Home Solar in Alberta:

Local installers, tax credits, and rebates.

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Alberta is a landlocked province in central Canada. As the country’s fourth most populated province, it is home to the large city of Calgary, the capital city of Edmonton and the famous resort town of Banff.

Alberta’s local government policies favor solar rebates and incentives. In addition to municipal rebates that help with upfront solar system costs, high energy prices make it a favorable place for businesses and residents to invest in solar energy.

Solar Incentives

Alberta provides multiple solar energy rebates and incentives that help to reduce the overall cost of solar systems.

Our EnergyPal Advisors can help you navigate all of the solar incentives available in Alberta and also apply them to the available solar panel offerings.

Just remember these items:

  • Per Watt Rebates

    Rebates in Alberta are given according to the size of your installed system, which is measured in watts. Watts is the measure of the potential output of your system, usually described in kilowatts.

  • Eligible Costs

    Rebate maximums are based on a percentage of your total eligible spend. The costs of materials and installation count towards eligible costs. Any taxes you may have paid do not count.

  • Installation Qualifications

    Your installation must meet certain qualifications to be eligible for rebates. One of these qualifications is that an Efficiency Alberta qualified installer must install your system using CSA-approved electric equipment. Don’t worry—our partners are all qualified installers.

  • Simple Rebate Applications

    We’ve screened our installation companies to make sure that they can and will handle all paperwork pertaining to rebates. We will make sure that you recieve the best rates possible.

Rebates and Tax Breaks

There is currently no province-wide solar incentive for Alberta. However, several local programs exist. If you live in Edmonton, you can get a rebate of $0.40 per watt for new solar power installations under the Change Homes for Climate program. The maximum rebate amount is $4,000 or 40% of your total system cost (up to $4,000).

Residents of Brazeau County can enjoy a rebate of $0.75 per watt for new solar power installations under the Municipal Energy Efficiency program. The maximum rebate amount is $10,000. Medicine Hat offers a rebate of $1.00 per watt for new solar power installations with the HAT Smart Rebate program. The maximum rebate amount is $6,000.

If you live in Edmonton and have a 9.08 kW system, your savings would look like this:

9080 watts x $0.40/watt = $3,632

So if you spent $20,000 on that system, your cost would go down to $18,368 after the rebate. If you live in Medicine Hat or Brazeau County, you would save even more! Check with your local municipality about its savings and tax incentives.

Other Energy Incentives

Find out about other residential rebate programs in Alberta by exploring the Efficiency Alberta Website.

The Canadian federal government helps businesses to pay for their solar systems. It can abolish the first-year rule and achieve an accelerated Capital Cost Allowance (CCA) rate. For more information, visit the tax savings for industry portion of their website.

The Albertan provincial government helps municipalities offer rebates of up to $0.90 per watt with the Alberta Municipal Solar Program as well.

Utility Policies

Utility policy factors determine what your utility provider pays you for the excess power you produce and what you save on your power bill by reducing electricity usage. Alberta gets a medium score for utility policies.

Interconnection Policy

One important policy for solar customers is called Net Metering. Net Metering is a billing mechanism that allows solar customers to push electricity to the grid for credit that can be used later, like at night when your solar panels aren’t generating power. This incentivizes people to go solar, provides clean energy for others to use and prevents waste.

Unfortunately, Alberta does not offer Net Metering. Instead, it offers net billing, where you are compensated for the energy you produce at a lesser amount than the retail cost of energy.

Solar Setup Fees

Alberta’s program does not charge for the installation of a bi-directional meter, which is required for net billing. Other provinces do charge this fee, which can be up to $1,000.

Electricity Prices

Electricity prices in Alberta are on the high end. Usually you don’t want high prices, but with solar, the higher the prices, the more you save, and the more economical a solar system becomes.

The average total cost of electricity in Alberta is $0.167 per kWh, including fixed and variable costs, and assuming a monthly usage of 1,000 kWh. Under similar assumptions, the Canadian national average for all provinces is $0.135 per kWh.

Rate Design

Rate designs are comprised of monthly fees and either a flat or tiered rate you pay for electricity. Good rate designs, which save you money when you conserve energy, are tiered and have low fixed monthly fees. Poor rate designs have flat rates and high fixed monthly fees.

Alberta is well below average when it comes to the quality of its electricity bill rate design. It has flat rates and high fixed fees (around $32 per month).

You still pay fixed monthly fees when you go solar because you are still tied to the grid. Being tied to the grid is a good thing, because otherwise you might not have power at night or if your system stopped working suddenly. Even if you go off of the grid and rely on a battery source, the high cost of the battery would not outweigh the low monthly fee and the savings obtained from a net billing program.

PACE Programs

PACE stands for Property Assessed Clean Energy and is a financing program for solar projects. For no money down, you can finance your solar system, but the low-interest, long-term loan is not attached to you; it’s attached to your home. It is paid back as a Local Improvement Charge (LIC) on your property tax bill. To qualify, you must own a certain portion of your home.

Currently, Alberta is in transition to a municipality-run PACE program, so stay tuned.

Other Energy Financing

Solar systems can be financed by bank loans, solar installer financing, new home mortgages, energy loans and home equity loans or lines of credit. Cash works too. Talk to your EnergyPal Advisor about financing solar options in Alberta. We regularly source the best deals and terms for customers.

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