Solar panels are undeniably the best source of electricity for any home – be it financially, ecologically, or for energy independence. And yet, despite its guaranteed and significant returns, a solar power system’s costs can keep a homeowner on the fence about going solar.
Fortunately, Canadian homeowners now have more reason to go solar, after last year’s announcement of the Canada Greener Homes Grant. The incentive offers up to $5,000 in rebates, while also offering interest-free loans for amounts up to $40,000. These figures make going solar surprisingly more attractive.
Let us learn about the grant in a bit more detail.
What is the Canada Greener Homes Grant?
Canada’s buildings and homes account for nearly a fifth of the nation’s total Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. Thankfully, a huge portion of these emissions is avoidable through a number of energy efficiency upgrades, which incidentally also save the building owners on energy expenses.
In May 2021, Natural Resources Canada (NRCAN) officially launched the Canada Greener Homes Grant to “help Canadians make energy-efficient upgrades to their homes, fight climate change and create good jobs — all while helping homeowners save on their monthly energy bills”. The Government has allotted a staggering $2.6 billion for the program, which will be handed out over the span of seven years, to 700,000 applicants.
Canada Greener Homes Grant Rebate
Homeowners choosing eligible home retrofits can claim a rebate from $125 to $5,000 depending on the type and size of the retrofit. Not just that, those planning on energy efficiency upgrades can also receive up to $600 toward the total costs of their pre-and post-retrofit EnerGuide evaluations.
Canada Greener Homes Grant Loans
The incentive also provides interest-free loans for amounts up to $40,000. With a repayment term of 10 years, homeowners can undertake major upgrades without breaking the bank.
Canada Greener Homes Grant for Solar
The greener homes grant awards the largest rebate amounts to people purchasing solar power systems. With a rebate amount of $1,000 per kW, homeowners can get up to $5,000 for their solar power system.
With the average system size being around 5 kW, this means most customers can get an incentive on their entire system size. While pricing varies based on several factors, the price of a standard 5 kW system is anywhere near $15,000-$17,000. This means the $5,000 incentive saves an impressive 30+% of the system’s cost.
Canada Greener Homes Grant Eligibility Criteria
Below are the eligibility criteria for the incentive.
To be eligible for the rebate, all equipment must be purchased in Canada. Online purchases are also eligible, with the condition that they must be ordered from a distributor located in Canada.
Solar Power System Size
For your solar system to qualify for the rebate, it must be at least 1 kW (DC) in size. Fortunately, most homeowners need more than this size, and thus most of them can be easily eligible.
For grid-tied systems, a copy of the letter of approval or permission for interconnection issued by the local electrical or building authority is required. At Green Integrations, we take care of this, and all the other necessary permits that are required for your system.
Naturally, the system is also required to be installed in accordance with local building and electrical requirements. One thing to note here is that the grant is available for both grid-tied and off-grid systems.
The Greener Homes Grant is available not only to brand new systems but can also be availed if you are making an addition to your existing system. For example, if you purchase an EV and decide to expand your solar power system in order to accommodate EV charging into it, you can still receive a grant for the newer solar panels and inverter.
Solar Panel Mounting
NRCAN has made the grant available to both roof-mounted and ground-mounted systems. While ground-mounted systems are less popular among homeowners due to their higher costs, they entice several buyers with their better performance and easier maintenance.
Greener Homes Grant Process
Here’s an excellent roadmap graphic from Natura Resources Canada about how a typical process for availing the grant would work.
Incentives for Commercial Solar Customers
As the name suggests, the Greener Home Grant is exclusive to homes in Canada and is not applicable to commercial customers. However, that does not mean commercial entities have no incentives for solar.
Businesses wanting to go solar can benefit from the Climate Action Incentive Fund (CAIF), which offers rebates of up to 25% of the system’s cost. The rebate amounts range from a minimum of $20,000 to a maximum of $250,000.
More About Canada Greener Homes Grant
The government started rolling out the incentive amounts to homeowners in 2021. In just seven months out of the planned seven-year lifespan, the program received applications for over 25 percent of its intended grants. Over 1 million dollars have already been sent to homeowners, and thousands of other applications are in process.
Solar power already saves striking amounts of money, and the incentive further improves the savings and slashes payback periods. This has led to its immense popularity, and it seems likely that the allotted funds may be over in less than half of the planned duration.
What this means for homeowners is this – there has never been a better time to go solar, and this too might be a short window of time. If you are interested in knowing how much money solar power and the greener homes grant will save you, talk to an expert today.