Solar Energy In Canada: Incentives Available
Many Canadian homeowners are installing solar modules. The reasons for this are numerous: solar panels can slash energy bills, or even provide all the energy necessary to run your home. DIY solar kits make choosing and installing the right system for you easy and convenient. Solar components continue to drop in price,
and experts are predicting that grid parity will be achieved in the near future.
If you are considering installing a solar electricity system,
you may want to investigate programs that offer you discounts, contracts, or rebates for homeowners who make their homes more energy efficient. Some programs address solar electrical systems directly, and others merely help to cut your base energy costs by improving your home's use of energy. With a two-pronged approach -- ensuring that your home uses energy wisely, and installing renewable solar electricity – you will be cutting your own costs, and helping the planet!
The federal government's ecoENERGY Retrofit–Homes program provides grants of up to $5,000 to help homeowners make their homes more energy-efficient and reduce the burden of high energy costs. A pre- and post-installation inspection helps to ascertain the amount of the grant. Information about the program can be found on the Natural Resources Canada website.
As well, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's "Green Home” financing can help make energy efficiency more affordable to new homeowners and owners planning to renovate.
Most provinces have programs that offer incentives for making your home more energy efficient; several also have programs that target small business. (Some cities also offer programs; it's worth checking your municipal government websites to see if you might be eligible.)
Some examples of provincial programs include:
Ontario. Through the Ontario Ministry of Energy, the Ontario Feed-in Tariff (FIT) program
allows homeowners, business owners and private developers to generate renewable energy and sell it to the province at a guaranteed price for a fixed contract term. Solar photovoltaic power is one of the main contributors to this program. Administered by the Ontario Power Authority, FIT is the first comprehensive feed-in tariff program in North America. Most solar-equipped homeowners would be eligible to participate under the microFIT stream, which deals with renewable energy projects of 10 kW or less.
Saskatchewan. This prairie province receives more sunshine per year than any other province: Estevan, SK clocks a whopping 2,500 hours of sunlight per year, making it the sunniest Canadian city. SaskEnergy programs that promote renewable energy include a system of rebates for new homebuyers who purchase an energy efficient home or build a home incorporating renewable energy components, and a program that will help you to assess your house's energy efficiency in order to find ways to improve it. Most other provinces have equivalent programs designed to help homeowners cut their energy use.
British Columbia. In addition to the more common types of energy-efficiency programs, the Solar BC organization can help facilitate certain kinds of solar projects, including financial incentives for installing solar hot water plants.
As the cost-effectiveness of solar electrical systems grows, exciting new partnerships with government will be developed. Join the growing number of Canadian homeowners who have discovered the power of solar energy!