SolarHomes – Eligibility Criteria

Participant Eligibility:

  • Program participants are only eligible to participate in the SolarHomes Program once and cannot receive a rebate for more than one property.
  • The home must be owned by the program participant and either used as their principle residence or as their principle seasonal property. Rental properties are not eligible.
  • Single family homes (including detached, semi-detached, townhouses and rowhouses, mobile homes) located in Nova Scotia are eligible.
  • In the case of a new home that has not yet been constructed, the program participant must be the homeowner who will reside in that home.
  • The program participant must own the equipment (financed and lease-to-own systems are eligible).
  • First Nations Band-owned homes and Co-operative Housing are eligible.
  • For electrical grid-connected homes, the participating home must have a residential utility account and the utility must allow net metering.
  • Expansions to existing systems are permitted only if they meet the minimum size requirement of 1 kW.
  • Participants receiving approval from Efficiency Nova Scotia will be given a specified period under which the rebates will be available. This is 6 months for existing homes and 12 months for homes under construction. If this timeline expires without the system being installed and all final documentation received by Efficiency Nova Scotia, the participant will need to submit a new application. Rebate levels are subject to change following expiry of this timeline.
  • Participants must be willing to participate in site visits from Efficiency Nova Scotia and/or their third-party representatives for quality assurance and evaluation purposes.
  • Where system performance data is collected, participants agree to share with Efficiency Nova Scotia and/or their third-party representatives.
  • Rental properties, multi-unit residential, non-profit (non-residential use), commercial, institutional or industrial buildings are not eligible for the SolarHomes rebate. Other incentives may or may not be available. Please visit wwww.efficiencyns.ca for details.
  • This rebate is designed to be a stand-alone rebate and not combined with other forms of direct government incentives. It is the responsibility of the participant to ensure they are not combining (i.e. stacking) multiple financial government incentives.

Solar Photovoltaic System Eligibility:

  • Solar panels and inverters must be new and include a permanently affixed nameplate that states the manufacturer and model number.
  • The solar installation is meant to be either a new system or increase the capacity of, but not replace, currently operational solar equipment.
  • The minimum system size needed to qualify for a rebate is 1 kW.
  • While there is no set maximum system size, the maximum rebate will be the lesser of $8,500 or 35% of total eligible system costs. Eligible system costs include:
    • expenses (excluding HST) 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, monitoring interface, and where applicable, batteries, charge controller);
    • expenses (excluding HST) for the installation of the project;
  • Solar PV systems can be net-metered (connected to the grid), or they can also be independent of, and not connected to the grid (also known as off-grid).
  • If the system is net-metered, there must be compliance with net metering procedures, including completion of the Interconnection Request and Equipment Information Form.
  • All Equipment must meet applicable provincial, federal and municipal licenses, permits and approvals. Approved Solar Installers will work with participants to ensure these requirements are met, including adherence to the equipment criteria outlined below.
  • All solar PV equipment installed, including array and ancillary equipment, and all installation work must be in compliance with the Canadian Electrical Code (CEC) and have a CSA or other internationally recognized standards agency symbol. This includes compliance with CEC CSA 22.2 No. 107.1 and be inspected prior to being energized.
  • Applicable Solar PV system equipment standards for Nova Scotia include:
    • CSA – C61215 (revised 2013) – Crystalline Silicon Terrestrial PV Modules;
    • CSA – C61646.10 – Thin Film PV Modules;
    • CSA – C62817.15 – Design Qualifications for Solar Trackers (only applicable for ground mounted systems using solar tracking systems);
    • CSA – C61730 – PV Module Safety Qualifications;
    • UL1741 Standard for Inverters, Converters, Controllers and Interconnection System Equipment for Use with Distributed Energy Resources;
    • UL 2703 Standard for Mounting Systems, Mounting Devices, Clamping/Retention Devices, and Ground Lugs for Use with Flat Plate PV Modules and Panels;
    • IEC 62109 – Central Inverter Safety Qualifications; and
    • UL 1703 – PV System Safety Qualifications. (UL 1703 and IEC 61730 are being merged to create one recognized international standard for PV system safety for all future equipment).
    • Note: UL certification indicates compliance with the National Electrical Code in the United States. Any supplier displaying only a UL symbol should be asked to prove compliance with CEC.
  • Ancillary equipment for a solar PV system includes the following: AC and DC cabling, combiner boxes, switches, meters, panels, and transformers required to allow the array to feed AC power to the customer’s building or to the grid. Installations must follow CSA SPE-900-13 Solar PV rooftop installation best practices guideline (2013).
  • Grid connected installations must comply with CEC section 64 as well as Nova Scotia Power interconnection guide, corresponding with section 84 of CEC.
  • Off-grid connected systems should follow all generally accepted industry best practices including CSA SPE – 900-13, as well as be in compliance with the CEC Section 64 for renewable energy systems.
  • Modules must carry a minimum warranty of 20-year power performance and 10-year manufacturing. Grid connected inverter(s) and/or micro-inverter(s) must carry a minimum 10-year manufacturing warranty. For off-grid systems, inverter(s) must carry a minimum 2-year manufacturing warranty.

Solar Photovoltaic System Installation Requirements:

  • Systems must be designed and installed by a SolarHomes Approved Installer. Residents are not permitted to install the system themselves.
  • Equipment must be installed on a rooftop or ground-mounted. Systems installed on portable or temporary structures are not eligible. This would include, for example, recreational vehicles and trailers.
  • Equipment must be either installed or connected on or after June 25, 2018 to be eligible for a rebate. The date on the signed final electrical inspection will be used to verify the equipment installation date and the date that the bi-directional meter was installed will be used to verify the connected date.