Ontario Is North America's Hot Spot For Solar Energy



    $14.4M Rebate Program Will Boost Key Alternative Energy Source

    TORONTO, Nov. 20 /CNW/ - A program that will provide businesses with up
to $80,000 to install solar heating systems is the latest tool Ontario is
using to become North America's leader in solar power.
    Ontario is rapidly increasing its use of solar energy, with over 100
contracts signed for potential solar energy projects across the province
ranging in size from residential systems to large-scale solar farms capable of
powering thousands of homes.
    Now Ontario's businesses, industries and institutions have another
incentive to get in on the action.
    The Ontario Solar Thermal Heating Incentive matches rebates provided by
the federal ecoENERGY for Renewable Heat program. Each program provides up to
25 per cent of the cost of purchasing and installing a solar hot water or
solar air heating system, to a maximum of $80,000.
    Gerry Phillips, Ontario's new Energy Minister has announced an agreement
with the federal government which will help the Province implement this
four-year, $14.4 million rebate program in conjunction with Natural Resources
Canada to encourage businesses, institutions and industry across Ontario to
install solar heating systems.
    "We are delighted to have this important agreement in place," said
Ontario Energy Minister Gerry Phillips. "These solar installations will help
achieve important reductions in the use of fossil fuel-based energy for space
and water heating. That is why we are supporting this important rebate program
so significantly."
    The long-term benefits of solar energy are immense. In Canada's
commercial and institutional sectors, up to 10 per cent of energy use is for
water heating and over 50 per cent is for space heating. This program will
support the installation of solar systems that offset both of these loads. For
space heating, savings from solar systems can approach 50 per cent of building
heating loads.

    
    Other key McGuinty government solar energy initiatives include:

    -   Setting a target of installing 100,000 solar roofs across the
        province
    -   Establishing the Ontario Home Energy Retrofit Program provides up to
        $5,000 for home energy retrofits, including $500 rebated on the
        installation of solar domestic water systems
    -   Extending the provincial sales tax (PST) rebate on qualifying solar
        (and other renewable energy) equipment to January 1, 2010
    -   Funding "Go Solar" - a one stop information shop for Ontarians
        interested in installing solar energy systems to heat water or
        generate electricity - www.gosolarontario.com
    

    To participate in the Ontario Solar Thermal Heating Incentive, applicants
must apply through the federal ecoENERGY for Renewable Heat program. The
province's program applies to those Ontario applications submitted to the
federal program on or after June 20, 2007 (when the provincial program was
initially announced).
    Interested applicants should start by visiting NRCan's ecoACTION website
at www.ecoaction.gc.ca or by calling NRCan information hotline at
1-877-722-6600. Then, more information about Ontario's matching incentive can
be found on the Ministry of Energy website at www.energy.gov.on.ca or by
calling the Ministry's information hotline at 1-888-668-4636.





For further information:

For further information: Alan Findlay, Ministers' Office, (416)
327-3546; Sylvia Kovesfalvi, Communications Branch, (416) 327-4334

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Ontario Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure

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