After a wildly successful year, Edmonton’s solar rebate — dubbed the Change Homes For Climate Solar Program — has run out of its allocated funds and now faces an uncertain future.
According to Jim Stang, city spokesperson, “The program is now fully subscribed and [is] concluding based on its original four-year [timeline].”
The initiative offered Edmonton homeowners $0.40/watt towards solar energy up to $4,000, translating into roughly 15% of the cost of an installation.
Newly built homes qualified for $0.30/watt. While the program offered a generous rebate on its own, it also allowed rebate stacking, which enabled consumers to combine it with the federal Greener Homes Grant for substantial savings.
According to the city, more than the three previous years combined, 665+ applications were processed in 2022 alone. In total, 1212 homeowners have participated in the initiative since 2019.
The program’s popularity reflects the growing understanding that solar technology is beneficial not only as an environmental tool but also as an economic one. At a time when Alberta’s energy costs are surging, solar power offers stability and affordability, all while giving homeowners a clean conscience about their environmental footprint.
Consumers, businesses, non-profits, and advocacy groups have all expressed disappointment with the program’s closure, with many lamenting that it will interfere with economic growth, especially as solar employment has steadily ticked up in Alberta in recent years.
Edmonton is located in one of Canada’s three sunniest provinces — colloquially referred to as the nation’s “Sunbelt”— and thus has above-average potential to foster growth in photovoltaics.
The solar industry also offers the chance to re-employ out-of-work fossil fuel workers, of which there is a growing number in Alberta because of automation, among other economic factors.
Alberta’s beautiful weather and sizeable energy-centric workforce make it a prominent place for solar companies to locate. However, inconsistent government support continues to act as a constraining factor on the market.
The City of Edmonton is planning to thoroughly review the outcomes of the Change Homes for Climate program. It will also study contemporary energy market conditions and available financing tools to determine the solar rebate’s next steps if any.