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Solar panels grants

In January we let you know what to expect if you decide to go through a home energy audit. Today we'll have a look at what grants there are available should you choose to install a home solar power system.

Why solar energy?

The ultimate advantage of solar energy is of course its nature-friendliness. With more solar energy, less energy produced the conventional (dirty) way will have to be made. Another really cool aspect of the solar energy today is that it is very popular and widely subsidized by most of the developed countries' energy policies and Canada is no exception. So if you ever though of installing a few solar panels on your roof, right now would be a good time.

Preparation

Before we have a look at the grants themselves, don't forget that in order to qualify for both federal and provincial government grants, you have to go through the home energy audit. What does that means?

  • Don't start the installation of the solar panel system before the auditor's first evaluation visit.
  • Finish all the necessary work within 18 months after the evaluation.
  • Keep all the technical documentation, receipts and even take photos of your progress so that you make sure you will be able to claim all the grants you are eligible for.
  • Book the follow-up appointment.

The first energy audit visit costs $341.25 (inc. GST), the follow-up visit $157.50 (inc. GST). The Government will refund you $150 toward the cost of the first evaluation.

Federal and provincial grants

Basically you are eligible to parliament grants for both solar photovoltaic system (solar energy is converted into electricity) and solar thermal system (solar energy is used for heating water). The federal government provides a grant of up to $500, but only if the system meets CAN/CSA standards. This grant is available until the end of March 2011. As for the Ontario government, they will match the federal government grant, so that's $1000 altogether. Also you can claim a refund of the 8% RST from the Ontario government. If you would like to take an advantage of this opportunity, you should hurry up since currently you can only claim it on equipment purchased up until the end of this year. The refund deadline has been already extended from the end of 2007 and might not be extended again.

This surely is a great opportunity for all those who are thinking of environmentally-friendly living while taking advantage of available government funding.

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