Countries and people all over the world are paying more attention to renewable energy due to its many benefits. One of the best ways to get more people interested in cleaner sources of power is to make it cheaper for people and businesses to invest in them.
With the help of solar subsidies, Canadians may now afford to have photovoltaic (PV) panels installed on their homes.
So, do you get solar incentives in Alberta? The answer is a resounding yes, and this guide covers the most common Alberta solar grants 2023.
A Guide to Solar Incentives in Alberta
1) Clean Energy Improvement Program
Change your home or business with renovations that use clean energy. Investing money in energy-saving and renewable energy modifications is a great way to lower cost, enhance your home’s comfort level, and increase the value of your property.
The Clean Energy Improvement Program makes it possible by providing a funding plan that is both reasonable and adaptable. You can get a loan for up to the full cost of the project, and then pay it back through your normal property tax bill.
Across the country of Canada, this novel method of funding is referred to as PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy). As far as we know, this is the first program of its kind in Alberta, and it's already rolling out in a few different communities.
You can check if your home or business location qualifies for the Alberta Clean Energy Improvement program.
2) Building Energy Benchmarking Program
By giving building owners information about their building, the Edmonton Building Energy Benchmarking Program makes buildings more energy efficient, saves a lot of energy, and cuts down on greenhouse gases. The program helps building managers and owners cut down on energy use. It will also help them get ready for the mandatory building energy-labeling program that the federal government announced in the Pan-Canadian Clean Growth and Climate Change Framework.
The Building Energy Benchmarking (BEB) Program is now in its seventh year, and new registrations are being taken. The program is for people who own or run buildings in Edmonton that are more than 1,000 square feet. Anyone can sign up for this program, as long as the owner of the building has agreed to participate. People who take part will get technical help, customized reports on building benchmarking, and various financial incentives to cover the retrofitting costs (BERA Program).
To meet the eligibility requirement for the Building Energy Retrofit Accelerator (BERA) program, new applicants for BEB can sign up through the Building Registration and Consent Form for Year 7.
Follow the below steps to participate:
Step 1 – Sign up
Fill out the Building Registration and Consent Form online to indicate which buildings will be taking part. The last day to sign up is October 15, 2023.
Step 2 – Collect and compile information
Follow the steps in the Participation Guide and the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager Toolkit to make a profile for each registered building in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. If you need assistance, you can reach out to the Benchmarking Support Services.
Step 3 – Provide data
You will be asked to provide the city with specific information about your building after you have completed your building profile. The submission date is November 15, 2023.
3) Building Energy Retrofit Accelerator
The Building Energy Retrofit Accelerator in Edmonton is a rebate program that helps commercial and institutional buildings save money by installing energy-saving upgrades and renewable energy sources.
Launched in June 2020, the program is a three-year initiative. The application period will end on June 2, 2023, or as soon as all the refund money has been distributed, whichever comes first.
There will be a wait list once all rebate money has been pledged. Wait-listed applications will be processed in the order they were received until funding for rebates becomes available, which may take some time.
Large commercial, institutional, and light industrial buildings across Edmonton can use the Building Energy Retrofit Accelerator program. Common areas in apartments and condos are also eligible.
Details about who is eligible are available in the manual, and are as follows:
- Gross floor area must be more than 1,000 square feet
- The building should have been up and running for at least a year.
- The building uses less than 15 GWH of electricity each year
- The building took part in the Building Energy Benchmarking Program in Edmonton
In the program manual, you can find a list of all the requirements for the program. The terms and conditions document, meanwhile, contains more information about who is eligible for the program.
Rebate amounts depend on what the participant did to improve the energy efficiency of their building. The eligible measures list has all the equipment that is eligible for rebates, along with the rebate amounts and eligibility criteria for each measure. There are seven types of measures that are eligible:
- Controls (non-lighting and lighting)
- Lighting fixtures (both exterior and interior)
- Building certification
- Hot water
- Building envelope
- HVAC (hot water included)
All program participants are subject to the following rebate caps:
- The maximum rebate for a given measure cannot be more than 50% of the real costs of the installation and equipment
- The most you can get back for installing solar PV is $80,000
- Minimum rebate amount for each applicant is $1,000
- Maximum rebate per program year and project is $75,000; it can go up to $125,000 in case of the presence of a solar PV or heat pump
- $150,000 is the most a company can get back from the program in a year (at more than one location)
Bonuses and Bundling
Participants who install measures from more than one equipment category will earn an extra 5% bonus rebate against every installed category, going up to a bonus limit of 10%.
Participants in third-party green building certification programs are eligible for a 50% rebate on the certification costs, along with an additional 5% rebate for the whole project. This measure is taken to encourage maximum participation in the program.
Bonuses are applied, in addition to the above-mentioned project rebate ceilings and maximums.
How to Apply
To participate in the BERA program, you can follow one of the two available program streams: pre-approval and post-approval. ERA applicants can select the application stream that best fits their project stage and then refer to the program checklist to complete their document submission.
4) EcoCity Edmonton – Community Sustainability Grants
The EcoCity Edmonton grant program has invested over $1.2 million since 2015, with help from the Edmonton Community Foundation and Alberta EcoTrust Foundation. This grant has helped non-profits, community leagues, schools, and charities invest in solutions to climate change that were largely citizen-led.
Although this grant is no longer available, the CIF (Climate Innovation Fund) grant program is now provided by the same partnership. This initiative seeks to promote a wide range of climate-positive interventions, alongside ensuring a just and fair future for every Albertan. It specifically targets Edmonton's largest urban sources of greenhouse gas emissions. The activities covered by projects funded by the program might range widely, including collective impact, policy advancements, and tech demonstration.
5) Banff Solar PV Production Program
The Town of Banff wants people to put in solar PV systems to produce clean electricity. The program is paid for with money via the environmental reserve. This reserve is generated from a franchise fee paid by the electrical utility to utilize the spaces underneath the streets for passing its wires and providing electricity.
At the moment, both business and residential customers can apply for rebates on solar PV systems through the Town. Applicants should fill out a development permit application. Before applying for the permit, applicants are advised to get in touch with the Town to get their project preliminarily reviewed.
This program is a rebate program for systems that have already been installed. Participants who qualify can install solar panels on their residence or place of business and are then eligible to receive a rebate payment from the Town in proportion to the size of the PV system. The Town offers a subsidy of $750 per kilowatt (kW) of installed solar capacity, up to $20 kW, to qualified participants.
- Both homes and businesses can take advantage of the program
- Each property will only be able to submit one application
Terms and Conditions
- All projects must adhere to safety code requirements for development, electricity, and building
- In Canada, every electrical system is approved by the ULC or CSA before it can be put in place
- To get the rebate, applicants must finish the project and send in the right paperwork, including a Micro-generation Agreement with Fortis
- Solar panels need a building and development permit from the Town of Banff, but there are no fees for this
- The Town of Banff solar panel design guidelines explain how solar panels have to fit into the look of buildings in different land utilisation districts
- Eligible applicants must agree to share their solar installation story and data with the community in various ways, such as local newspaper articles, Town of Banff website, YouTube, and Facebook.
Have a solar installer take a look at your property. Most of the time, the assessments are free. They tell you how big of a solar array that you can put up and how much it will probably cost. Applicants are required to select service providers who know about this program and how it works. You can find installers and contractors in Banff by looking in the CanSIA Member Directory or the Solar Energy Society of Alberta.
Your solar provider will help you with the following procedures:
- Applying for all required permits
- Developmental permit for the Town of Banff (fees waived)
- Building permit for the Town of Banff (fees waived)
- Application and agreement for micro-generation
- Electrical permit
- Grid connection and electrical inspection
- Solar panel system installation
Once the solar installation is complete, send the Town of Banff proof that it is up and running. The Town of Banff needs the following paperwork to be turned in:
- Micro-generation agreement
- Inspection certificate
- Interconnection agreement signed with the wire service supplier
- Detailed invoice or receipt for solar installation
Email these documents to Kerry MacInnis, Administrative Assistant, Planning, Town of Banff, or mail them to PO Box 1260, Banff, AB T1L 1A1.
Once these documents are received, you will get a rebate check from the Town of Banff.
Save money on your energy bill by generating and using renewable solar energy.
Save and Make Money by Leveraging Alberta Solar Grants and Incentives
The above solar grants and incentives offered by the province of Alberta can not only help you save money through portable solar panels, but also put more cash into your pocket.
If you are looking for a portable solar panel to leverage these incentives, please feel free to check out our wide range of options. We offer many different types of portable solar panels, generators, and solar kits, and can help you find one based on your specific location, budget, and energy requirements.
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