Solar in Nova Scotia! Why NS is going solar..

Solar Nova Scotia

Welcome to the Ultimate Solar Guide – ‘Solar in Nova Scotia’ edition from Unconquered Sun! Hopefully this article will serve as valuable reference for anyone interested in solar energy, it’s potential and all of the benefits both financial and environmental that solar has to offer..

Fyi, all posts are authored by myself – Sean Moore, I am the Founder of Unconquered Sun Solar Technologies Inc. I founded the company in 2008. I have decided not to delegate the composition of these posts to anyone else, as I believe their content much too important to our valuable USST clientele and everyone in the greater global solar community!

I won’t bore you with a recital of Unconquered Sun’s rich company history, but it does bear mentioning that we began our lives as manufacturers of solar PV.. In fact – we were the first to manufacture solar in the province of Ontario. We continue to maintain a broad and diverse manufacturing portfolio which includes many solar products today. However, these days we are focusing our efforts on the other half of the value chain – mainly residential and commercial solar installation. We have much expertise in the solar industry to share! And the idea behind The Ultimate Solar Guide is that our clientele or anybody interested in solar may have the opportunity to leverage our knowledge, advice and experience.

The focus of this post is the emerging-market of Eastern Canada, in particular the province of Nova Scotia. Recently, I attended the Nova Scotia Solar Summit, where i was pleased to encounter many, many people excited about solar in NS and throughout the Atlantic provinces. And I have to say – I was blown away at the generous incentives currently being made available at both the provincial and municipal level meant to further solar deployment across the province.

I should begin with the full disclosure that Unconquered Sun has a large footprint in Nova Scotia. We are certified Nova Scotia installers, we are registered – and you will find us on the Nova Scotia efficiency Trade Network approved as Nova Scotia installers. We have been approved by both the Nova Scotia Solar homes program and the HRM SolarCity program. We are also members of the Atlantic Solar Business Association as well as the Canadian Solar Industries Association. We have also recently established warehouse facilities in Dartmouth. Most importantly, to ensure all of the money from each Nova Scotia solar installation finds its way back into the local economy we have partnered with local electrical contractors in every corner Nova Scotia to perform our installations and take care of our clientele afterwards!

On a more personal note, I spent many years in Halifax during my time as an engineer in the Navy, and NS will always hold a special place in my heart…

Nova Scotia is currently one of the best places in Canada for solar because of the Efficiency Nova Scotia SolarHomes Program, and alternative financing options such as the Solar City Halifax financing option.

Sooo… I figured the best way I could provide value to anyone reading this post would be to summarize and distill everything I have learned about the generous incentives happening in Nova Scotia right now into a relatively short and concise overview below….  here it goes ;

Solar Rebate in Nova Scotia

The largest solar rebate program in Nova Scotia is the SolarHomes Program administered by Efficiency Nova Scotia.

This program allows property owners to earn a cash rebate of $1.00/Watt for residential solar power installations with a minimum size of 1kW and up to a maximum rebate amount of $10,000.

** Here is an example of what the average rebate looks like:

(9,170 watts) x ($1.00/watt) = $9,170

The average Nova Scotian can offset their power consumption with a 9.17kW system (9,170 Watts) which will come with a rebate of $9,170.

Solar Financing in Nova Scotia

Ok, so here is the part when I insert plug for Unconquered Sun Solar Technologies Inc! Obviously we are heavily involved with thousands of residential clients in Nova Scotia. Our financing is,.. I believe the best in Canada hands down for solar projects. With so many solar installations under our belt, Unconquered Sun commands (and all of our clientele have access to) an exclusive No Money Down, 1.9% unsecured financing option**you can also pay this loan out at any time with no penalties.

Also, everyone who requests a FREE solar analysis, design and quote from USST will receive the link to pre approve themselves at our exclusive rate privately on their own time if they wish!

Fyi.. Anyone (anywhere in Canada) who may be interested in a FREE solar analysis, design and quote for their property, please click here and submit your property details, Unconquered Sun’s turnaround time for this is practically instant!

Alternative Financing in Nova Scotia

Ok, ok ….. all of us have been there – late paying a bill or two over the years….. hello – Blockbuster Video ring a bell anyone??  🙂

Do not stress, if you do not qualify for the 1.9% you can still get solar on your roof no problem.

All property owners in the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) have guaranteed access to an innovative solar financing option called Solar City Halifax. The financing program allows you to go solar with $0 down and to repay your balance alongside your annual property tax bill.

How it Works

Solar City Halifax is a voluntary financing option that allows you to cover the entire cost of your solar system with a $0 down, 10 year, 4.75% fixed interest ‘loan’*. Repayments are billed yearly alongside your property tax bill.

This type of financing (a clean energy loan that is attached to your property, not you) is called ‘Property Assessed Clean Energy’, or PACE for short.

*Solar City Halifax financing is not technically administered as a loan, but rather as a ‘Local Improvement Charge’, conceptually it is very similar – you must repay the balance used to finance your project, plus any accrued interest.

Eligibility

It should first be noted that the Solar City Halifax program is completely voluntary. We recommend that you explore Unconquered Sun’s exclusive No Money Down, 1.9% unsecured financing option first!

In order to be eligible for the Solar City Halifax program, you must be in good standing on your:

  • Property taxes
  • City fees (garbage pickup, etc.)
  • Local Improvement Charges (road improvements, water/sewer installations, etc.)

Note that the program is only open to residential and not-for-profit property owners.

Repayments

Upon receiving your financing through Solar City Halifax, you will be billed on an annual basis along with your property tax bill. The payment appears as a separate charge, titled ‘Local Improvement Charge’ (LIC), in the exact same way that you would be billed for road improvement or water/sewer upgrades.

All annual payments are due within six weeks of the billing date each year. However, you can arrange for bi-weekly or monthly payments through the HRM revenue department. Payments are accepted via debit, credit, cash, money order, and cheque.

Note that the 4.75% interest rate is applied to the principal on a daily basis. This means that paying off your Solar City Halifax loan over the course of a year will save you more money than if you wait until the end of the year.

You always have the option to repay the entire balance in full and without penalty.

Benefit

The major benefit is that the financing is attached to your property, not to you. This means that if you sell your home, repaying the Solar City Halifax loan will then be the obligation of the new property owners.

Program Administration

The Halifax Regional Municipality Charter was amended in 2010 to allows for the creation of the Solar City By-Law which was passed in April 2012.

Solar City Halifax is currently being administered by the Regional Municipality of Halifax.

Getting Started

If you are ready to Go Solar, then let’s get started!

  1. Request a FREE solar analysis, design and quote
  2. Pre approve yourself for USST’s exclusive No Money Down, 1.9% un secured financing option
  3. Apply to the Solar City Halifax program if that is your preferred financing option – apply here.

Check out the quick vid below;

Well… this concludes the very first Ultimate Solar Guide post from Yours Truly!

Hopefully this post will serve as a valuable reference if you are considering a solar energy project in Nova Scotia! Please feel free to respond with any comments or suggestions you may have!

More to come!!


Sean Moore , Founder Unconquered Sun Solar Technologies Inc.