Solar Energy

Why Homeowners Should Capitalize on Canada’s Increased Clean Energy Funding

Canada’s Ontario Power Generation (OPG) has recently initiated a bond sale, aiming to raise CAD 1 billion to finance clean energy projects under its Sustainable Finance Framework. This significant move includes a focus on renewable energy sources, including solar power. The electricity producer launched this issuance under its medium-term notes programme across each Canadian province. OPG plans to utilize the funds to support its clean energy initiatives, with a notable emphasis on the solar industry. As solar energy companies continue to expand, homeowners have a unique opportunity to capitalize on the accessibility and affordability of solar energy. With increasing funding and support from government and financial institutions, now is the ideal time to invest in solar power solutions. 

Canada’s Sustainable Development Goal (SGD)

As sustainable energy solutions become more popular, Canada is making strides in renewable energy, including solar power. The federal and provincial governments are investing in renewable energy programs to reduce the nation’s carbon footprint and combat climate change. According to the Canada Energy Regulator report, Canada is one of the largest per-capita energy consumers, considering the significant energy needed for heating and power optimizers to supply the vast northern expanse. So, Canada aims to provide renewable energy solutions, such as:
  • Transitioning to clean energy sources like solar systems
  • Adopting cost-effective standards to reduce electricity consumption and store excess energy
  • Expanding infrastructure and upgrading technology to provide solar solutions
Efforts on zero-emission and low-carbon motor vehicles, as well as reducing reliance on fossil fuels, also fall under SDG. The main focus of Canada’s goals for SDG include:
  • Supporting Canadians in reducing their energy consumption and ensuring access to clean, renewable energy.
  • Achieving 600 petajoules of total annual energy savings by 2030 through energy efficiency measures, up from 20 petajoules in 2017-2018.
  • Generating 90% of Canada’s electricity from renewable and non-emitting resources by 2030, with a long-term goal of 100%.

Accessibility of Solar Systems in Canada

The cost of solar panels has decreased significantly over the past decade. Advances in solar panel technology and increased competition among the best solar companies have driven down prices. The expense of installing solar panels is more affordable, with the average price for a residential solar panel installation ranging from CAD 10,000 to CAD 25,000. This will also depend on the solar panel system size, location, and the solar panel installation company.  With government incentives and the decreasing cost of solar panels, adopting solar solutions is more accessible than ever before. So, how much are solar panels in Canada? See this table for example: 
Aspect  Details
Average Cost per Watt $2.50 to $3.50
Average Installed Cost (national average) $3.01 per watt
Example in Ontario 5.46 kW system: $19,238 (avg. $3.52/watt)
15.51 kW system: $30,707 (avg. $1.97/watt)
Regional Cost Variations Ontario: $2.34 to $2.59 per watt
Nunavut: $4.00 or more per watt
Potential Rebates Up to $5,000 to $10,000 (reducing overall cost per watt significantly)
Note: The costs may also vary depending on system components, like solar panels, mounting hardware, inverter, potential backup battery, and labour

Government Incentives

The Canadian government, partnering with solar energy companies, offers numerous incentives to promote the adoption of solar systems. These incentives make every solar power system affordable. The support includes:
  • Rebates
  • Tax credits
  • Grants

Nova Scotia

  • Solar Homes Program: Rebate of $0.30 per watt of solar panels installed, up to $3,000
  • Solar for Non-Profit Pilot: Provides incentives for non-profits to install solar PV systems up to 25kW. 
  • Home Battery Initiative: Participants can receive a rebate of $300 per kWh of installed energy capacity, up to $2,500.
  • PACE Program: Allows homeowners to install solar with $0 down, a long repayment period, and low-interest loans. 

Prince Edward Island

  • Solar Electric Rebate Program: Offers homeowners a cash rebate of $1.00 per watt of solar panels, up to $10,000. Small business owners can get a rebate of $0.35 per watt, up to $10,000.
  • Financing Options: Property owners can install solar panels through cash, bank loans, a credit line or mortgage, and the province’s energy-efficient loan program, which offers a 5% interest rate and a 7-year amortization period. 

Alberta

  • Home Energy Retrofit Accelerator (HERA): Offers $0.40/watt for solar installations, covering about 15% of costs.
  • Solar Offset: Helps businesses reduce their carbon footprint by connecting with small-scale solar panel owners, providing income to homeowners.
  • Light Up Alberta – Solar Club Loyalty Program: Offers flexible rates for selling surplus energy and a 2.0% cashback on imported grid electricity.
  • Municipal Solar Incentives: Most municipalities offer $0.70/watt, up to $5,000
  • Emissions Reduction Alberta: Offers up to $250,000 per project for small and medium-sized businesses, with a maximum of $500,000 per company.
  • Edmonton Specific Incentives: Homeowners receive $0.40/watt (up to $4,000) for solar systems. New homes and buildings eligible for an additional $0.30/watt rebate. 

British Columbia 

    • Nelson’s Bill Financing Program: Borrow up to $16,000 for energy upgrades, and repay through the hydro bill.
    • Penticton: Offers a similar loan up to $10,000, repayable through the electric bill.
  • Regional District of Nanaimo: offers $250-$400 rebates for solar PV, solar thermal, geothermal, or wind systems.

Ontario

  • Home Energy Loan Program (HELP): For single-family homes with a $75,000 cap and up to 20-year repayment.
  • High-Rise Retrofit Improvement Support Program (Hi-RIS): Aids apartment building owners (3 stories or more) in upgrading to sustainable infrastructure to reduce emissions.

New Brunswick

  • THESP: Offers rebates ranging from $0.20/watt to $0.30/watt for solar energy installations.
  • Rebates: Amount depends on the scale of upgrades and initial energy conservation status. For a 10KW system, rebates range from $2,000 to $3,000. 

Overcoming Challenges in Solar Power Adoption

No Supply Chain Issues

While the demand for solar panels is rising, supply chain issues can pose challenges for the solar industry. Delays in the production and delivery of solar equipment can impact solar panel installation timelines and costs. However, the best solar companies are working to mitigate these issues by diversifying their supply chains and increasing local production. So as a homeowner, you should stay informed and work closely with your trusted solar panel installation company to manage your expectations.

Easy to Navigate Permitting Procedures

Installing solar panels requires navigating complex regulatory and permitting processes. Each province in Canada has its own regulations and requirements for solar installations, and knowing these regulations is now easy.  Work with a reputable solar company to ensure compliance. Experienced solar installers can help you streamline the permitting process and obtain all necessary approvals.   Solar Power Installation  

Go Solar with the Right Solar Company

Solar panel installation is a practical and sustainable choice for Canadian homeowners. With increased funding for clean energy projects, government incentives, and the affordable cost of solar panels, there has never been a better time to switch to a new solar energy system. By taking advantage of these opportunities, you can enjoy significant energy cost savings while generating electricity on your own. For a seamless switch to renewable energy, choose the best solar panel installation company to provide the most efficient solar panels and complete solar equipment. Generate electricity with MAG Solar and capitalize on Canada’s solar power funding to reduce energy costs and carbon footprint. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Reducing Energy Costs: Solar panel installation can drastically reduce or even eliminate monthly electricity bills. By generating your own electricity, you can be less reliant on the electrical grid and protect yourself from rising energy costs. The savings can be substantial, with reductions of up to 90%.

Increasing Property Value: Investing in a solar power system can increase your home’s value. Homes with solar installation sell more than those without. Potential buyers look for energy-efficient homes with lower operating costs, making solar panels a valuable asset.

Introduced in 2007, solar leasing allowed solar panel installation with $0 down, eliminating upfront installation costs. With solar leases, installing solar panels is more affordable than ever since it allows for a fixed rate or fee determined by the leasing company.

  • Reducing Carbon Footprint: Homeowners can decrease their dependence on fossil fuels, which is a major contributor to climate change. An average residential solar energy system can offset about three to four tons of carbon dioxide per year—equivalent to planting over 100 trees annually.
  • Supporting Sustainable Development Goals: By investing in solar panel installation, you can contribute to the achievement of sustainable development goals. Thus ensures access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all.

 Increased adoption of solar power helps Canada move closer to its targets for renewable energy generation and environmental sustainability.

The solar industry is continuously evolving, with innovations in solar technology providing the most efficient panels.

  • Advances such as bifacial solar panels, which can capture sunlight from both sides
  • Solar energy storage solutions, like battery systems, enhance the performance and reliability of solar installations

These technological advancements are driving the solar industry forward, which guarantees quality and customer satisfaction. 

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