Renewable Energy Programs & Financing Options

There is currently no feed-in-tariff (FIT) program in Nova Scotia for any renewable energy technologies unlike the case in Ontario which, since 2009, has run a highly popular solar electric FIT program that has attracted tens of billions of dollars of investment into the private sector and has generated tens of thousands of jobs.  The most similiar program NS has run was the community feed-in-tariff (COMFIT) program which was active from 2011-2016 having accepted more than 100 community renewable energy projects across the province and which collectively created 150MW of community energy.  The technologies that were included in the COMFIT program were limited to: wind, run-of-the-river hydro, ocean-powered, tidal, wave, sustainably harvested biomass or landfill gas - but, no solar.

In Nova Scotia any homeowner or business owner who buys electricity from NS Power can have a solar PV system installed to generate electricity under the Net Metering Program currently in place.  Under this program, the home or business will have a bi-directional meter installed which is capable of monitoring both the electricity generated by the renewable energy system and the traditional electricity consumption from Nova Scotia Power.  Net metering customers will continue to pay a monthly base charge and commercial/industrial business customers, when applicable, will also continue to pay regular demand charges.  If the renewable energy system produces more power than is used by the client, it gets delivered to the Nova Scotia grid and the client receives an energy credit which can be applied against future consumption.  Once a year, if you have any surplus generation banked at the time of the predetermined anniversary date, you will receive a payment for the energy priced according to the appropriate energy cost.

Further information on renewable energy opportunities and programs in Nova Scotia can be found on the following websites:  http://www.nspower.ca/en/home/for-my-home/make-your-own-energy/  http://www.nsrenewables.ca/

In Nova Scotia, solar thermal (hot water systems) got a big boost in 2013 with the kick-off of the first phase, two year pilot project for Solay City Halifax.  Under this program, homeowners could have a solar thermal (hot water) system installed, which the City would pay for up front, and the homeowner paid back over time via a local improvement charge (LIC) on the property.  In 2016 regional councillors approved the continuation fo the program for another three years and expanded the program to include two further technologies:  solar hot air systems and solar photovoltaic (PV) systems which generate electricity. 

In addition to Halifax Regional Municipality now offering low interest financing on a variety of solar system installations, a number of other municipalities in NS are now offering property assessed clean energy (PACE) low interest financing programs, these regions include:   Lunenburg, Shelburne, Digby and Bridgewater.  Under these PACE programs, qualified homeowners can finance their clean energy upgrades and their home municipality would in turn impose a LIC on the property equivalent to the cost of the upgrades, the applicable lender rates and any program fees.  More information on these programs and the application process can be found at:

http://clean.ns.ca/clean-energy-financing/clean-energy-financing-steps/