July 14th, 2024

Local couple praising rebate program after solar panel buy

By Mo Cranker on July 12, 2017.

Neville and Denise Palmer have decided to invest solar panels after the provincial government launched a rebate program to help Albertans afford them for their homes.--NEWS PHOTO MO CRANKER


Though he may not get to see the long-standing benefits, longtime Hatter Neville Palmer has decided to go green.

Last month the government of Alberta launched the Residential and Commercial Solar Program, which offers rebates to homeowners, businesses and non-profits that install solar photovoltaic systems.

Neville has lived in his Crescent Heights home for 25 years and now lives his wife Denise. He says the couple tries to do its part to help the environment.

“My wife is definitely the environmentally conscious one, but we both try to do our part when we can,” said Neville. “We went to a tradeshow in February here, and while we had talked about solar panels before, that’s when we decided we’d go for it. My brother is 84 and got one installed and swears by it.”

With the province offering 75 cents per kilowatt, and the city offering one dollar per kilowatt, the couple will receive roughly $8,300 off of the $16,000 price to buy the 4,770 kilowatt setup for their house. Neville says the rebate offered by both the city and province made his project possible.

“When I first looked into this, I said that I needed both of the grants,” he said. “I live on a fixed income, so that extra provincial grant that is now offered was that extra bit of incentive I needed.”

Neville, now 77, says he is not sure if he will get to see the full benefits from the solar panel system on his house in his life time, but wants to do it now while he can.

“I think it takes about 25 years to see the complete, full benefits from this and realistically I won’t be here,” he said. “I think it’s important for the older generations to look out in some ways for the younger ones. This is something I think needs to start, and I want to see more people talking about it because our earth is really important.”

Neville and Denise’s installation is being done by Terralta Inc, and director of operations Marcus Campbell says the dual grants have brought a sizable increase to the business.

“Now that there are city and provincial grants, we’ve got a lot of people booked,” he said. “Right now we’ve got about 25 people with residential properties getting installations in the city and the surrounding area. The phone is definitely ringing more now that there’s provincial funding.”

Campbell says the solar panels will take in more energy at certain times of the year, and less during other months.

“Winter is absolutely the toughest time of the year,” he said. “From November to February makes up about eight per cent of the energy the panels will create. The other months make up 92 per cent — we’ve set Neville up really well here. There will be months where he creates more energy than he uses, and those will help make up for the colder months.”

For more information about the new provincial grant, go to http://www.efficiencyalberta.ca/solar. For information on HAT Smart go to, http://www.medicinehat.ca/government/departments/utility-sustainability/hat-smart

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