Nova Scotia

Halifax delays solar program for homes

A program to make it easier for Halifax-area homeowners to install solar panels has been delayed because of a lack of funding, CBC News has learned.
The Solar City program would allow homeowners to pay off their panels over several years. (CBC)

A program to make it easier for Halifax-area homeowners to install solar panels has been delayed because of a lack of funding, CBC News has learned.

The Halifax Regional Municipality billed Solar City as an innovative way to support renewable energy.

Qualified homeowners could install one or two solar hot water panels on their properties. It would cost between $6,000 and $8,000, but they could pay yearly instalments of $400 through their taxes and pay it all off in five to 10 years.

The municipality said homeowners would see their energy expenses drop enough each year to cover that $400 annual cost.

Between 500 and 700 homes were expected to take part in the pilot project. The program was so popular that the municipality had to stop taking applications after receiving more than 1,600.

While $5 million was promised for the project, CBC News has learned that the municipality hasn't been able to secure funding from the federal government.

As a result, the project will be delayed by several months. Solar City is now expected to start next spring rather than this fall.

Dan Roscoe, with Solar Nova Scotia, said his industry is disappointed.

"At the same time, we're very supportive of the initiative — it's extremely ambitious. And we're still working with the city very closely to ensure the program's going to be successful when it rolls out," he said Tuesday.

Roscoe said homeowners who are anxious to install solar panels should proceed on their own now instead of waiting for help from the municipality.

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