A new condo development project in Candiac is making use of gardens and solar panels to generate buzz and attract buyers.

Solar panels, available at an extra cost, come with the promise that homeowners will save up to two months of energy costs each year.

The roofs are also expected to boast gardens managed by La Shop Agricole, who are expected to sell the produce. Leftover profits will go directly to condo fees, an estimated $15,000 to $20,000, will go towards condo fees.

However, experts say the developers are still far from net zero: a home that produces as much energy as is consumed.

Concordia University’s solar lab is working on ways to integrate more solar into buildings, but there are barriers.

“You don’t create an industry, a competition in one day from nothing,” explained Andreas Athienitis, a professor at Concordia University.

“We don’t have the industry, we don’t have the expertise,” Athienitis said, adding that one obstacle is Quebec’s low hydro costs.

Though solar panels have come down in price, there are not enough producers to make the market competitive.

Tesla recently developed a solar roof that’s integrated into the roof tiles, but the price remains steep.

“The Tesla roof is a good integration concept, but at least what I know of it, it isn’t able to generate heat as well as electricity and it’s still on the expensive side,” Athienitis said.

While this may be one of the first projects of its kind in Quebec, it won’t likely be the last, as buyers look for a greener way to live and save.

“There are different levels of integration and we need to do more innovation here in Canada, and not wait for Americans to do it,” Athienitis explained.