The popularity of solar is skyrocketing in Canada! Declining installation costs, increasing energy costs and Canadian solar incentives are just some of the contributing factors. The decision to go solar makes sense in most of Canada whether it’s for financial or environmental reasons.
Canada also has some unique factors that make it a great location for an investment in solar such as:
- Most provinces have a great solar resource (see solar potential map)
- All homeowners can access federal Canadian solar incentives in the form of a grant and interest-free loan
- Some municipalities offer an additional grant and/or loan
- In Alberta, the solar club improves the financial case for solar significantly
For more information on each of these great reasons to get solar read on!
(Updated: December 2023)
Federal Canada Greener Homes Program
December 2023 Update: Canada’s Greener Homes grant program will no longer be accepting new applicants starting in March 2024.
The Federal Government’s Canada Greener Homes Program provides a solar rebate of $1,000/kW up to a maximum of $5,000. This typically covers 30% – 40% of the cost of an average-sized solar PV system. As a homeowner, you must apply to this Canadian solar incentive program yourself.
If you plan on accessing this Canadian solar incentive we recommend applying as soon as possible. There is no cost to apply and you can always drop your application if you end up not getting solar. In the application, you will be asked to choose a company to perform an energy assessment, it doesn’t really matter who you select. However, your chosen company should reach out within 2 weeks. Let your Glean solar expert know if this doesn’t happen.
You must get an energy assessment before and after installing solar to get the grant. These assessments prove to the program that you’ve installed solar and identify ways to save energy in your home. The assessments typically cost $700 – $1,000 combined and the program provides an additional $600 towards these costs.
After you’ve installed solar and have gotten both energy assessments, you must submit the following documentation to your program portal:
- receipts for your pre-and post-retrofit EnerGuide evaluation
- all receipts and invoices from your solar installer
- a copy of the letter of approval or permission for inter-connection issued by the local electrical or building authority
It will take some time for the program to review this information and send you a cheque in the mail.
The Greener Homes program also offers a 10-year interest-free personal loan up to a maximum of $40,000. The Canada Greener Homes Loan offers interest-free financing in addition to the Canada Greener Homes Grant to help Canadians install solar PV or other upgrades recommended in your pre-retrofit energy assessment. This Canadian solar incentive piggybacks on the Greener Homes Grant. To be eligible for the loan, you must be eligible for the grant first. The application portals for the grant and loan are the same.
Once you get your first energy assessment, a button will show up in your portal to apply for the loan.
Alberta Solar Incentives
All solar incentives don’t have to come in the form of grants or rebates. The Solar Club is a non-government program that improves energy cost savings for owners of solar PV. Solar Club members can switch between a high electricity rate ($0.30/kWh) and a low electricity rate ($0.1175/kWh) depending on seasonal variations in Solar energy production. In the summer, you are a net exporter of electricity to the grid so you use the high electricity rate to maximize the value of that electricity you sell to the grid. In the winter, you are a net importer of electricity so you drop down to the low electricity rate to minimize the cost of the electricity you are buying from the grid. The difference between the two situations can significantly improve the financials of an investment in solar panels.
The Clean Energy Improvement Program (CEIP) allows property owners to finance energy efficiency projects and solar PV installations. CEIP financing is tied to the property, not the property owner. Therefore, if the property is sold, the new owner takes on the payments.
CEIP funding requires a pre and post-retrofit energy assessment in the same way as the Greener Homes Grant. CEIP funding can be combined with the Greener Homes Grant Program.
The Change Homes for Climate Solar Program is fully subscribed and no longer accepting new applications.
Home and commercial property owners in Banff can apply for a rebate of $0.75/Watt for solar PV between 2 kW and 20 kW. This program does not require energy assessments. Eligible participants should install solar then submit documentation to the Town of Banff that demonstrates the solar PV system has been installed and is generating renewable electricity.
What is Glean?
Glean is a broker of solar quotes. We are partnered with more than 15 of the best solar installers in Alberta that we have verified and vetted. We provide you with 3 solar quotes, an easy-to-compare quote summary (that includes a detailed financial analysis) and a quote review call to answer questions. Our service is free because we collect a service fee from the installer whose quote is chosen.
The best way to get the ball rolling is to fill out your information by clicking the button below.