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Incentive Programs

If concern for the future of our children, grandchildren our small planet is not enough to make you want to make a shift on how you source your home’s or business’s energy, then read further. Many Government jurisdictions (City, Provincial, State, and Federal governments) are helping citizens to find some energy solutions for our future by providing financial incentives to go Solar and Renewable.

Briefly, in the US the Federal Government has a 30% tax credit program for solar and wind energy. This applies much like the child tax credit on the final calculations on your IRS Form 1040. More details about this program and many other state incentive programs can be accessed at the website listed below.

In Canada there are also programs offered by the various Provinces. At this time March 2011 there are no federal incentive programs. The current party in power in Ottawa cancelled the Nat. Resource Canada, EcoEnergy Program last March 31st with 2 days notice. Almost every other leading world economic power has a renewable energy program. Why is Canada being left behind? It might have something to do with the Oils Sands, Prime Minister Harper being from Alberta and a general disregard for what the future is going to look like on the part of the current government. Sorry for being political, but it is playing a huge role in slowing Canada’s entry into future decentralized energy solutions.

Thankfully Ontario Power Authority has a very forward thinking Feed-In Tariff program where home owners receive 80 cents for every kilowatt hour their home power system generates. That rate assures their system is paid for in about 10 years and Ontario Power Authority avoids spending that kind of cost on new expensive generating capacity to meet peak power demands.

The following links provide more regional information about incentive programs.

  • United States:
    • US incentives are 30% tax credit up to $2500 for Residential solar hot water.  For solar or wind (up to 10 kW) electric there is a 30% tax credit with no limit.  These incentives are Congressionally authorized through 2016.
    • Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy (US Federal also)
  • Canada:
    • BC incentives have changed since 2010. Fortis customers still receive a $300 grant for solar hot water systems.  The Live Smart BC Program offers $125 toward solar hot water, and an equally small grant for a Grid connected solar electric system, but this program is only practical if the homeowner is doing other energy retrofit projects in conjunction with the solar.  The Live Smart program requires a pre and post energy audit costing in excess of $300 for both. This is not for new construction. If you think it should be contact your MLA.
    • Canadian Solar Industries Association (CANSIA) incentives pages

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