As of April 1, 2012 there will be one solar rebate available via the stand-alone ENSC solar rebate program. The solar rebates under Performance Plus and ecoENERGY / EnerGuide for Houses will no longer be available.
Current Solar Rebate:
This is the same stand-alone solar rebate that has existed for years and will continue with the following rebates province wide:
1. $1,250 for residential solar domestic water heating**
2. $500 for residential solar air heating
3. 15% rebate for commercial solar water and solar air systems
** For anyone participating in HRM Solar City, the rebate applications will be submitted by HRM to ENSC. The $1,250 rebate will then be provided directly to HRM from ENSC for each installation. Anyone not participating in HRM Solar City, will be required to submit their pre-approval and rebate application forms directly to ENSC.
Although the rebates under this program are the same, there are important changes to this program:
a. Pre-approval is required - As of April 1, 2012 homeowners and businesses must be pre-approved for a solar rebate in advance of purchasing and installing their system. This pre-approval involves sending in a Pre-Approval Application Form (attached) to ENSC, and then obtaining approval from ENSC. At that point ENSC will provide approval for the rebate, budget permitting. Once approval is given, applicants will have 12-months to purchase and install their system, and send all required documents to ENSC. The main reason for this change is to allow ENSC to properly manage the committed solar budget. This also protects the applicant by having ENSC guarantee funds for a given amount of time. Anyone who has already been pre-approved, won’t have to worry if the program and/or funding were to change.
For those homeowners and businesses that are currently in the stages of installing their solar systems, ENSC does require that they also submit the pre-approval application form to ENSC. This applies to all solar installations that have not yet sent their final documentation to ENSC for the rebate.
Finally, we understand that commercial systems often take longer than 12 months to install. In these cases we will review the timeline indicated for the installation, and if we do have the ability to provide an extension over and above the 12 months, then we will provide a revised date by which we must receive all documents. This will be based on the availability of funds, and the timeline by which ENSC is able to commit to providing these funds.
Please be sure to contact us should you have any additional questions about the new pre-approval process for the solar rebate.
b. Commercial projects must provide estimated savings – As part of the commercial pre-approval applications, anticipated energy savings must be provided. We would expect that this be completed by using RETScreen, but any similar analysis providing an estimate of energy savings will suffice.
c. Maximum rebate for commercial systems – Previously, the maximum rebate for commercial systems was capped at a $20,000 rebate. Under the new program structure there is no maximum, rather, the program will continue to approve all solar applications as received, budget permitting.
As you may be aware, solar water heating rebates and solar-ready rebates were previously available under ENSC’s program for new residential construction (Performance Plus). As of January 15, 2012 these solar-specific rebates ended. For homes with Performance Plus numbers below 1500, homeowners are still eligible for the additional solar rebates, as those rebates were available at the time of their application. However, for all builders and homeowners registering in the Performance Plus program now, although there are no specific rebates for solar water heating, solar can still influence the rebates available to the homeowner. All Performance Plus rebates are now based on the home’s final EnerGuide rating, and as solar domestic water heating (for example) will improve the home’s rating, it could help homeowners to obtain rebates under this program.
ecoENERGY / EnerGuide for Houses Program
As of April 1, 2012, ENSC’s EnerGuide for Houses program has been changed to the Home Energy Assessment program. This program will still involve home energy assessments; however, rebates will now focus exclusively on the building envelope, including improvements made to insulation, air sealing, windows and doors.
Homeowners and landlords who had their initial energy audit before April 1, 2012, and who are still within their 18 month period (from the first audit date), will have up until December 31, 2012 to complete their upgrades, have their final energy assessment and still be eligible for rebates that were available at the time of their first energy audit (including $1,250 for solar water heating if offsetting electric heat).
Homeowners who have their initial energy audit April 1, 2012 and after, will be eligible for the new ENSC building-envelope rebates, and will have up to 12 months to complete their upgrades and have their final energy audit.
If you have any questions/comments regarding the changes to solar and the EnerGuide program, please contact us