As Canada progresses towards achieving a net-zero economy by 2050, additional measures such as rebates, incentives, and tax cuts are being introduced. We have compiled an extensive list of Canadian solar incentives available at the federal, provincial, and local levels.
Below, you can find the latest information on solar rebates and updated tax credits applicable to your area. This information can assist you in making informed decisions regarding solar energy adoption.
The federal government has rolled out solar incentives for both homeowners and businesses. It also offers investment tax credits in various clean energy sectors.
1) Residential Incentives
The Greener Homes program presents homeowners with an excellent opportunity to enhance the comfort of their houses and reduce living costs, all while contributing to Canada’s net-zero emissions goal. Through the Greener Homes Rebate, homeowners can receive up to $5,000 towards the installation and deployment of a roof or ground-mounted solar system.
Homeowners can also take advantage of a federal incentive that grants up to $40,000 in interest-free loans for the purchase of environmentally friendly retrofits. These retrofits may include items such as solar panels, more energy-efficient furnaces, or improved sealing for windows and doors. Moreover, homeowners have the opportunity to receive a complimentary energy audit to identify the upgrades that would result in the greatest savings.
2) Business Incentives
For commercial producers of renewable electricity, the Accelerated Capital Cost Allowance enables them to reduce their taxable income. The enhanced allowance offers a 100 percent deduction that gradually decreases over time. This commercial incentive is applicable only to property subject to the Capital Cost Allowance (CCA) rules.
Businesses can also take advantage of the Canadian Renewable Conservation Expense (CRCE), which allows for the deduction of startup expenditures incurred in clean energy conservation or generation. If the majority of tangible property in a claim is eligible for inclusion in Class 43.1 or 43.2, certain intangible expenses, including engineering and design work, may also be eligible for deduction.
Lastly, businesses should take note of the Investment Tax Credit (ITC). Under this refundable incentive scheme, businesses can receive up to 30% of the capital investment cost for eligible technologies. Eligible technologies encompass solar and wind power, zero-emission vehicles, clean hydrogen, and energy storage.
Provincial and Local Incentives
In addition to federal incentives, provincial and local governments across Canada are helping individuals and businesses who want to go solar. The most notable of these incentives are highlighted below.
In Ontario, a centralized solar incentive or financing program is lacking, but there are a few targeted incentives available. An example is the First Nations Conservation Program, which provides free efficiency upgrades for on-reserve customers.
To support low-rise residential properties, Ontario has allocated $300 million towards an initiative that enables municipalities to offer financing solutions. Ontario municipalities use various financing models such as PACE, utility on-bill financing, and third-party lending partnerships.
Unfortunately, only two PACE programs are currently available in the province, both located in the City of Toronto. The Home Energy Loan Program (HELP) is specifically for single-family homes and has a capped amount of $75,000, with a maximum repayment period of 20 years.
Another program called the High-Rise Retrofit Improvement Support Program (Hi-RIS) aims to assist apartment building owners in reducing emissions by upgrading to sustainable and quality infrastructure.
In British Columbia, there is currently no provincial rebate for solar installations. However, there is a provincial sales tax exemption, although it only covers a portion of the installation cost. Instead of a centralized program, various regional solar incentives are available.
The Regional District of Nanaimo is offering rebates ranging from $250 to $400 for solar PV, solar thermal, geothermal, or wind systems. These rebates are limited and operate on a first-come, first-serve basis. Applicants must provide documentation to prove their address falls within the Nanaimo area.
While there is no centralized financing system in British Columbia, some municipalities offer specialized loan programs specifically for solar adoption. For instance, the city of Nelson has the Bill Financing Program, allowing homeowners to borrow up to $16,000 for solar adoption. Homeowners repay the loan through their Nelson hydroelectric bill.
Similarly, the city of Penticton offers a loan that can be repaid through a homeowner’s electric bill, with a maximum loan amount of $10,000. These financing programs are beneficial but not comprehensive, as eligibility depends on individual creditworthiness, unlike a true PACE program.
Alberta is considered one of the top locations in Canada for transitioning to renewable energy, despite the discontinuation of the province’s centralized solar incentive program.
With ideal lighting conditions and numerous regional incentives, homeowners can make the switch to green energy. The Home Energy Retrofit Accelerator (HERA) program in Edmonton provides a subsidy of $0.40 per watt for solar installations, covering a significant portion of the upfront cost.
Another beneficial program in Alberta is Solar Offset, which allows businesses to connect with small-scale solar panel owners to reduce their carbon footprint. The program facilitates the conversion of clean energy into carbon offsets, which can be purchased to generate income for homeowners.
For residential, farm, and small commercial customers in Alberta, the Light Up Alberta – Solar Club Loyalty Program offers competitive rates for surplus energy sales and a 2.0% cash back on imported electricity from the grid. The program allows members to choose between a high-export rate during surplus energy generation or a low-export rate during periods of increased energy consumption.
Alberta businesses that aim to embrace clean energy can benefit from the availability of substantial subsidies. Emissions Reduction Alberta extends financial support of up to $250,000 per project for small and medium-sized enterprises, with a maximum limit of $500,000 per company.
The use of these funds is highly flexible. The most common applications include improvements to HVAC systems, upgrades to fans and pumps, installation of LED lighting systems, adoption of solar panel technology, and development of automation systems. Eligible applicants for this monetary incentive include businesses, non-profit organizations, co-operatives, registered farming enterprises, and private schools without access to government funding.
Nova Scotia homeowners have the opportunity to receive a rebate for installing solar panels in their homes. The Solar Homes program allows eligible individuals to claim $0.30/watt of installed solar panels, up to a maximum of $3,000.
Furthermore, the province offers the Solar for Non-Profit Pilot, which provides incentives for eligible organizations to install solar PV systems of up to 25 kW.
Another incentive available in Nova Scotia is the Home Battery Initiative, encouraging the use of home battery storage systems alongside solar PV systems. Participants can receive a rebate of $300/kWh of total installed energy capacity, up to a maximum of $2,500.
Additionally, residents of cities like Halifax, Amherst, and Bridgewater can take advantage of the PACE solar financing program. This program offers a $0 down, low-interest loan for solar installation. Repayment for the loan is done conveniently through a surcharge attached to the homeowner’s property tax bill.