Home Solar in Ontario:

Local installers, tax credits, and rebates.

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Ontario is the most populous province in Canada. It is home to the city of Toronto, the largest city in Canada, and Ottawa, which is the province’s capital.

Ontario’s provincial government does not favor solar rebates and incentives. However, net metering programs, federal programs for businesses and the HELP program for Toronto residents can make it a favorable place for businesses and residents to invest in solar energy.

Solar Incentives

Ontario does not provide any solar energy rebates or incentives that help to reduce the overall cost of solar systems.

Our EnergyPal Advisors can help you navigate any local incentives in your area and also apply them to the available solar panel offerings.

Rebates and Tax Breaks

Unfortunately there are no rebates or tax incentives in Ontario. There may be some local ones in your town, so be sure to check.

Other Energy Incentives

First Nations customers who live on reserve can qualify for a free assessment and upgrade to energy-efficient home improvements.

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.

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. Ontario gets a poor 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.

Ontario’s Net Metering Program is good. Credits can be carried over into the next month, and you can connect a system of any size. Credits do expire at the end of a 12-month period.

Solar Setup Fees

Solar setup fees run the gamut in Ontario depending on your electricity provider. Some, like Hydro One, charge $1,700 for an interconnection study and a bi-directional meter, but others do not carry any fee.

Electricity Prices

Electricity prices in Ontario are on the low 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. So Ontario’s low prices are not an advantage.

The average total cost of electricity in Ontario is $0.125 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.

Ontario is above average when it comes to the quality of its electricity bill rate design. It has solar-friendly time-of-use rates but moderate fixed fees (around $21 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. The PACE program is available in many communities in Ontario.

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.

Ontario does not have a province-wide PACE program, but Toronto offers one called the Home Energy Loan Program (HELP). The program offers homeowners low-interest loans of up to $75,000 to cover improvements including solar hot water systems, solar panels, electric vehicle stations and battery storage.

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 Ontario. We regularly source the best deals and terms for customers.

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