By Gillian Slade on February 28, 2017.
A $36-million rebate program to encourage solar installations on residential and commercial buildings was announced by the provincial government on Monday.
“This program will make solar power affordable for more Albertans, leading to new panels on 10,000 Alberta rooftops by 2020,” said Minister of Environment and Parks Shannon Phillips. “Along the way, we will create jobs and local expertise in an emerging industry.”
Details of how to qualify for a rebate and what the rebate will be are still to be announced.
A local company supplying solar energy equipment says the program is good news but details are what is needed.
“What we would have liked to have seen today are actual details of the program,” said Marcus Campbell, director of operations, Terralta Inc., a local solar energy equipment supplier. “It still leaves us in a holding pattern.”
The minister’s announcement reinforces that the program is in the works, and that is good news, said Campbell. Financial details of rebates would be very welcome because that is what many people are waiting for before making an investment in solar panels.
“More specifics,” said Campbell. “There’s going to be an influx of phone calls today but we’re not going to be able to give them the answers.”
A request for proposals to deliver the government’s program is being posted, a press release states.
“Details will be defined in coming months, including qualifying systems, installation and eligibility requirements,” the press release states. “The provincial government’s residential and commercial solar program is a reinvestment of the carbon levy.”
Campbell has high praise for the city’s HatSmart program.
“Jaret Dickie and his staff have done a wonderful job facilitating that program,” said Campbell.
HatSmart’s solar electric panels program has a minimum installation requirement with an incentive equal to $1,000 per kW to a maximum rebate amount of $5,000. Additional information is available online: http://www.medicinehat.ca/index.aspx?page=1893
People asking about the HatSmart solar panels rebate typically also want details of the provincial scheme, said Jaret Dickie superintendent, electricity utility. They may get quotes but hold back waiting for the provincial announcement details.
Since 2015, the interest in solar energy in Alberta has doubled, according to a press release. By 2019, the program is expected to create about 900 jobs in the solar sector.
The cost of solar installation is expected to decrease by about 30 per cent for residences and up to 25 per cent for businesses and the not-for-profit sector. This is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Alberta by about half million tonnes, or the equivalent of removing about 100,000 passenger vehicles from the road.
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