Solar Tax Credits, Incentives and Solar Rebates in Northwest Territories
Summary Data for Northwest Territories
Residents of the Northwest Territories may face a considerable amount of darkness in the winter months, but the long days of summer mean that solar energy can still be a useful source of power, one that reduces the dependency on diesel engines. Not only is diesel expensive, but it also pollutes. Solar power provides an alternative and environmentally-friendly source of power during the summer months. With new incentives promoting clean energy, the Northwest Territories has seen a surge in the number of solar PV systems.
At 29.65 cents/ kWh, the electricity prices in the province are above the national average of 12.61 cents / kWh. When it comes to average electricity consumption per household, residents of this province consume 10,560 kWh per year, below the national average of 13,300 kWh.
Northwest Territories is a grid parity province, making solar power cheaper than the residential utility rates. The incentives listed below can significantly reduce the cost of installation of solar panels for your home or business.
- The Alternatives Energy Technology Program (AETP)
The program assists NWT residents and businesses to integrate commercially available, clean energy technologies into their operations. The fund is intended to reduce fuel use, and lower the cost of operations. The Residential Renewable Energy Fund (RREF) is available to assist NWT residents to integrate commercially available, clean energy technologies on their property, building or other assets for the purpose of reducing fuel usage. RREF provides funding of up to one-third of the cost of qualified renewable energy systems. The maximum amount available to any recipient is $5,000 per year. The Business Renewable Energy Fund (BREF) is available to assist NWT commercial businesses including off-grid lodges and camps to integrate commercially available, clean energy technologies into their operations. The fund is intended to reduce fuel use and lower the cost of operations in remote locations where fuel prices and carbon footprints are high. BREF provides funding of up to one-third of the cost of qualified renewable energy systems. The maximum amount available per applicant is $15,000 per year. The Community Renewable Energy Program (CREP) provides funding to community and Aboriginal governments, GNWT departments, boards and agencies, and non-profit organizations. Funding is available to assist community-based installations of alternative energy systems or the conversion of an existing conventional energy system to alternative energy technology. Renewable energy projects may receive funding of up to one-half (50%) of the project cost, up to $21,000 per year.
- Net Metering
Northland Utilities and Northwest Territories Power Corporation both offer Net Metering to their customers. Net Metering allows customers to accumulate energy credits monthly for any excess electricity they produce to be used against those months when their usage exceeds their production. Customers in Net Metering receive a credit in kilowatt hours equal to the excess energy, calculated at the full retail rate. If in the event there are any credits left at the end of the Net Metering cycle on March 31, they will be reset to zero.
- 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).
- Utility rates for the provinces are based on a study published by Hydro Quebec. Rates in effect in April 2017. Source: Comparison of Electricity Prices in Major North American Cities. Utility rates for the territories are based on residential rate data as reported by Qulliq Energy Corporation (as displayed on 27 September 2016); Northwest Territories Power Corporation (effective 1 October 2017); Yukon Housing Corporation (effective 1 July 2016).
- Annual solar production estimates are based on the analysis performed using our own solar energy calculator, Sunmetrix Discover.
- Default installation cost is estimated to be $3/watt (in Canadian dollars).
- The estimated lifetime of solar panels is 25 years for the purposes of calculating the Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE).
- 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 the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
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