Brian Spencer of Victoria recently took advantage of the Solar CRD incentives to have a hot water system installed by MD Energy Solutions

Solar CRD incentives increased for larger systems

Last chance to access hot water and other subsidies for solar improvements to residential or business properties

Solar Colwood and Solar CRD have been offering incentives for residents and local businesses to make the switch to solar for some time now, but a recent increase in the amounts on offer could cause a few more people to see the light.

“With the New Year upon us,” says the release from the Capital Regional District (CRD) office of Corporate Communications, “residents and businesses in the CRD can lead the way in solar hot water technology by taking advantage of the remaining solar hot water incentives through the Solar CRD program.”

In Colwood, through the Solar Colwood program, residential property owners are eligible to receive up to $3,000 for installing a solar hot water heater or up to $4,000 for installing an electric vehicle charging station.

Businesses in Colwood are eligible for up to $25,000 off the price of a solar hot water system.

The incentives for the rest of the CRD have recently increased from $4,750 to $24,750 for buildings that use more than 19GJ per year – approximately 500 litres or more of hot water per day. The regional residential incentives are similar amounts to those offered by Solar Colwood, though they are only applicable to hot water installations.

Both the Solar CRD and the Solar Colwood rebates are available until the end of March 2015 on a first-come, first-served basis.

Homeowners and businesses are encouraged to act quickly to access the subsidies, as solar installations can take up to two months to complete.

The solar program incentives cover up to a third of the cost of a solar hot water system. After incentives, eligible solar systems cost $5,500 on average. Lower-priced seasonal systems are also available.

According to Glenys Verhulst of Solar Colwood, the research being done at Royal Roads University shows that implementing the energy efficiency upgrades available through the Solar Colwood program into a residence can save homeowners 44 per cent on their energy bills, “so it definitely works for people,” she says, “and when we follow-up with people after they’ve used them for a while, they’re all very happy with their decision.”

The incentives are funded by the Government of Canada’s Clean Energy Fund, and have been available to Colwood residents through the Solar Colwood program since 2011. Thanks to a partnership between the City of Colwood and the Capital Regional District, the incentives have been available on a first-come, first-served basis across the Capital Region since April 2014.

Visit crd.bc.ca/solar to learn more and find a registered installer, or at solarcolwood.ca in the City of Colwood.

mdavies@goldstreamgazette.com

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