Get ready to go solar

New online tool helps Nova Scotians interested in getting panels

Nova Scotians interested in producing their own solar electricity have a new online resource, Solar Assist, to help. (Communications Nova Scotia)

Solar energy is hot in Nova Scotia, but a new online tool for homeowners who are curious about installing panels is pretty cool.

Clean Foundation recently launched Solar Assist to help guide Nova Scotians every step of the way in acquiring a solar electricity system.

“SolarAssist was created to be a one-stop resource for homeowners interested in generating home solar power, and to offer a realistic snapshot of that potential,” says Scott Skinner, CEO of Clean Foundation.

The province does get more than enough rays for solar, and a visit to the interactive website begins with an evaluation of your home’s potential to harness the power of the sun. By entering your home address into the solar calculator, you’ll get an idea how much you might save on your energy bill by installing rooftop panels.

After discovering your home’s solar potential, you can also find programs to help you get there. The platform will even help you find an installer and learn more about incentives, rebates and programs that are available.

Dennis Wright of Beechville had solar panels installed last summer. (Communications Nova Scotia)

Dennis Wright became interested in solar about five years before his installation was done last summer. The resident of the Halifax-area community of Beechville researched the use of the technology worldwide and also worked with his installer to understand the options available.

“I’m thankful for this community and appreciate the opportunity to improve our home in hopes of making things more affordable for the next generation,” Wright says.

Financing available through the Halifax Regional Municipality’s SolarCity program helped the family with the purchase. Wright also tapped into SolarHomes, a new provincial program that provides a rebate of up to $10,000 on installation costs.

In just six months, about 400 homeowners have signed up and more than 30 installers have joined SolarHomes.

The website has a solar calculator that can give you an idea how much you might save on your energy bill.

“We’ve had a tremendous response to Nova Scotia’s solar programs, and as a result we’re seeing installers hiring more people and families lowering their energy bills,” said Energy and Mines Minister Derek Mombourquette. “Solar energy builds on our province’s position as a leader in the fight against climate change, and with the SolarAssist site providing homeowners with more information we expect to lower emissions even further.”

If you’re not a homeowner, or are interested in solar for an organization, Solar Assist can still help you learn more.

The online tool is a partnership between Clean Foundation and Nova Scotia’s Department of Energy and Mines, with help from Solar Nova Scotia, R&G Strategic, and the Halifax Regional Municipality’s SolarCity program.

To find out how you can produce your own renewable power, check out Solar Assist here today!