Alberta Increases Its Solar Rebates

Alberta has seen a huge uptick in demand for solar energy, so the province is increasing rebates for both homeowners and non-profits, as well as putting more money towards solar energy programs.

On Monday, the Alberta government announced it is increasing funding to programs run by Energy Efficiency Alberta and the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre.

Since April 2017, more than 950 solar installations have been completed via its residential and commercial solar program, the province said.

To up the incentive, Energy Efficiency Alberta is increasing solar rebate levels by 15 per cent for residences ($.075/watt to $0.90/watt) and 25 per cent for non-profits ($0.75/watt to $1.00/watt).

The province said homeowners can now get up to 35 per cent off solar panel installation, for a maximum rebate of $10,000, and businesses and non-profit organizations can get up to 35 per cent off system costs, to a maximum rebate of $1 million.

Rebates are based on the size of the installation and calculated at $0.90 per watt for residential, $0.75 per watt for commercial, and $1 for non-profits and charities.

There’s an extra perk for Edmonton residents. The City of Edmonton is currently offering an additional incentive of $0.15/watt towards the cost of installing a residential system, on top of the $0.90/watt from Energy Efficiency Alberta.

Hank Bestman had 20 solar panels installed on his south- and east-facing rooftops in west Edmonton in December 2017. He’d been thinking about going solar for years and the rebates made it economically feasible.

In the summer, he was able to pump extra electricity he was generating back into the grid, for a credit on his bills.

“In July it worked really well for us. We were hardly using any energy from the grid. As a matter of fact, our combined gas and electricity bills were negative.”

For Bestman, installing the panels was a matter of principle.

“I think it’s an investment in the future that you make and we’re quite concerned about our carbon footprint. This is one great way we can eliminate or minimize that,” he said.

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