CHANGE HOMES FOR CLIMATE – SOLAR PROGRAM
Terms and Conditions
Version 7: May 8, 2023
The City of Edmonton reserves the right to change these Terms and Conditions at any time without prior notice, in its sole discretion.
1.0 Program Overview
The Change Homes for Climate Solar Program provides financial incentives to Edmonton homeowners who install solar photovoltaic (PV) systems on their homes in the City of Edmonton.
2.1 Eligible Participants
The following people are eligible to participate in the Change Homes for Climate Solar Program (“CHCSP”):
Anyone proposing to install and own a solar PV system on a Residential Property in the City of Edmonton who completes an eligible pre-system installation EnerGuide Home Energy Evaluation.
“Residential Property” means a building or building(s) located within the municipal boundaries of the City of Edmonton that has one of the following residential uses under the City’s Zoning Bylaw #12800:
- Duplex Housing
- Garden Suite
- Mobile Home
- Multi-unit Housing
- Row Housing
- Secondary Suite
- Semi-detached Housing
- Single Detached Housing
- Stacked Row Housing
An eligible Residential Property may have one or more Dwellings, as defined in the City’s Zoning Bylaw #12800. In such a case, each occupied Dwelling is eligible to participate in the CHCSP.
“Multi-Unit Residential Building (MURB)” means a Multi-unit Housing building comprised of a common entrance and separate dwelling units. MURBs must have dwelling units accessible by an interior door (e.g., via a central corridor). Side-by-side attached units/houses are not considered Multi-unit Housing and therefore not considered MURBs.
2.2 Eligible Projects
To qualify for funding under the CHCSP, all projects must comply with the following criteria:
- a) The system must be grid-connected and compliant with the Government of Alberta’s Micro-generation Regulation (AR27/2008), as amended from time to time;
- b) The system must be designed and installed by a Qualified Installer and all system components must meet the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) requirements for electrical safety or an equivalent certification that meets applicable Canadian standards;
- A “Qualified Installer” is defined as: A business listed on the online listing of either the:
- Solar Energy Society of Alberta (SESA) Solar Providers Directory; and/or
- the Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA) Alberta Qualified Providers directory.
- Use the Solar Energy Society of Alberta’s Solar Providers Directory or the Canadian Renewable Energy Association’s Alberta Qualified Providers Directory to find a qualified provider in your area.
- A “Qualified Installer” is defined as: A business listed on the online listing of either the:
- c) The system must be a new installation that has an interconnection approval from the wire service provider signed within one year of CHCSP Part II application submission. Additionally, all components must be new and not previously used in an energized solar array. Expansions to existing solar PV systems are ineligible to participate in the CHCSP;
- d) Residential Properties that previously received or are in the process of applying for an incentive for a solar PV system under this program or another solar incentive program, including but not limited to the City of Edmonton’s Building Energy Retrofit Accelerator (BERA) solar PV rebate, Energy Efficiency Alberta’s Residential and Commercial Solar Program, are ineligible to receive the CHCSP for that same Dwelling, even if the new solar PV system is an upgrade or replacement;
- e) Participants may receive solar PV rebates from other programs in addition to the CHCSP for the same system provided that:
- Any other solar grant or rebate amounts that the participant has received, or may receive, have been disclosed to the program administrator;
- The total amount of all sources of funds received does not exceed 100% of the total Eligible Expenses.
- f) The participant confirms that they are the owner of the property and they agree to allow the City to publicly display or post the following:
- The location and capacity of the installed solar PV system on a City website;
- The ERS labels on Edmonton’s Home Energy Map.
- g) The participant agrees that information related to their Program application may be shared with other organizations who offer solar PV rebate programs for the purposes of monitoring compliance;
- h) The following equipment must carry these minimum warranty levels:
- Modules: 25-year power performance and 10-year manufacturing; and
- Inverter(s) and/or micro-inverter(s): 10-year manufacturing.
- i) The system must be designed to produce a solar yield that is at least 70% of a system with optimal azimuth and tilt at that location. The solar yield is automatically calculated in the Part I application screen.
2.3 Eligible Evaluations
The EnerGuide Rating System, (“ERS”), is created and regulated by Natural Resources Canada and provides a systematic evaluation of new and existing homes based on a comprehensive evaluation of the energy components of the home including the building envelope and mechanical systems, and includes a blower door test to evaluate the airtightness of the structure.
An eligible Existing Residential Property, as defined in section 4.1, must complete an Eligible Evaluation for pre-system installation (D label).
An eligible New Residential Property, as defined in section 4.1, must complete an Eligible Evaluation pre-system installation (N label).
An ERS evaluation is considered an “Eligible Evaluation” for the CHCSP if it satisfies the following requirements:
- The ERS evaluation must be performed at an Eligible Property on behalf of an Applicant that satisfies the eligibility criteria as mentioned in 2.1;
- The ERS evaluation must be version 15 and include the renovation upgrade report service;
- The ERS evaluation must have taken place before the solar PV system installation.
2.4 Ineligible Projects
The following project types are ineligible for the CHCSP:
- a) Projects located on temporary structures that do not qualify as a Residential Property;
- b) Off-grid solar PV systems;
- c) Solar PV systems not installed by a Qualified Installer as defined in section 2.2(b);
- d) All solar thermal projects.
3.0 CHCSP Application Deadlines
Applications must be completed and received within one year of the interconnection approval by the applicable wire service provider.
For applications that have received Part I approval, the project on the Residential Property must be energized and interconnected, and all supporting Part II application information required under section 5.2 must be submitted either within 9 months of the Part I approval date or by December 16, 2024, whichever is earliest.
4.0 Financial Incentive
4.1 Incentive Rates
The City of Edmonton agrees to pay a rate of:
- $0.40 per watt for “Existing Residential Properties”, defined as those that have been operational for at least six months prior to the submission of the Part I application.
- $0.30 per watt for “New Residential Properties”, defined as those that are under construction, or have been operational for under six months.
These incentives will be issued based on the total installed system capacity up to a maximum amount of 40% of the total Eligible Expenses or $4,000 per Dwelling located within an eligible Residential Property, whichever is lesser. Each property owner or business that profits from the construction of residential homes, is eligible for a maximum of $50,000 of CHCSP incentives per calendar year, for all projects combined.
The total of all rebates, grants, and other financial incentives for the solar project, including the CHCSP must not exceed 100% of the total Eligible Expenses as defined in section 4.2. If this limit is exceeded, as stated in section 2.2(e), the applicant is no longer eligible to receive the CHCSP incentive, or the applicant may have to return the funding.
If the solar PV system is being installed on a newly constructed Garage or Garden Suite, the rebate amount will be determined based on whether the primary Dwelling as defined by Zoning Bylaw 12800 is a New Residential Property or an Existing Residential Property.
Please note that system sizes in this document refer to cumulative project size (sum of DC watt capacity of all modules under Standard Test Conditions). PV module capacity is determined from the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), UL, or equivalent Canadian certification approval labels.
If a solar PV system is planned with a DC capacity that exceeds 150% of the inverter AC capacity, a written rationale is required. The City of Edmonton reserves the right to fund only the installed capacity (KW DC) up to 150% of the inverter capacity (KW AC) at its sole discretion.
A limited number of incentives are available each calendar year which will be approved and allocated on a first-come, first-served basis based on application Part I approval dates (see Section 4.4). However, a maximum of 50% of annual budgeted CHCSP incentive dollars will be allocated to newly constructed Residential Properties.
4.2 Eligible Expenses
Eligible Expenses incurred by the participant will be used to calculate the incentive value as described in Section 4.1 and must be outlined by the applicant in the CHCSP application. To be included in the incentive calculation, Eligible Expenses must be incurred by the applicant prior to project Part II approval.
“Eligible Expenses” are defined as the following expenses which are eligible for inclusion in the calculation of the maximum payable incentive:
- a) expenses for the purchase of the solar PV equipment for the project (i.e. solar PV modules, racking, inverters, transformer (if any), cabling, conduit, fittings, disconnects, and monitoring interface);
- b) expenses for the design, development, energy modelling, engineering (structural, electrical, civil, geotechnical), specification, procurement, and construction of the project;
- c) expenses for obtaining the required electrical permit and grid-connected approvals, and any required building and development permits;
- d) expenses for completing the required electrical inspection and building inspection for the project; and
- e) expenses borne by the applicant for transmission and distribution system upgrades necessary to obtain interconnection approval.
4.3 Ineligible Expenses
The following expenses are not eligible for inclusion in the calculation of the maximum payable incentive:
- a) Goods and Services Tax (GST);
- b) expenses for the operation and maintenance of a project;
- c) lease payment expenses incurred after the project is energized;
- d) batteries or battery storage units connected to the solar PV system;
- e) expenses incurred by the applicant to complete the CHCSP application;
- f) expenses incurred by the applicant to prepare documents, process invoices, or other administrative and internal costs; and
- g) any other expense deemed by the City of Edmonton to be ineligible.
4.4 Incentive Disbursement
The approval and allocation of qualified funds will occur on a first-come, first-served basis based on application Part I approval dates. Applicants will be placed into the first-come, first-served queue in the order in which they submit a completed CHCSP application to the satisfaction and approval of the program administrator.
All systems must be completed as per Section 3.0. Any systems that do not complete their system and their Part II application within these time frames are subject to removal from the payment queue and must contact the program administrator in advance of any deadline if they still wish to participate in the program. When available funding is fully committed, applicants will be automatically placed on a waiting list in their order of Part I approval and any additional funds that become available will be distributed to systems on the waiting list queue.
The CHCSP incentive will be paid to the applicant by direct deposit to their chosen bank account after the applicant has completed Part II of their application and provided all supporting documentation that the program administrator requires to verify that the project is complete. The application process is described in Section 5.0.
Participants in the CHCSP may ask questions of the program administrator via phone or email.
Applications must be received via the application portal. Personal information including applicant name, email address, mailing address, phone number and direct deposit banking information will need to be submitted as part of the application.
The banking information that is collected consists of the financial institution (bank) number, bank branch (transit) number, and the account number, and is the same data that appears on the front of a cheque.
4.5 Cancellation or Termination of Program
The City reserves the right to cancel or terminate the Program at any time and for any reason whatsoever.
5.0 How to Participate
All applications for the program will be completed through the program’s online application system at changeforclimate.ca/solar. The application can be completed by either the applicant or the applicant’s installer, contractor, designer, or designated representative. The applicant may request to assign the payment of the incentive directly to the contractor upon project completion with an Assignment of Incentives Form signed by the applicant.
The application is a two-part process. Upon completion of Part I, if eligible, a conditional approval will be issued by email. This will guarantee distribution of funds if the project is completed as proposed per the conditions of Part I approval within the allotted time frame. Once the project has been completed and interconnection approval received, the applicant can complete Part II of the application, which will trigger payment of the incentive.
Both Part I and Part II approvals can be expected within one week of submission unless additional information is required. Payment by direct deposit can be expected to arrive in the customer’s bank account within 5 to 10 business days of Part II approval.
Applicants who require additional assistance with the application process can contact the program administrators at firstname.lastname@example.org or (587) 287-1903.
5.1 Step 1: Complete a Part I Application
The applicant (for example, installer/contractor/designer/designated representative/solar PV system owner) (herein the “Applicant”) must create an account at http://www.solarab.ca/. An installer or contractor may also create a single account to submit multiple applications on behalf of each of their customers. Once an account has been created, the following information is required to complete the Part I application:
Solar PV System Owner Information:
- property owner name (individual or business)
- system host
- residential property type
- Existing or New Residential Property
- number of dwellings
- EnerGuide file number
- site ID
- Wire Services Provider (WSP)
- average total annual electricity consumption in kilowatt-hours (kWh)
- total project costs
- disclosure of all possible incentives, grants or rebate funding being pursued for the solar PV system and/or its components
- solar installation company name and business number
- estimated or actual milestone dates: application, permitting, interconnection, online, inspection (if applicable)
- financing information (if applicable)
System Details and Performance:
- solar module nameplate capacity (DC rating)
- solar inverter nameplate capacity (AC rated output)
- array azimuth
- array tilt
- type of array mounting used
- PV module manufacturer
- PV module model number
- PV module quantity
- PV module warranty length
- inverter manufacturer
- inverter model number
- inverter quantity
- inverter warranty length
- solar yield (calculated)
Documentation Requirements (all existing single and semi-detached houses, row houses and townhomes):
- Pre-retrofit EnerGuide evaluations (D label file for an Existing Residential Property and N label file for a New Residential Property) will be required documentation for Part I (pre-approval) CHCSP applications.
Documentation Requirements (for applications seeking rebates over $4,000 only):
- A signed copy of the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) required Form A – Micro-generation Notice and all supporting documentation submitted to the Wire Services Provider (WSP) through which the solar PV system is connected; and
- A signed copy of the solar installation agreement with the contractor for the project.
The Part I application will be reviewed once submitted and the program administrator will contact the Applicant by email if any additional information is required. Applicants will be able to check the status of their Part I approval on their dashboard at http://www.solarab.ca/. Any additional required information should be emailed to the program administrator at email@example.com.
The Applicant will be notified by email when their Part I application is approved, at which time their funding will be reserved subject to project completion as submitted and approved and within the allowable time frame.
5.2 Step 2: Complete the Part II Application
Once a project has been completed, the Applicant must return to the application portal at http://www.solarab.ca/. The following information must be submitted:
- Copy of the signed interconnection approval (also known as an Inter-operating Agreement or Interconnection Agreement) from your wire service provider;
- Copy of the signed Incentive Confirmation and Claim Form completed by the customer and installer (generated within the application system);
- Final itemized invoice for the project to account for all Eligible Expenses submitted in Part I of the application. At a minimum, the invoice must break out the following:
- equipment costs
- permitting costs
- labour costs
- total amounts for all other grants, incentives or rebates (applied for or received for the solar PV project)
- Photo that clearly shows all modules;
- Photo of the inverter(s) or micro-inverter nameplate that clearly shows the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), UL, or equivalent Canadian certification approval; labels;
- Photo of the module label that clearly shows the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), UL, or equivalent Canadian certification approval labels;
- Photo of the inverter display or if micro-inverters were used, include a photo of the microinverter communications unit screen that clearly shows the total system production to date (kWh);
- Applicant’s bank information for direct deposit of incentives payment;
- Signed Terms & Conditions acknowledging the City of Edmonton’s request to publicly display the location of the applicant’s solar PV system, the system’s capacity and ERS labels on a map located at https://homes.changeforclimate.ca/energy-mapping/.
5.3 Step 3: Direct Deposit of Funds
The program administrator will review the Part II application once submitted and disburse funds via direct deposit when all required information has been provided. The Applicant can expect the funds to be deposited into their account within 5 to 10 business days upon completion of the Part II application and receipt of approval.
6.0 Reporting Requirements
The Applicant shall fully cooperate with the City of Edmonton in reporting progress on the project.
7.0 Evaluation, Measurement and Verification
Any Applicant receiving an incentive payment may be contacted by a third-party evaluator retained on behalf of the City of Edmonton to verify project installation or be asked to complete a written, oral, or electronic participant survey. The Applicant must submit documentation to establish, to the satisfaction of the CHCSP administrator, that the Applicant incurred and paid all Eligible Expenses reported. All items on an invoice submitted by the Applicant must be listed separately, and the cost for each Eligible Expense must be clearly identified.
The Applicant must also provide any other documentation requested by the program administrator. If the Applicant fails to provide information within a reasonable time on reasonable notice, as determined by the City of Edmonton, for the audit and evaluation of the project, the Applicant may be required to refund any payments received under the Program, as well as forfeit any future payments under the Program.
If an Application is approved, for three years following Part II approval, the City of Edmonton or its designees are entitled, at a reasonable time and upon reasonable notice to the Applicant, to attend the residence or business operation of the Applicant for the purpose of examining items pertinent to the Project in order to assess whether the Applicant is in compliance with these program conditions and to conduct other measurement and verification activities if necessary.
8.0 Additional Legal Considerations
8.1 Breach of Terms
Any Applicant who fails to satisfy any of the CHCSP Terms and Conditions or provides false, misleading or incomplete information, may be required to pay back to the City of Edmonton all or a portion of the funds that were disbursed by the City of Edmonton. Any amounts unpaid, after written demand by the City of Edmonton, will be a valid debt due and owing by the Applicant to the City of Edmonton.
8.2 Right of Set-Off
The City of Edmonton may review its records with respect to business licensing, taxation, assessment and other claims prior to making any payment to the Applicant. The City may set off any claims or overdue accounts relating to the Applicant against any amounts otherwise payable to the Applicant pursuant to the Program.
8.3 Environmental Attributes or Products
The Applicant agrees to convey ownership to the City of Edmonton, or its successors, all environmental attributes and environmental products that are created or otherwise arise from this project in any jurisdiction, including but not limited to renewable energy certificates, solar renewable energy certificates, or carbon offset credits. The Applicant warrants that said attributes have not been claimed, sold or otherwise transferred to another party. If the participant is eligible for Rebate stacking as outlined in Section 2.2(e) then the environmental attributes will be shared between all funding organizations if applicable, proportionate to the percentage of rebates paid by each program.
The City of Edmonton retains the right to adjust program guidelines in accordance with amendments to any Government of Canada or Government of Alberta legislation, policies, or protocols surrounding greenhouse gas emissions, carbon accounting or the carbon offset system. The Applicant warrants that said attributes have not been claimed, sold or otherwise transferred to another party.
8.4 Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) Act
Collection of and Consent to Use Personal Information
Your personal information is collected in accordance with 33(c) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) Act. Your name, email address, mailing address, phone number and direct deposit banking information will be used to administer the Change Homes for Climate Solar Program and associated rebates. Participant data including individual, anonymous and aggregate data may be used in public energy transition reports and to inform the development of other City of Edmonton energy transition programs.
The City of Edmonton will obtain your EnerGuide label, your home evaluation data, results and reports from your Energy Advisor and Natural Resources Canada. The City of Edmonton may use all detailed information related to your program participation in your home, exclusive of information identifying the participant, for program evaluation, performance monitoring, and future program planning or potential studies. This will include the information provided if you voluntarily choose to also submit a post-retrofit evaluation.
If you have any questions about the collection and use of your personal information, contact the Senior Project Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org, 780-944-1507, Energy Transition Unit, 9th Floor, City of Edmonton Tower, 10111 104 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T5J 0J4.
Disclosure of Eligible Property Information and Eligible Upgrade(s)
The Applicant hereby authorizes the City of Edmonton to disclose publicly information regarding the Residential Property, Eligible Project(s) and Eligible Evaluation(s), including any voluntarily submitted post-retrofit evaluation (as the case may be) provided such disclosure shall be limited to the building type, address, photos, capacity of the solar PV system and ERS label. The ERS label and certain data associated with the property will be displayed on the City of Edmonton’s online Home Energy Map.
Participants who have received Rebate funds and subsequently request their Eligible Property’s ERS label be removed from Edmonton’s Home Energy Map will be considered. Requests to remove ERS labels and/or associated information may be approved at the discretion of the City of Edmonton without penalty if a reasonable safety concern is raised. Otherwise, participants who have their ERS labels removed without justification and City approval will, upon written demand from the Program Administrator or the City, pay back the Rebate funds the Participant received.
Participant information may also be shared with other organizations that offer energy efficiency rebate programs for the purposes of monitoring compliance of Rebate stacking with Section 2.2(e) of these terms and conditions.
8.5 Limitation of Liability
The City of Edmonton’s sole liability is limited to paying the properly qualified incentives specified herein. The Applicant acknowledges that any Service Provider, solar installation contractor, or other solar provider selected by the Applicant is not an agent, contractor or subcontractor of the City. The City of Edmonton shall have no obligation to maintain, remove or perform any work whatsoever on the solar PV system or equipment installed. Neither the City of Edmonton nor any of their affiliates shall be liable to the Applicant or to any other party for a Service Provider’s and/or installation contractor’s failure to perform, for failure of the solar PV equipment to function, for any damage to the Applicant’s premises caused by the Service Provider and/or installation contractor, or for any and all damages to property or injuries to persons caused by or arising from any activities associated with this program.
Questions about the Change Homes for Climate Solar Program may be directed to the following: