Winnipeg residents looking to invest in solar panels – this is your opportunity! The Manitoba Hydro Solar Energy Incentive Program is designed with customers in mind who are looking to switch their electricity needs with solar energy by installing a solar photo-voltaic (PV) system. The government wants to make it easier for customers to easily be able to harness the energy from the sun and generate solar energy.
So, what is the solar incentive? The Solar PV incentive is offered to all kinds of customers, including residential, who want to put solar PV systems in their homes, commercial, who want to use solar energy for their businesses, and industrial, for factories, warehouses, and offices that want to replace their energy source to solar energy. As per the DC (direct current: electric current that flows in 1 direction only) rating of the solar PV systems, it costs only $2 per watt to install the solar systems through this incentive, compared to the regular $3 per watt rate, provided that the system size is at least 1 kilowatt, to a maximum of 200 kilowatts (1 Kilowatt = 1000 Watt, which you can get up to $200,000 in government incentive).A requirement for this incentive is that the solar PV systems need to be connected to the Manitoba Hydro grid and follow the distributed resource interconnection procedures (also for customers wanting to generate up to 10 megawatts (MW) of electricity and interconnect to our distribution system at voltages of 25 kV or less). Customers who are looking to install systems greater than 10 kilowatts may be required for a customer-paid feasibility study. At the end of the project, the incentive is paid when the solar system is completely installed and passes the required inspections.
What are some advantages to the Manitoba Solar Incentive Program? Through this program, all of the electricity that is generated by solar panels is used by the customer themselves at their own discretion. In case there is any unused excess energy, it can easily be sold back to Manitoba Hydro at the residential rate of $0.07672 per kilowatt-hour. Customers that are investing in solar energy can receive up to $200,000 through this incentive, which is almost one-third of the total costs of a solar PV system. After the installation is complete, customers will immediately notice their electricity bill drop by 80% to 100%, starting from the first month. In addition to saving on their electricity bills, solar panel systems pay for themselves as the customers are only paying the financing fees. Electricity bill payments are money that you will never see again, as for investing in solar panels, it is an investment. It can be compared to a situation of buying a house instead of renting–investing in solar panels is like buying the house, and paying monthly hydro bills is like renting the house. If you choose to sell the house, you will get all the money back when you do so, and until you choose to sell the house, you get to save on your electricity bill costs. Electricity bills also tend to rise every year by approximately 5 to 7%.
Not having to pay the bill at all can protect a customer from saving the rise in costs as well. Customers will also not be required to pay large delivery fees that appear on hydro bills, as the production of electricity through solar panels at home gives instant delivery of energy. Investing in solar energy helps you get tax benefits on the savings and earnings through the Manitoba Solar Incentive Program. Lastly, switching to renewable sources of energy helps preserve the environment, reducing pollution and slowing down global warming. This government incentive ends April 30, 2018, so anyone who is looking to take advantage of this program must apply on or before this date, otherwise, they would have to pay full price ($3/watt), leading to higher monthly financing payments.