the garage (wiring, central vacuum exhaust and so on).
  4. Keep mechanical systems (furnaces, water heaters and so on) out of the garage. While most Canadian builders would not consider putting mechanical systems in the garage, it is common practice in parts of the U.S. The few Canadian houses that CMHC has tested (in B.C.) with heating systems located in the garage showed high levels of garage pollutants in house air.

Preventing Garage-to-House Pollution Transfer in Existing Houses

It is much harder to prevent air movement from a garage to a house in an existing house. In a house already built, there will be leakage areas but they are usually hidden. They are not easy to locate and not easy to seal.

However, air-sealing the garage-to-house walls and ceilings may still prove worthwhile. If the garage side has no drywall, sealing air leaks may be simple. If the drywall is simply screwed on the wall and is otherwise unfinished, removing the drywall gives access to the interior spaces. Finishing the drywall itself with drywall compound and paint, as well as caulking all visible cracks and joints, may improve airtightness.

Another approach involves installing an exhaust fan to vent garage air outside. A good bathroom fan could be used. By operating the fan, the garage becomes depressurized relative to the house thereby preventing air movement from the garage to the house. This will not impact to any great extent on house heating costs but there will be an electrical cost to run a fan.

The use of a garage exhaust fan may lower the garage pressure enough for airflow through the holes to go from the house to the garage, rather than the garage to the house. Check the pressure difference by opening the door to the house just a crack and feeling for air movement from the house to the garage. A smouldering string can also be used to detect air movement. If air is moving into the garage, the pressure is in the right direction. This will assure that garage pollutants do not enter house air.

To avoid high electrical costs, choose an exhaust fan with low energy consumption. To further reduce fan usage, have the fan activated for a period (for example, one hour) after the garage door is used.

Continuous use of the exhaust fan is recommended if:

  • There are a lot of noxious chemicals in the garage. Better yet, consider sending them to a hazardous waste disposal site.
  • The garage is used to store or maintain older vehicles with higher emissions.
  • There is a lot of coming to and going from the garage through the main garage door.

What to do

All buyers of new houses should confirm that their builder is aware of this issue and takes measures to do a good job of sealing air leakage paths. It is the only easy time to seal the air leakage points. An effective air sealing approach is far better than installing an exhaust fan after the fact.

Owners of existing houses have harder choices. If there is evident and annoying transfer of odours and drafts from the garage to the rooms next to the garage, the leaks should be located and sealed. If that task is too onerous or expensive, the garage exhaust fan solution could be considered.

Finally, if the attached garage is not used for vehicles (as is often true) and there are no other major chemical sources in that space, garage-to-house air movement should not be a significant problem.

Simplifying The Moving Process

This blog post at the simpleproductivityblog.com speaks clearly about making the stressful experience of packing and moving a little easier to handle. We thought our clients here in Edmonton would appreciate the help with their move. To see the original post, click here.


Moving houses is one of life’s messiest, most complicated processes. There are a million things to consider: finding a good realtor, organizing your belongings, and finding a moving company. And that’s only the beginning! It can be easy to get overwhelmed by a move, but there are a few things you can do to simplify the process complete your move in an organized, productive way.

Create A Strict Schedule

When it comes to getting organized and simplifying, your first step is usually to plan. Though it will take some additional prep time, any resources that you devote to doing this will save you a lot of headaches down the road.

Depending on the time frame of your move, give yourself a reasonable amount of time to tackle packing up your belongings. Even if you have plenty of time, it will still be helpful to set goals for yourself so you aren’t scrambling at the last minute due to the false impression that you have lots of time. If you have a month, for example, it can be helpful to organize your move into specific items every day. Make a list of everything you need to pack and then assign a day to do so.


The most important thing you can do to simplify your move is to downsize your load. This is the perfect time to finally clean out your closets and donate all that unused clothing, sporting equipment, and outdated appliances. The less you have, the less you have to pack, move, and unpack.

Load Up On Supplies

In a perfect world, moving would go off without a hitch with no unexpected problems or last minute trips to the store to get packing supplies. Unfortunately, you can usually bet on something going wrong at the last minute. You can’t predict anything but you can try to be prepared with anything you might need.

Stock up on plenty of new, clean moving boxes, bubble wrap, tape, labels, packing paper, and a moving tape dispenser.

Make a Plan

In the packing phase of a move, it can be difficult to imagine ever being on the other side. But eventually you will have to unpack and organize your new home. Before you begin loading up your belongings, make a plan for how things will be arranged in your new home.

Is there a pantry off the kitchen that you’re planning to fill up with rarely-used appliances? Pack those things together. It can also be helpful for visualization purposes to draw a “blueprint” for where you are planning to arrange furniture in your new home.

Use a Labeling System

Many people use nothing more than brown moving boxes and a black sharpie as their moving system. While there is something to be said for the simplicity of this technique, it invariably devolves into a mess of hastily scribbled, barely legible words on the side of the box that always seems to be on the last side you look.

Instead of relying on this old standby, why not create a system that will hold up through your entire move. One trick to use to keep things organized is to use computer-generated labels.

Most word processing programs will have a label format. Create a sheet with 100-200 tags for your living room, kitchen, bathrooms, and bedrooms. Print them out on sticker paper, and affix a sticker to every single side of the box, in the same place all around.

Like creating a schedule, this method takes additional work up front, but simplifies things exponentially down the road. Alternatively, use a color-coded system using different color stickers for each room. If you have children, you can even get them in on the fun by purchasing stickers of their favorite cartoon character or animal.

Move Room By Room

It can be incredibly tempting to start packing in one room, take care of the easy parts, and move on. But if you pack in this manner, before long all your rooms will be in varying states of disarray and confusion.

Instead of doing small jobs throughout the house, concentrate on packing one room at a time. It will help you stay organized, plus will leave “safe” rooms throughout the house that haven’t been packed up yet where you can go to escape the confusion of moving.

Use Movers

There is certainly nothing wrong with a DIY approach to life; in fact, doing things yourself is often a great way to simplify your life! But when it comes to a big job like moving, sometimes it’s best to leave it to the professionals. Find a reputable moving company that you can trust with your items, and leave it to them to move the heavy boxes, enormous furniture, and bulky decorations.

With only a little bit of preparation, you can simplify your move and get to your next house with less stress.

FEATURED The BGR Show: Episode 1 – home automation in a $55 million mansion

The BGR Show: Episode 1 — Crestron home automation

This is the first episode of The BGR Show, and we’re trying to do something different. We’re trying to change the game. Honestly, tech shows suck. They’re typically way too geeky and often boring. The BGR Show is about focusing on aspects of technology that appeal to a wider range of people. You, your friends, your family members, everyone. Yes, it’s about products too — we have an amazing in-depth look at the Samsung Galaxy S III that will run next week — but it’s also about these big, meaningful segments with access and insights that other shows usually can’t deliver. But! It is the first episode, and we’d love to hear what you think, plus we’ll have our set for the next episode. Special thanks to Pharrell and the entire i am OTHER team for their support of the project. The full episode is after the break, and make sure you subscribe to the channel.

The first ever episode of The BGR Show takes an in-depth look at the cutting-edge technology used to automate a $55 million estate in New Jersey. Over 2,000 lights, 48 TVs, 50 miles of wiring, 35 security cameras and hundreds of speakers combine to create a complex network that would be unmanageable if not for an incredible system that lets the owner control it all from a single touchscreen, computer, tablet or smartphone. Nearly every electrical component in and around the mansion – including a waterfall that runs into an outdoor pool and the lighting surrounding a two-story indoor basketball court – is accessible and controllable from anywhere in the world. Of course not everyone has access to a system this expansive, so we also look at how you can automate and control your own home starting at just a few hundred dollars with the Nest thermostat, a Sonos system and AXIS IP cameras.



Eco Solar Home Tours in Edmonton

Each year during Environment Week, Edmontonians have the chance to see what new and efficient buildings are going up in the City.  The 13th annual Eco Solar home tour took place on Saturday June 9, 2012, the closing day of Environment Week. In and around Edmonton, 12 homes were showcasing the green technologies and sustainable practices they integrated when modifying or building their home.

An interesting technology I learned about is the ground source heat pump. I often perceived geothermal as a major industrial power plant system involving deep drilling that produces energy by pumping water into rocks and producing electricity on a massive scale. However, the eco-solar home tour provided me with the appropriate information. Geothermal can be heat pumps, not exactly industrial size, but to pump heat out of the upper layers of the ground from nearby. For example, the ground source heat pump is one type of geothermal available. This can be localized to homes to produce heating for living spaces through in floor heating or by heating up water.

Geothermal system inside the basement of a home.

Many people already know about solar photovoltaic systems (solar panels, aka PV) and how they produce electricity from sunlight. But many people are concerned about the cost of panels and installation of the solar PV system. Many people think installing a solar PV system means you need to purchase a battery bank to keep the electricity stored. This is only true if you want to install a system and have your home completely off grid. As I learned from the Eco Solar Tour, there are multiple options for solar PV systems. On the tour, the majority of the solar PV systems I saw were grid tied solar PV systems. It requires no batteries, which eliminates the cost of batteries. How it works is the electricity produced will feed into the grid, reversing the meters that count how many kilowatt hours you’ve consumed. On a sunny day, the number would be going down, reducing your monthly electricity bill.

Example of a solar PV system.

Solar PV systems still seem expensive to many people and cost is frequently a limiting factor that stops people from installing new technologies. As I talked to the owner of one PV system, he mentioned an option of buying out the solar panels after the lease is done. I’ve done some research and found one of the local electricity suppliers is offering leased solar PV. Homeowners can choose the amount of down payments they can afford. The owner also mentioned that maintenance and repair is done by the company leasing the panels, which is another advantage to the homeowner.

Another smart idea I encountered during the Eco Solar home tour is a multipurpose wood burning furnace. This furnace is special because it heats up the living space as well as water coming into the house. The water is then stored in a hot water tank for usage. This dual purpose wood fired furnace will reduce the owner’s energy cost.

Example of a dual purpose furnace that heats water and the living space.

One eco home owner really went beyond ‘thinking outside of the box’. They saw waste material as a resource and reclaimed used materials inside their home; materials that would otherwise end up in the landfills. The home had several reclaimed materials such as a reclaimed bathtub, wooden pew from an old church turned into window sills, or even old doors. But one of the major features of this home is the used elementary school gym floor. They reclaimed it and used it as their hard wood flooring. And another interesting design they had is using old bricks as the back wall behind their wood furnace. Instead of investing in expensive slabs of granite or marble as the backing, the owners simply used old bricks that were not in used anymore and was readily available at low or no cost.

The home uses a wood fired furnace for their heating, constructed a wall made of used bricks, and used former elementary school gym flooring.

A reclaimed church pew. A reclaimed cast iron bath tub from another house.

Not all these technologies are suitable for everyone’s home due to financial or physical constraints. But when you get the chance to renovate or construct a home, the Eco Solar Home tour offers you ideas about alternative features or designs you can incorporate to make your living space greener. Maybe you can produce some of your own energy through solar PV or geothermal or a dual purpose furnace or effective heat recovery system, or even integrating some reclaimed materials. And while it’s never visible, improving the insulation in your home to save energy should always be a priority!

If you didn’t get a chance to participate in this year’s tour, you should flag it as a “must do” for next year. For more information about the 2012 tour homes, visitwww.ecosolar.ca.