New Solar Program Helps Nova Scotians Save Money on Energy Bills

Nova Scotia homeowners looking to save money on their electricity bills by installing solar panels will soon have a more affordable option.

Minister of the Public Service Commission Tony Ince, on behalf of Energy Minister Geoff MacLellan, and MP Darren Fisher on behalf of Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna, announced today, June 25, details of the new SolarHomes Program.

“By adding solar to their homes, Nova Scotian families can cut their energy bills today, while having more energy choices and more control over their energy future,” said Mr. Ince. “Our province continues to be a national leader in fighting climate change, and this new program will build on our successes for the economic and environmental benefit of all Nova Scotians.”

“The environment and the economy go together. Through the Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund, we are joining forces with provinces and territories to improve quality of life from coast to coast to coast,” said Mr. Fisher. “That’s why we are supporting the SolarHomes program, to help Nova Scotia homeowners save money on energy bills and support good middle-class jobs, while meeting our climate commitments.”

On average, a solar electricity system can save homeowners about $1,300 per year.

Under the program, homeowners will receive a $1 per watt rebate, or roughly 30 per cent of the installation cost of a solar electricity system. The average rebate will be about $7,000 and the maximum rebate will be $10,000.

Dartmouth-based Thermo Dynamics expects to expand its solar manufacturing and installation business to help meet demand created by the new program.

“We are going to start manufacturing solar electricity equipment, in addition to our solar thermal operations,” said Paul Sajko, general manager of Thermo Dynamics. “It’s a multi-million-dollar investment that will create dozens of jobs, but now is the right time to go for it.” 

The program will be administered by Efficiency Nova Scotia.

“This is another great offering for homeowners who want to reduce their carbon foot print and increase their control of the kind of energy they use,” said Stephen MacDonald, CEO of EfficiencyOne, operator of the Efficiency Nova Scotia franchise. “Making residential solar more affordable is another example of the good things efficiency brings.”

Program funding comes from the Government of Canada’s commitment of $14 million per year for four years to Nova Scotia from the Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund. The province is investing $3 million a year for four years to support the fund, and through residential electricity rates Nova Scotians are currently investing over $15 million a year for programs that increase renewable energy use and make homes more energy efficient.

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