Nova Scotia

Solar program gets funding approval

HRM has received a $545,000 grant that will move the long awaited solar city program forward. It should be up and running before the end of 2012.

$545,000 grant means solar program should be up and running in a few months

There's good news for Halifax's popular solar city program.

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities has approved the region's application for funding. That means the subsidies for homeowners to install solar technology should be available within a few months.

Hundreds of people showed up for information sessions on Halifax's solar city program. Homeowners and solar energy businesses were excited by the proposal.

But everything had been put on hold for a couple of years while the municipality looked for financial support.

Finally, the green fund of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities has come through.

"We got a grant of $545,000 and we got the low interest loan that this was very dependent on of $5.4 million," said HRM Councillor Barry Dalrymple, the chair of HRM's environment committee.

Dalrymple says the program is popular because it will handle all the paperwork needed to have a solar power system put in and it'll subsidize the cost of installation.

"The little bit of costs that we won't be able to cover, you will have a time period to pay that over and your savings that you will get from these solar panels will look after costs that you have over a couple of years," said Dalrymple.

The final solar city proposal has to be approved by the transporation committee next week as well as regional council before homeowners can apply for the funding. Dalrymple expects the program to be up and running within a few months.