Home Solar in Nova Scotia:

Local installers, tax credits, and rebates.

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Nova Scotia is a small but populous province in eastern Canada. As the country’s second most populated province, it is home to the city of Halifax, the third largest metropolitan area in Canada.

Nova Scotia provincial government policies favor solar rebates and incentives. In addition to rebates that help with upfront solar system costs, higher energy prices make it a favorable place for businesses and residents to invest in solar energy.

Solar Incentives

Nova Scotia 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 Nova Scotia and also apply them to the available solar panel offerings.

Just remember these items:

  • Per Watt Rebates

    Rebates in Nova Scotia 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 Nova Scotia 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

The SolarHomes Program, which is administered by Efficiency Nova Scotia, is the principal solar incentive in the province of Nova Scotia. Residential property owners who belong to this incentive program can earn a cash rebate of $0.60 per watt for solar power installations of at least 1 kW. The maximum rebate amount is $6,000 or 25% of your total system cost (up to $6,000).

If you had a 9.08 kW system, your savings would look like this:

9080 watts x $0.60/watt = $5,488

So if you spent $20,000 on that system, your cost would go down to $14,512 after the rebate.

Other Energy Incentives

Find out about other residential rebate programs in Nova Scotia by exploring the Efficiency Nova Scotia website.

The Nova Scotia provincial government helps businesses to pay for their solar systems. It can abolish the first year rule and achieve up to a 100% Capital Cost Allowance (CCA) rate. For more information, visit the business portion of their website.

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. Nova Scotia 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.

Some provinces have poorer net metering policies than others, meaning that credits may not be able to be rolled over to the next month or year, or that you don’t earn full watt-for-watt credit for your excess energy.

Nova Scotia’s Net Metering program is good. Credits can be carried over into the next month, and you can connect a system up to 100 kW in size. Also, at the end of the year, you are paid for any reasonable excess credits in actual cash.

Solar Setup Fees

Unless you already have a bi-directional meter (necessary for Net Metering), Nova Scotia’s program charges you about $250 to install one. Other provinces do not carry this fee.

Electricity Prices

Electricity prices in Nova Scotia 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 Nova Scotia is $0.15 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.

Nova Scotia is about average when it comes to the quality of its electricity bill rate design. It has flat rates but low fixed fees (around $11 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 metering program.

PACE Programs

PACE stands for Property Assessed Clean Energy and is a financing program for solar projects. The PACE program is available in many communities in Nova Scotia.

For zero-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.

The Nova Scotian government Clean Energy Financing process involves scheduling a home energy assessment, signing a financing agreement, planning and acquiring quotes for your solar project, and of course completing and evaluating the project.

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 Nova Scotia. We regularly source the best deals and terms for customers.

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