LAST UPDATED: 5 JULY 2021
Greener Homes Grant: How to maximize your solar savings
The federal government of Canada has recently announced the Greener Homes Grant (GHG) (the irony of the initialism is not lost on us), an initiative that provides a rebate to homeowners who implement energy saving measures on their homes. Though the GHG can be applied to several energy efficiency upgrades, we at Simple Solar are most excited about how you can use it to get a rebate on solar PV systems. The GHG offers a $1000.00 per kilowatt rebate on PV systems, up to $5,000.00 for a 5 kW or larger system (a complete list of all the available rebates can be found here). So if you're considering getting a rebate on your PV system through the GHG, then read on to find out how.
The GHG will be offered directly to homeowners from Natural Resources Canada (NRCAN), and is tailored towards existing homes. New homes, that is homes that are six months old or less, based on the date of occupancy by the first homeowner, are not eligible. You, the homeowner, is in charge of the process. You'll need to hire and pay for two energy audits on your house, one before any upgrades are done and one after they're done (you can get a rebate of up to $600 for the energy audits). Following the first audit, you can hire contractors to implement energy saving upgrades recommended by the auditor; PV systems being one of the upgrade options and clearly the best one (we're not biased, I swear)! The upgrades need to be completed by certified contractors, so no DIY options for this grant, unfortunately.
Maximizing your rebate
The GHG is a great program for homeowners to learn about which energy efficiency upgrades are available to them and embark on one or more projects to reduce their home's energy consumption. Remember that many of these upgrades will not only save you money on your monthly utility bills, but will also make your home more comfortable and reduce your environmental footprint. In Alberta, most of our electricity comes from fossil fuel-fired power plants which means our electricity generation releases a lot of greenhouse gases and other pollutants. Upgrading your home with a PV system is a great way to reduce your emissions and save on your utility costs.
For most homes, a 5.0 kW system will be 14 panels and will generate 60 to 80 % of the electricity used. The typical cost to install a system of this size is between $12,000 and $15,000 before the rebate. The $5,000 rebate for a 5.0 kW system is therefore reducing the cost of your system by at least a third. Not a bad deal!
Finally, if you're considering larger scope energy efficiency upgrades, such as replacing windows or siding, we're anticipating that there will be an addition to the GHG that will provide interest free loans of up to $40,000, however details for this additional program have not been released yet. In the meantime, if you're keen to go green with the help of the GHG then you can request a free PV quote to get the ball rolling.
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