FAQ

WHAT DOES THE ALBERTA SUBSIDY MEAN FOR ME?

 

Rebates to help Albertans tap solar resources

The Alberta government is creating a $36-million rebate program for solar installation on residential and also commercial buildings.

Minister Shannon Phillips helps install solar panels at Gridworks Solar Energy Training Centre

Homeowners, businesses and non-profit organizations will receive rebates for rooftop solar panels. Installations must meet the Residential and likewise Commercial Solar Program.  Rebates start as early as this summer.

“There’s a lot of buzz in Alberta around small-scale solar. This program will make solar power affordable for more Albertans, leading to new panels on 10,000 Alberta rooftops by 2020. Along the way, we will create jobs and in addition local expertise in an emerging industry.”

Shannon Phillips, Minister of Environment and Parks and Minister Responsible for the Climate Change Office

Solar power in Alberta

Solar has doubled in Alberta since 2015, bolstered by initiatives like the Alberta Municipal Solar Program and the On-Farm Solar PV Program. Because over the next five years, the Residential and Commercial Solar Program will build on these existing programs. By 2019, the new program is expected to:

  • support the creation of 900 jobs in Alberta’s solar sector
  • cut solar installation costs by up to 30 per cent for residences, and up to 25 per cent for businesses and non-profits
  • reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the province by about a half million tonnes, the equivalent of taking 100,000 passenger vehicles off the road

Access to solar power rebates

To ensure Albertans receive timely access, the government is posting a Request for Proposal to identify a third party to deliver the new program. Details will be defined in coming months, including qualifying systems, installation and eligibility requirements.

“The Energy Efficiency Advisory Panel heard that Albertans wanted this program. The Prairies have the best solar resources in Canada, and there are a lot of potential investment opportunities. This is the first of several programs that will help create jobs and also diversify Alberta’s into clean sources of energy.”  -David Dodge, Chair, Energy Efficiency Alberta

“Albertans are ready to go solar, with growing demand, a world-class solar resource and an eager and capable solar industry. A sustained government push has been the missing piece for creating local jobs in addition to clean energy in our province.”  -Rob Harlan, Executive Director, Solar Energy Society of Alberta

“We are proud to play a continued role in giving workers the tools they need to thrive in the province’s growing renewables sector. Together, we are building a stronger, more prosperous economy for all Albertans.”  -Randall Benson, Solar Photovoltaic Power System Expert, Gridworks Solar Energy Training Centre

The Residential and Commercial Solar Program is a reinvestment of the carbon levy.

Quick facts on Solar Energy in Alberta

  • “Solar photovoltaic” is the scientific term for cells that convert sunlight into electricity.
  • Non-profits interested in applying must be registered under the Federal Business Corporations Act and be       incorporated and also in good-standing under the Societies Act of Alberta, the Agriculture Societies Act, Companies. *Act – Part 9, or the Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act
  • On Dec. 21, 2016, the Government of Alberta amended the Micro-generation Regulation to provide more flexible rules for Albertans generating their own electricity. This increased the size limit of a micro-generation system from one megawatt to five megawatts and allows a solar array to serve adjacent sites (especially helpful for operations with more than one building).

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IF OUR FAMILY SWITCHES TO OFF-GRID SOLAR POWER, WHAT LIFESTYLE CHANGES WILL WE NEED TO MAKE?

 

This is the most FAQ I hear!

The answer? Stop sending your money to your local utility company, additionally get ready to start living with energy freedom!

Living off-grid doesn’t mean giving up modern conveniences or for that matter your lifestyle. It simply means becoming more aware of the energy you use, additionally becoming your own energy provider. When this happens, you’ll find you start to use energy more wisely and efficiently.

 

HOW LARGE OF A SYSTEM DO I NEED?

Well, that depends on how much power you’re using day-to-day, and season-to-season. Some questions to ask yourself are:

  • What do you want to run? Your lights, water pump, TV, computer, fridge, microwave, also other amenities?
  • Where do you live in the country? Your local weather, latitude, in addition to the amount of solar insolation you receive all make a difference.

The more information you can provide us with, the better we can understand your needs and therefore make proper recommendations. Therefore there is no point in you guessing which system might be right for you we are always happy to figure it out for you!

WHAT IS THE BEST SOLAR MOUNT FOR MY SYSTEM?

We offer quite a few solar mount options. As always, we recommend reaching out to us so we can better guide you through the solar mount types and the best option for you. This resource is a good place to start.

WHY SHOULD I SWITCH TO A SOLAR POWERED BATTERY?

Solar battery chargers are an off-grid investment. Solar batter chargers make it possible to stop relying on big power companies that rack up your bills each month and to start relying more on the natural sunlight for free!

Solar power provides an unlimited amount of reasons why everyone should be taking advantage of it. 

On a wider scale, solar energy is non-polluting and is renewable. 

WHY SHOULD I SWITCH TO A SOLAR ENERGY PANELS?

Solar panels absorb energy from one of the most powerful and free forces – the sun. The panels absorb the light and convert it into electricity. There are two types of solar panels, photovoltaic panels that produce electricity and solar thermal panels that can be used for heat.

The price of solar panels is decreasing each year, and using them can save you money as the energy your solar panels produce is completely free! You can even make money on the excessive energy you produce by selling the energy back to the grid. Furthermore, there are little maintenance fees involved as solar panels can last up to 30 years!

DO SOLAR PANELS INCREASE PROPERTY VALUE?

 

YOU BET!  Homeowners will be pleased to know that adding solar panels to your home can be a huge adder to your property value. Plus, solar energy will save you money from your energy bill each month. In addition, the investment that you make in solar, will add its exact property value–or more–to your home, should you decide to sell it later on.

HOW DO I CHOOSE THE BEST SYSTEM FOR ME?

There are many brands and models to choose from but a few factors to keep in mind, other than cost. A solar panel system is a long term investment, hence there are many aspects other than the price that you should take into account. Read our tips to help you choose what solar system/brand you’ll need.

HOW MANY SOLAR PANELS WILL I NEED?

The answer is pretty complex, and frankly, most people approach it from the wrong angle when they start to look into solar.

The best place to start is to evaluate your current energy use based on past electric bills. Past usage data is the best baseline to figure out how many panels you will need.

Lifestyle, climate and panel efficiency all play a role in figuring out the size of your solar system.

 

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