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The Greener Home Incentive Is Gone: New Solar Rebates for Homeowners

One of the best solar panel incentives in Canada is going through some changes. The Greener Homes Grant was created by the federal government in December 2020 to encourage homeowners to make environmentally-minded improvements to their properties. Before completing their upgrades, homeowners were able to have their homes inspected by an energy advisor to determine their energy efficiency. After the improvements were completed, the home would be re-evaluated and the owner could apply for a grant of up to $5,000 with an additional $600 to help cover the energy evaluations. Eligible home upgrades included heat pumps, windows and doors, home insulation, and solar panel installation. 

Canada Greener Homes Grant

Results and Changes 

Over its almost four-year run, the program has issued more than $700 million in grants to more than 165,000 homeowners in Canada. Of the home improvements eligible for the grant, solar panels were the 5th most popular, with heat pumps taking the number one spot. 

Although the program has paused new applications for now, it will likely start again with new eligibility rules and potentially a new name. The potential for changes comes as the Government of Canada expressed interest in focusing future grants towards low-medium income households to better offset the major costs of some eligible upgrades. It was noted that although the grant offered a total rebate of $5,600 to eligible homeowners, the average cost of a heat pump is over $13,000, leaving many households burdened with covering the remaining costs themselves. 

Current Solar Panel Installation Incentives for Homeowners and Businesses

Although the Greener Homes Initiative is ending, there are still other ways for homeowners to cash in on solar rebates and incentives. The Greener Homes Loan offers homeowners a maximum of $40,000 to be paid back over 10 years for eligible projects, including solar panel installation. Another government-minded incentive is the Alternative Energy Sources PST Exemption which could take off 7% of the cost of installing a solar photovoltaic system. If you’re lucky enough to live in Nanaimo or Lantzville, you may also qualify for the Renewable Energy Systems Rebate for $250 back for your solar hot water or solar photovoltaic systems. For those considering the type of system to install, opting for a grid-tied solar system is a simple way to essentially “sell” any excess energy generated back to the city for credit. That means any time you need to pull power your system gave to the grid, you won’t have to pay for it. For businesses, not-for-profits, and Indigenous groups, the Government has introduced new tax provisions that could allow for up to 30% of your solar panel system to be expensed.

It is sad to see the Greener Homes Incentive go, there are many solar rebates and incentives available in British Columbia and across Canada, with more likely to pop up as the Canadian Government continues to promote renewable energy sources. 


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