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Solar Tax Credits, Incentives and Solar Rebates in British Columbia
Latest Update:by Simone Garneau
|Solar Value Index||$569|
|Solar Energy Produced||5,527 kWh / year|
|Average retail electricity price (2016 data)||10.29 cents / kWh|
|Average annual consumption per household (2014 data)||12,264 kWh|
|Installed solar PV capacity (2014 data)||2.8 MW|
|Levelized Cost||13.93 cents / kWh|
|Reached grid parity?||Not yet|
|Solar Installer||City||Sunmetrix Solar Score||Sunmetrix Cashback|
|Novo Solar Solutions||Burnaby||$300|
British Columbia residents might be more environmentally conscious than the average Canadian, but residential solar power has not yet taken off on the west coast. However, the largest commercial PV installation outside of Ontario began operating in Kimberley, British Columbia in June 2015, marking the first time the BC Hydro grid has bought solar electricity. The 1.05 MW system is performing better than expected, producing enough electricity to power about 275 homes.
At 10.29 cents/ kWh, the electricity prices in the province are below the national average of 12.2 cents / kWh. When it comes to average electricity consumption per household, residents of this province consume 12,264 kWh per year, below the national average of 13,300 kWh.
Although the cost of solar power in the province didn't reach grid parity yet, the incentives listed below can significantly increase the affordability of solar energy.
- Regional District of Nanaimo Renewable Energy System Incentive $250
This program enables homeowners in RDN Electoral Areas and the District of Lantzville to save money while upgrading to energy efficient technology in their home. Homeowners that install a solar PV system are eligible to receive the $250 incentive. In addition, effective April 1, 2015, a $400 rebate is available for renewable energy systems that require and obtain a development variance permit. Please include the development variance permit in your submission.
- PST Tax Exemption
The following materials and equipment are exempt from PST: Solar photovoltaic collector panels, and wiring, controllers, and devices that convert direct current into alternating current, when they are sold with, and as part of, a system that includes solar photovoltaic collector panels. Solar thermal collector panels, and wiring, pumps, tubing, and heat exchangers, when they are sold with, and as part of, a system that includes solar thermal collector panels.
- BC Hydro Net Metering Program
Our net metering program is designed for residential and commercial customers who want to connect a small electricity generating unit to the BC Hydro distribution system. Generating units up to 100 kW in capacity that use a clean or renewable resource are eligible to participate in the program. As a net metering customer with a smart meter, when you generate more electricity than you use, you receive a credit to your account that is applied against your future electricity use. At your anniversary date, if you have an excess generation credit remaining on your account, BC Hydro will pay you at the published rate of 9.99 cents per kWh.
- Unfortunately, there are no federal incentives for residential solar PV projects in Canada. However, if you own a business, the following programs may be applicable.
- Capital Cost Allowance (CCA) Renewable Energy
The Government of Canada makes clean energy projects, such as solar energy, wind energy and energy from waste, more fiscally attractive for industry by providing business income tax incentives. Under Classes 43.1 and 43.2 in Schedule II of the Income Tax Regulations, certain capital costs of systems that produce energy by using renewable energy sources or fuels from waste, or conserve energy by using fuel more efficiently are eligible for accelerated capital cost allowance. Under Class 43.1, eligible equipment may be written-off at 30 percent per year on a declining balance basis. In general, equipment that is eligible for Class 43.1 but is acquired after February 22, 2005 and before year 2020 may be written-off at 50 percent per year on a declining balance basis under Class 43.2.
- Canadian Renewable and Conservation Expenses (CRCE)
CRCE is designed to encourage commercial investments in clean energy generation and energy conservation projects by providing income tax incentives for certain start-up expenses associated with these projects.
- Average monthly electricity consumption data is from the Canadian Electricity Association (2014 data).
- Average retail electricity prices are based on studies published by Manitoba Hydro and the annual Hydro Quebec report "Comparison of Electricity Prices in Major North American Cities" and is based on 1,000 kWh/month consumption.
- Annual solar production estimates are based on the analysis performed using our own solar energy calculator, Sunmetrix Discover.
- Installed solar PV capacity figures are from Natural Resources Canada's report entitled "Photovoltaic Technology Status and Prospects: Canadian Annual Report (2015)".
- The national average for utility rates in Canada excludes the rates in Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
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- We will find you up to 3 installers in your area to provide free, no-obligation quotes.
- See their consumer reviews and compare cashback deals - up to $500.
- Select your solar company, complete your installation, and we will send you cashback, with a smile!
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1. Defined Terms.
a. Program Website: http://sunmetrix.com/
b. INSTALLER: The solar PV installation company either selected by the QUOTE-REQUESTER or by Sunmetrix.
c. QUOTE-REQUESTER is a potential residential solar customer that meets all of the following criteria: (1) owns his or her own house in a state/province where the INSTALLER operates; (2) is a legal resident of the United States or Canada; (3) is 18 years of age or older; and (4) otherwise meets Sunmetrix’s requirements, as may be updated by Sunmetrix from time to time.
d. REFERRAL FEE: The amount the INSTALLER agrees to pay Sunmetrix upon completion of the residential INSTALLATION. For U.S. companies, the indicated amount is in U.S. dollars. For Canadian companies, the indicated amount is in Canadian dollars. In the case of commercial solar quote requests, the referral fee is determined on case by case basis.
e. CASH-BACK: The amount paid to the QUOTE-REQUESTER, representing 50% of the REFERRAL FEE paid upon completion of the residential solar photo-voltaic INSTALLATION. For U.S. residents, the indicated CASH-BACK amount is in U.S. dollars, and the CASH-BACK will be sent electronically either with a PayPal Payment or with an Amazon eGift Card. For Canadian residents, the indicated CASH-BACK amount is in Canadian dollars, and the CASH-BACK will be sent electronically with an Interac e-Transfer.
f. INSTALLATION: The solar photo-voltaic INSTALLATION is for a residential system with a minimum installed capacity of 2 kW DC. Systems that are less than the minimum will not qualify for the CASH-BACK program.