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Edmonton expands solar rebate program to multi-unit residential properties

Coun. Michael Janz speaks about the expansion of the City of Edmonton's Change Homes for Climate Solar Rebate Program Tuesday, June 25, 2024. Jasmine King / Global News

Multi-unit residential properties in Edmonton are now eligible for a program that helps with the cost of installing solar panels.

Edmonton’s Change Homes for Climate Solar Rebate Program is reopening and will provide financial incentives to multi-unit buildings that install rooftop solar photovoltaic systems.

The city has committed $1.3 million in rebates to the program, which will be available to properties with four or more permitted dwellings.

“By making solar energy accessible to a wider range of residents, especially those living in multi-unit buildings, we’re ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to benefit from affordable renewable energy,” said Coun. Michael Janz.

“This is about equity and ensuring that all our communities can participate in, and benefit from, our energy transition.”

Coun. Michael Janz (R) speaks about the expansion of the City of Edmonton’s Change Homes for Climate Solar Rebate Program Tuesday, June 25, 2024. Jasmine King / Global News

Applications for the program will open on July 2 and rebates will be given out on a first-come, first-serve basis, the City of Edmonton said Tuesday.

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Eligible solar systems must be installed by Dec. 16, 2024.

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Single-family residential homeowners in Edmonton were offered similar rebates from 2019 to 2023. Lisa Dockman, climate resilience program manager with the City of Edmonton, said nearly 2,000 Edmonton homeowners have installed rooftop solar panels.

“We were thrilled that so many Edmontonians were ready to make the shift to renewable energy,” Dockman said.

“This is really about encouraging immediate investment in a way that’s going to save money on utility bills and help those renters and property owners.”

“When we announced the residential solar program, it was gone immediately,” Janz added of the rebates. “This was a chance to take a pause, look at some of the gaps … and make adjustments.

“In both instances, we put aside a small amount of money because we aren’t here to pay the full freight. We’re here to make catalytic investments that will help catalyze and inspire and move the needle a little bit in terms of purchase decisions.”

The city said this program is part of its goal to lower Edmonton’s carbon footprint by supporting local businesses in the renewable energy sector.

“Reopening the Change Homes for Climate Solar Rebate Program for multi-unit residential properties contributes to Edmonton’s climate goals and enhances our climate resilience,” said branch manager Kent Snyder.

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“By making solar energy more accessible, we are not only reducing carbon emissions and saving money on utility bills, but we are also building a robust renewable sector and green economy that will serve our city for generations to come.”

Click to play video: 'Largest rooftop solar array in Canada installed at Edmonton Expo Centre'
Largest rooftop solar array in Canada installed at Edmonton Expo Centre

With 2,300 hours of sunshine in an average year, the city said Edmonton is one of the sunniest cities in Canada making it well-suited to solar energy, even in the winter.

“Edmonton has excellent solar potential,” Dockman said. “Properties that harness their rooftop solar energy to help reduce Edmonton’s carbon footprint are contributing to cleaner air and healthier environment to everyone.”

For more information on the program and how to apply, visit the City of Edmonton’s website.

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