Ontario is one of the provinces in Canada that has been proactively promoting the use of solar energy. In recent years, the government has introduced several incentives to encourage homeowners and businesses to adopt renewable energy sources, particularly solar power.
With the increasing demand for clean and renewable energy, solar incentives in Ontario have become more attractive and accessible. In this article, we will take a comprehensive look at the 2023 solar incentives for Ontario and what it means for residents and businesses.
Is Solar Energy Worth It In Ontario?
With the rising cost of electricity in Ontario, an increasing number of people are starting to switch to solar energy. The southern region of Ontario, which is the most populated part of the province, gets sufficient sunlight throughout the year for solar energy to make sense.
Here are some reasons why solar energy is worth it in Ontario.
1. Lower Carbon Emissions
Investing in solar energy can help you mitigate the carbon emissions from your home's dependence on gas and coal. In fact, installing solar panels alone can offset the majority of a home's daily carbon emissions. Moreover, using a battery storage system with solar panels can allow you to offset carbon emissions by 100%.
2. Economic Benefits
Solar energy is a cost-effective way to generate electricity. Thanks to technological advancements, the cost of solar panels has dropped dramatically in recent years, making it more affordable for individuals and businesses to invest in. In addition, the cost of solar energy is predictable and stable, unlike other energy sources that are subject to price fluctuations. This makes it a more reliable and affordable option for Ontario residents.
By investing in solar energy for your home, you can safeguard yourself from the increasing cost of electricity each year. In addition, you gain access to a dependable energy source that reduces your carbon impact and dependence on the utility grid for energy production.
4. Durable and Minimal Maintenance Needs
Solar power is a smart financial investment for Ontario homeowners, with most solar systems having a lifespan of 20 years or more and requiring minimal maintenance. By choosing a reliable brand such as BLUETII to purchase your solar panel system, you can benefit from expert guidance on your system's long-term care and maintenance requirements.
Solar Incentives for Ontario
To encourage the adoption of solar energy, the government of Ontario offers a number of incentives to help make solar power more accessible and affordable for homeowners. Here are some of the top Ontario solar incentives and solar rebates in Ontario 2023.
1. Net Metering
Net metering is a type of renewable energy program for electricity users in Ontario. It can be availed by businesses and homeowners who generate energy equal to 500 kWh or lower. Through the program, Ontario residents can reduce their hydro bill by sending any excess electricity back into the utility grid and get a credit that they can use towards future electricity bills. Homeowners then just have to pay the difference between their total electricity generation and use over the billing period. In particular, if your electricity output is higher than your consumption in a specific month, it results in a kWh credit that is carried over for up to a year until it expires.
In addition, once you are connected to the distribution system through the net-metering program in Ontario, your local energy distributor will track and read your meter just like they do with your regular electricity meter reading. They will then deduct the value of the excess electricity that your home produces and is transmitted to the grid from the value of what you consume from the utility grid every month. Thus, the amount that appears on your electricity bill is the “net” difference between these two values.
One important thing to bear in mind is that you can use all the electricity credits you get through the Net-Metering program within the duration of a year. However, any credits that are not used will be reset to zero once the 12-month period is over.
2. Greener Homes Grant
The Greener Homes Grant is a program that allows homeowners in Ontario to save money when they invest in energy-efficient upgrades such as renewable energy or new windows and doors.
Under this initiative, eligible property owners can get up to $5,000 to make energy-efficient retrofits to their residences and up to $600 to reduce the cost of home energy assessments. If you’re interested in this program, you will have to hurry as this is only available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
To avail this grant, you need to first set up a home evaluation with an energy advisor. There are some other requirements that include:
- The photovoltaic panels, along with the inverter, should meet CSA standards
- The highest energy capacity of the solar panel should be equal to or higher than 1 kW
- You need to buy the panels and solar equipment in Canada; if you place an online order, it should be from a Canadian distributor
Apart from buying your photovoltaic panels, you can even use a percentage of the money provided by the grant for resiliency measures. One way to go is to get batteries for your solar panel system, an expense that the incentive covers up to $1,000 when coupled with another energy-efficient upgrade.
Note that $5,000 is not enough to cover the whole cost of installing a solar system. Nevertheless, it does give a starting point to those who are confused about it. The grant makes this environmentally-friendly upgrade more accessible to homeowners all over Canada.
All in all, the Greener Homes Grant won’t just cover a percentage of your costs but will allow you to get monthly savings on your electric bill. This can reduce the costs that are not covered by the grant.
Along with the grant, the government in Canada declared that it would offer $40,000 to homeowners for major home retrofits.
Unlike the grant, this money is not going to be reimbursed. Rather, homeowners need to pay it back. Nevertheless, they will not have to pay interest on the principal. This loan can be availed by a maximum of 200,000 homeowners.
This eliminates yet another hurdle that stops homeowners from investing in solar. Thanks to an interest-free loan, they can bear the initial cost of setting up a photovoltaic system and pay off the costs over time.
3. Solar Tax Credit Ontario
The government of Canada has proposed to introduce a refundable tax credit on capital investments on:
- Electricity production systems, like solar panels
- Low-carbon heating equipment
- Stationary electricity storage systems
This tax credit will be equal to 30 percent of the total cost of installing a solar power system till 2032. However, the credit amount will decrease after 2032, and homeowners can avail a 26 percent credit in 2033 and a 22 percent credit in 2034.
To claim the solar tax credit, you should owe some federal taxes or have your income withheld for taxes. Remember that this credit is not a cash rebate or reimbursement. You can claim it for the year in which you installed your solar power system and possibly carry over your unused credits to upcoming tax years.
How to Make the Most of Your Solar Energy System?
Once you have decided to invest in solar energy, you need to know how you can get the maximum benefit out of it. Making the most of your solar energy system requires careful planning, ongoing maintenance, and a willingness to use energy efficiently.
Here are a few key tips to help you optimize your solar energy system and ensure that you get the most out of your investment:
1. Conduct a Home Energy Audit
Before you install a solar energy system, it's a good idea to conduct a home energy audit to identify areas where you can reduce your energy consumption. This can include simple steps like switching to energy-efficient light bulbs, weatherizing your home, and installing low-flow showerheads. By reducing your energy consumption, you can reduce your reliance on the grid and maximize the benefits of your solar energy system.
2. Choose the Right Solar Panel System
When it comes to solar panel systems, one size does not fit all. The size and capacity of your solar energy system will depend on several factors, including your energy consumption, roof space, and budget. A professional solar energy consultant can help you determine the best system for your needs and provide recommendations for the type and number of panels, inverters, and batteries you need to optimize your energy production.
3. Monitor Energy Usage
Installing a monitoring system for your solar energy system is a great way to keep track of your energy consumption and production. This allows you to see how much energy you are using when you are using it and how much energy your solar panels are producing. This information can help you identify areas where you can reduce your energy consumption and make the most of your solar energy system.
4. Use Energy Efficiently
Making the most of your solar energy system also means using energy efficiently. This includes simple steps like turning off lights and electronics when they are not in use and using energy-efficient appliances. By reducing your energy consumption, you can reduce your reliance on the grid and maximize the benefits of your solar energy system.
5. Invest in Energy Storage
Energy storage systems, such as batteries, allow you to store excess energy generated by your solar panels during the day and use it when you need them. This not only helps you make the most of your solar energy system, but it also provides backup power in case of power outages.
6. Consider Time-of-Use (TOU) Rates
Some utility companies in Ontario offer time-of-use (TOU) rates, which charge different rates for electricity depending on the time of day and season. If you have a TOU rate plan, it may be worth shifting your energy consumption to times when electricity is cheaper. This can help you save money on your electricity bill and make the most of your solar energy system.
7. Regular Maintenance
Regular maintenance is an essential part of ensuring that your solar energy system continues to perform at its best. This includes cleaning your solar panels, checking for damage, and ensuring that all components are functioning properly. A professional solar energy company can provide regular maintenance services and help you keep your system in top condition.
Invest in Solar Panels in Ontario Today!
If you have made up your mind to avail the exciting incentives that Ontario offers on solar energy, make sure to check out the products at BLUETTI. We are one of the top companies in sustainable and solar energy to accelerate the global adoption of renewable energy technologies. Our solar panels, generators, portable devices, and accessories offer the highest energy at the lowest price on the market today!