Island Energy – The best in energy


Island Energy has been a leader in Victoria’s heating, air conditioning, and ventilation sector for over 30 years. In that time, the company has grown steadily in size and reputation. Today, they are recognized in both the residential and commercial markets for their top quality products, top quality service, and for standing behind their work. They have become a trusted name in the industry, known for delivering energy systems that are sustainable, efficient, and dependable.

“We’ve built our livelihood on being the best in the industry,” says Rob Barry, President. “We care, we listen, and we find the best solution for the client’s desires and budget.”

Rob has been installing solar heating systems since 1979, and is considered one of Vancouver Island’s foremost experts on solar heating technology. He has taught solar application courses at Camosun College and has acted as an instructor for Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA) certification.

After forming Island Energy in 1986, Rob recognized other opportunities in the energy efficiency and energy conservation sectors beyond solar heating, and he expanded his service offering to capitalize on them. The company now installs and maintains a wide range of integrated energy systems, and employs a professionally trained in-house staff of gas-fitters, hot water and refrigeration technicians, as well as sheet metal mechanics.

In recent years, Island energy’s projects have run the gamut from the simple to the large. They have installed, designed and consulted on heat pumps, hot water systems, geothermal systems, heat recovery ventilators, fireplaces, furnaces, and more. In all cases, they aim to provide a practical solution that reduces energy costs and aligns with the client’s budget needs.

That focus on efficiency – when it comes to both the environment and the cost – is what sets Island Energy apart, no matter the client or the market. Island Energy works on energy systems for new builds as well as upgrades of existing buildings. Rob says the company’s budget-consciousness is important to both kinds of jobs, as is their passion for providing positive environmental outcomes.

Also vital, he adds, is the company’s straightforward and honest approach to customer service. Some of Island Energy’s builder clients go back 25 to 30 years, and Rob credits that longevity to the trust he has built for being direct and authentic with everyone he works with.

“We give people the straight goods,” he says. “We cut out the sales jargon. We provide the facts, the prices, and we help the clients make informed decisions about which way to go. We have the kind of deep technical background that allows us to do that.”

Rob estimates that 90 per cent of their work with private clients is also either repeat or referral, and for the same reasons.

“We treat people with honesty and integrity, and our clients appreciate that and pass that on,” he says.

Over the years, clients have also appreciated the high performance of the Island Energy’s systems. The company ensures those performances by thoroughly vetting every system before handover, and by maintaining a database that tracks every model they sell and reminds them to follow up every year to ensure the proper servicing is being performed. The company also conducts on-site checks of every new install.

The quality is not only driven by Rob, however. Island Energy employs the right people down the line. Heather Cattell bought into the company in 2007 and the staff has been developed and refined over the years, and now consists of a group of highly skilled, friendly, technically-adept professionals. The company ensures they remain at the cutting edge of the industry by equipping them with the best tools for the job, and by continually upgrading their skills through education, product seminars, and memberships in the trade associations. 

“The people that have been here a long time are the ones that work hard, that are really honest, and they are definitely team players,” Rob says.

That calibre of employee is drawn to Island Energy, Rob believes, due to the challenging and diverse nature of the company’s work.

“One day they might be doing radiant heating, another day they will be working on a heat pump, another day they might be working on a geothermal system or an indoor swimming pool dehumidifier,” he says. “There’s quite a huge variety of equipment and systems we have out there. It keeps things interesting.”

As an example of an interesting job, Rob cites a recent residential project where they installed a highly innovative modulating heating and cooling system. For that, they used air-to-water heat pumps to power a radiant floor heating system. The same pumps alternately power a forced-air cooling system for the building using chilled water. They also installed temperature sensors in the floor, the air, and outside. Using the readings of those sensors, the system automatically regulates the heating or cooling load of the home.

“You don’t need to turn it on or off,” Rob explains. “It’s like a throttle in a vehicle. It gives you a little bit more juice when you need it, and a little bit less when you don’t need it.”

Those are the kind of technically-challenging projects that excite Rob and his team. They welcome the opportunity to do the extensive design work and pre-planning that is required, and they hope to do more of it moving forward.

“We want to continue down that road,” Rob says. “We’re known for delivering unique, high-efficiency projects, and we want to keep growing that reputation.”

The ‘efficiency’ part is particularly significant to Island Energy – and not only because they want their clients to live more comfortably and reduce their energy costs but more importantly, they want to make a positive impact on the environment. The company doesn’t make that a central part of their sales pitch, but it’s a key part of what drives their team. 

“A lot of people wave the green flag,” Rob says. “We try not to wave it too hard. But our background, behind-the-scenes motto is to ‘Save the planet, one house at a time’ – whether people realize it or not.”For more on Island Energy and their range of products and services – plus information on maintenance, upgrade incentives, and financing – visit