Are there any grants or incentives for solar panels?’ asks this question many homeowners and business owners, so the answer is yes! This is a reasonable question that is always changing in Alberta and Canada, especially about solar panels, given our new governments and changing social climate. New solar power incentives and rebates are being investigated all the time. These awards aim to make Canada more environmentally friendly by encouraging homes to choose more energy-efficient and renewable energy options.
Solar energy has grown in popularity and delivered incredible benefits to its consumers. Many property owners have considered whether solar energy subsidies or rebates are available. To reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the Canadian government is offering refunds and subsidies to stimulate installing solar power systems.
Federal Solar Incentives
Canada Greener Homes Grant
In May 2021, the Canadian government announced the Canada Greener Homes initiative to assist Canadians in making energy-efficient house improvements, combating climate change, and creating excellent jobs – all while helping homeowners save money on their monthly energy costs. One of the cornerstones of Canada’s energy revolution is this seven-year effort. It is estimated to create over 110,000 direct and indirect jobs across Canada, adding to the over 436,000 direct jobs generated by the energy efficiency sector in 2018. The effort has received a lot of positive feedback, and the programme has already aided people around the country in upgrading their houses while providing decent jobs for Canadians.
What do you need to apply?
You’ll be expected to:
- submit evidence of ownership and the number of your property tax bill (this number can be found on your municipal property tax documents)
- Using a driver’s licence or other government-issued identification, show that the property is your principal residence (with address).
- Alternative papers may be accepted if your property tax bill number is not accessible (e.g., for rural areas, Newfoundland, First Nations on-reserve).
The following organizations are also eligible to apply for the initiative: Housing management bodies and other representative or Indigenous service delivery organizations with formal partnerships with Indigenous governments or organizations (e.g., band councils, land claim organizations), housing management bodies, and other representative or Indigenous service delivery organizations with formal partnerships with Indigenous governments or organizations.
All of the recommended retrofits in the Renovation Upgrade Report are not covered by the Canada Greener Homes Grant Initiative. Some of the retrofits suggested by your energy advisor may not be qualified for the grant, but they can assist enhance your home’s energy efficiency, indoor air quality, and comfort.
Please double-check which retrofits are grant-eligible. If you live in the Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Nunavik, Nunatsiavut, or an off-grid settlement, you can learn more about funding available in your area.
Commercial Solar Tax Incentive
The only federal solar energy incentive for businesses is higher depreciation under section 43.2 of the Internal Revenue Code. This commercial solar incentive allows a company to write off 100% of the asset value in the first year of ownership.
The following measures are included in the Income Tax Act and Income Tax Regulations to encourage Canadian taxpayers to invest in qualifying clean energy generation and energy conservation projects:
- an accelerated capital cost allowance (CCA) for clean energy generation and energy conservation equipment; a first-year enhanced CCA for clean energy generation and energy
- conservation equipment that allows a taxpayer to fully deduct the capital cost of eligible properties in the first year they are available for use by the taxpayer;
- Canadian renewable and conservation expense (CRCE), which is a category of expenses relating to the development of eligible clean energy generation and energy conservation projects that can be deducted in full in the year they are incurred, carried forward indefinitely for use in future tax years, or renounced under a flow-through share agreement;
- Atlantic investment tax credit of 10% of the cost of prescribed energy generation and conservation properties.
Provincial Solar Grants
Alberta Edmonton Solar Rebate
The City of Edmonton just announced a $0.40/W up to $4,000 subsidy for household solar installations. In addition to the provincially sponsored home and commercial solar programmes, this incentive is available. The City of Edmonton is offering $0.40 per watt towards the cost of the system, which covers around 15% of the costs of adopting solar! The Greener Homes Grant programme in Canada allows homeowners to stack rebates up to 100% of their entire investment. A $0.30/watt incentive from the City of Edmonton is also available for newly constructed residences and residential structures. One of the most effective strategies to combat climate change is to generate local renewable energy. For a complete list of eligibility requirements, see the program’s Terms & Conditions. Applications can be filed through the website.
- Microgeneration – In Alberta, micro-generators are governed by the Microgeneration Regulation. Solar energy consumption vs usage will be tracked and credited to your monthly power bill for homes and companies with solar installations of less than 5MW (1 Megawatt = 1,000 kW). Any unused solar energy is carried over to the following month and can be sold at the end of the year for the same price you paid (about $0.07/kWh). Read the entire micro-generation regulation for more information.
- Get Energy Solar Club – This membership entitles you to a higher energy tariff (about $0.25/kWh) during months when solar generation outnumbers residential usage. This results in a significantly higher microgeneration credit. When demand exceeds solar generation, the regular rate (about $0.07/kWh) can be switched back during winter.
- Alberta Municipal Solar Program (AMSP): Municipal Climate Change Action Centre (MCCAC) offers the Alberta Municipal Solar Program (AMSP) (MCCAC). This solar power rebate is available to municipalities and community-based organizations. For qualified solar power projects, funding up to 25% of eligible expenses, up to a maximum of $300,000, is available. Solar projects that are higher than or equal to 2kW but less than or equal to 1MW are eligible, as long as they are subject to the Micro-generation Regulation and finished and energized after February 5, 2016. Read more about the Alberta Municipal Solar Program or contact us.
- Banff Solar Incentive – A solar power incentive is available to residents of Banff, Alberta. Selected candidates will be eligible for a seven-year agreement with the town of Banff under this initiative. A lottery system will be used to choose successful applicants. More information about the Banff solar power incentive programme can be found here.
British Colombia (BC) Solar Rebates – Home Renovation Rebate
The PST exemption for solar PV equipment and devices, including solar panels, wiring, controllers, and inverters, is BC’s key inducement. This programme, offered in collaboration with BC Hydro Power Smart and FortisBC, provides homeowners with a number of incentives to help them save money on their energy bills. Natural gas and electric energy-efficient renovations, such as windows and doors, solar panels, insulation, heat pumps, and heat pump water heaters, are eligible for rebates.
The type of programme is:
- monetary incentive
Energy Efficient Products Program
This programme gives information on various energy-saving goods and refunds on some of them.
The type of programme is:
- Financial Incentive
- Saskatchewan Solar Power Incentives:
- PACE Programs: They are an innovative financing alternative that allows you to cover the entire upfront cost of your solar system (or energy efficiency upgrades) with a $0 down, extended amortization period, low interest ‘loan.’
Unlike a traditional loan, however, this loan is secured by your property (rather than you) and is repaid as a Local Improvement Charge on your property tax payment (LIC). The only stipulation is that you must own a piece of your home.
Unfortunately, Saskatchewan presently has no PACE financing alternatives — however, Saskatoon is working on a programme that might allow for loans of up to $60,000!
Yukon Solar Rebates
In Yukon Territory, a refund of $800 per installed kW up to $5,000 per system per year is available. Solar power systems can be grid-connected or off-grid.
Systems that generate power using renewable energy sources include:
- PV (photovoltaic) solar;
- biofuel; and
- sources of geothermal energy
The refund is available for electricity-generating systems that employ renewable energy. All systems must be installed in private residences.
Northwest Territories Solar Rebates
The frigid temperature, long summer days, and relatively high cost of electricity make the Northwest Territories a unique location for solar panels. Due to the high cost of electricity in the NWT, residents should expect a very short payback period on their solar panels. The solar incentive granted by the NWT government and the Arctic Energy Alliance, the Alternative Energy Technologies Program, further reduces the cost of solar in the NWT (AETP).
Solar energy subsidies of various amounts are available from the Arctic Energy Alliance and the Government of the Northwest Territories for households, companies, and indigenous groups.
- Residential Renewable Energy Incentive – This solar power rebate for NWT residents covers up to 50% of project costs up to $20,000 in total (projects must not be in areas fuelled by Hydroelectricity).
- Business Renewable Energy Incentive – This solar energy rebate for NWT enterprises covers up to 50% of system costs, up to $50,000 in total (projects must not be in areas fuelled by Hydroelectricity).
- Renewable Energy Rebate for Indigenous, Government, and Non-Profit Organizations – This solar power rebate for indigenous, government and non-profit organizations in the NWT covers up to 50% of project costs, up to a maximum of $50,000.
Solar Panel Prices in the Northwest Territories
The cost of installing solar panels in NWT will vary substantially based on the accessibility of your area. The average solar installation in the NWT will cost between $3.00 and $6.00 per watt, or between $20,000 and $40,000.Due to economies of scale and some fixed expenses involved with solar PV installations, larger systems can be done at a lower/more favourable $/W.
The quantity of electrical work necessary, the difficulty of the installation (roof vs ground vs wall mounted), and the type of installation (roof vs ground vs wall-mounted) will all affect the total cost of the solar power system.
More information on the cost of solar panels and the long-term economics of solar power systems may be found here.
Solar-generated electricity is becoming increasingly popular in Canada and around the world. There are strong reasons for this. The electricity generated by hydro plants is approaching its full capacity limit as the power demand grows across the provinces. As a result, there is a stronger drive to employ cleaner self-generation energy, such as electricity provided by homeowners‘ solar panels. Check out all the grants to get the funding needed.
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