How to Apply for Solar Energy Grants Ontario and Save Money on Your Electricity Bills

Solar energy grants empower Ontario homeowners and businesses to transition to renewable energy. These financial incentives significantly lessen the initial solar energy systems cost installation, making it a more accessible option for Ontarians. Also, by harnessing the sun’s power, you can significantly reduce your electricity bills and carbon footprint.

The Canada Greener Homes Initiative further supports this switch by offering up to $5,000 in federal grants for various energy-efficient retrofits, including solar panel installations. As a result, solar energy is more affordable than ever, offering economic and environmental benefits.

Are you interested in discovering more about these benefits? Then, read on to learn more!

Solar Grants vs. Solar Incentives, How Do They Differ?

solar panels on a movable RV

If you are considering going solar, you might wonder what financial assistance is available to help you pay for your solar system. You might have heard of terms like solar grants and incentives, but what do they mean, and how do they differ?

Solar grants are a form of direct financial support that you can receive from the federal government or other organizations to help cover the upfront cost of your renewable energy systems. They usually give you a lump sum payment after you complete your solar systems installation, and you do not have to repay. Solar grants can reduce the cost of your solar panel system by 30 to 50 percent, depending on the amount and availability of the grant.

Its incentives are a form of indirect financial support that you can receive from the government or other entities to help lower your ongoing cost of energy usage or increase your income from your solar system. Solar incentives can take various forms, such as tax credits, solar rebates, performance-based payments, or subsidized loans. In addition, solar incentives can reduce the payback period of your solar system by increasing your savings or earnings from your solar power system.

What Are the Available Solar Power Grants in Ontario?

Ontario has two primary sources of solar power grants: the federal and provincial governments. Here are some details about each source and how you can apply for them:

Canada Greener Homes Grant

It provides up to $5,000 in grant money for eligible home retrofits that improve their energy performance and lower greenhouse gas emissions. Some of the retrofits you can choose from include installing solar panels, upgrading your insulation, air-sealing windows and doors, and adding a smart thermostat. To apply for this grant, you need to follow a few simple steps:

  • Register online and book a pre-retrofit EnerGuide evaluation.
  • Choose one or more eligible retrofits based on the evaluation report.
  • Complete the retrofits with a registered contractor.
  • Book a post-energy efficiency retrofits EnerGuide evaluation and submit your receipts.
  • Receive your grant by direct deposit or cheque.

Green Investment Fund

It provides interest-free loans of up to $40,000 with a repayment term of 10 years to help you undertake major home retrofits, including installing a solar photovoltaic system. To apply for this loan, you need to contact one of the participating financial institutions and provide:

  • Proof of ownership or rental agreement for your home.
  • Proof of purchase for your solar system.
  • An energy audit report.

Solar power grants in Ontario can make a big difference in helping you afford your solar energy system and make your home or business more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly. You might be eligible for financial assistance depending on where you live and what kind of photovoltaic systems you install.

Are You Eligible to Apply for a Solar Grant?

The good news is that many Ontario homeowners and businesses qualify for these benefits.

Eligibility hinges on factors such as property type, location, and the scope of your planned solar project. Generally, homeowners of various property types and businesses aiming for green certifications are eligible. In addition, the Canada Greener Homes Grant program extends eligibility for energy-efficient upgrades or retrofits.

Ontario’s solar grants could be your key, whether you’re aiming to cut energy costs or boost your renewable energy sources credentials.

How to Apply for Solar Energy Grants in Ontario to Install Solar Panels?

Applying for solar energy grants in Ontario is straightforward. Here are the steps you need to follow:

First, Register Online and Book a Pre-retrofit EnerGuide Evaluation

That is an assessment of your home’s energy performance by a certified energy advisor. In addition, you will receive a report with recommendations for improving your home’s energy efficiency.

Choose One or More Eligible Retrofits Based on the Evaluation Report

You can select from various retrofits that suit your needs and budget. You can also consult with your energy advisor or contractor for advice.

Complete the Retrofits With a Registered Contractor

You must hire a contractor registered with the Canada Greener Homes Initiative to complete the retrofits. You will also need to keep your receipts as proof of purchase.

Book a Post-retrofit EnerGuide Evaluation and Submit Your Receipts

After completing the retrofits, you must book another evaluation to verify your home’s energy performance improvements. You will also need to submit your receipts online to claim your grant.

Receive Your Grant by Direct Deposit or Cheque

Depending on the type and number of retrofits you completed, you can receive up to $5,000 in grant money. You will receive your grant within 12 weeks of submitting your application.

To make the most of your application, here are some tips and best practices to follow:

First, Check the Eligibility Criteria and Terms and Conditions Before Applying

Make sure you meet the requirements for participating in the program, such as owning or renting a primary residence in Canada that is at least six months old.

Plan and Budget for the Costs of the Evaluations and Retrofits

The evaluations cost between $300 and $600 each, depending on your location and service provider. The retrofits vary in cost depending on the type and scope of work. You must pay these costs upfront and then receive a partial reimbursement through the grant.

Compare Quotes From Different Contractors and Check Their Credentials

Before hiring a contractor, get at least three quotes from registered contractors and compare their prices, services, and reviews. Ensure they have the necessary licenses, insurance, and experience to complete the work.

Keep Copies of All Documents and Receipts for Future Reference

You must provide proof of purchase for all the retrofits you completed and proof of ownership or rental agreement for your home. Keep copies of these documents in case of any disputes or audits.

How to Save Money on Your Electricity Bills With Solar Incentives

a one story house with solar panels on its roof

One of the main benefits of solar energy grants in Ontario is that they can help you save money on your electricity bills by making your home more energy-efficient and generating solar power.

Here are some examples of how these energy-efficient retrofits can lower your electricity costs:

  • It is installing a solar photovoltaic system. That system converts sunlight into electricity you can use in your home or sell back to the grid. Depending on the size and location of your system, you can save up to $800 per year on your electricity bill.
  • You are upgrading your insulation, air-sealing, windows, and doors. These retrofits improve your home’s thermal envelope, preventing heat loss or gain through the walls, roof, floor, windows, and doors. By improving your home’s insulation and air tightness, you can reduce your heating and cooling costs by up to $500 annually.
  • You are adding a smart thermostat. It automatically adjusts your heating and cooling settings based on your preferences, schedule, weather, and occupancy. By optimizing your temperature settings, you can reduce your energy consumption by up to $100 per year.

To give you an idea of how much money you can save with these energy-efficient retrofits, let’s look at some calculations based on the average annual electricity bill for a typical Ontario household:

  • The average annual electricity bill for a standard Ontario household is $1,500
  • A solar photovoltaic system can save you up to $800 per year on your electricity bill
  • Insulation, air-sealing, windows, and doors can save you up to $500 per year on your heating and cooling costs
  • A smart thermostat can save you up to $100 per year on your energy bill
  • The total annual savings can be up to $1,400, which is almost equivalent to your electricity bill

As you can see, solar energy grants in Ontario can help you save a lot of money on your electricity bills while making your home more comfortable and eco-friendly.

Conclusion – Solar Grants and their Role in the Future of Ontario’s Solar Energy System Industry

Solar power is a booming industry in Ontario, with nearly 15 GW of installed capacity and over 8,000 jobs. But that’s not all. Ontario has plenty of sunshine to power even more solar panels. Solar grants can help you pay for your solar panel system, making it more affordable and accessible. Solar donations can also help Ontario fight climate change by increasing the share of renewable energy in its electricity mix.

Take advantage of this opportunity to go solar and join the future of Ontario’s solar energy system industry.





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