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Incentive doubled for solar hot water

In an effort to entice new subscribers in its final year, SolarBC has doubled its financial incentive for homeowners interested in installing solar hot water systems.

The program is now offering $2,000 for B.C. residents to put towards a home solar hot water system. That, plus a $1,250 rebate through the federal government's EcoEnergy grant, means homeowners are eligible for $3,250 towards a system, the total cost of which averages about $7,000. SolarBC has also partnered with TD Canada Trust to provide a zero-interest loan option for eligible applicants.

The grants are available on a first come, first serve basis. "There is no funding limitation," said SolarBC project coordinator Emily Kendy. "We are providing that incentive for homeowners who want to install solar hot water. That incentive is available into the foreseeable future."

Approximately 200 homeowners have installed solar hot water systems through the program so far, which launched in 2008 with the goal of facilitating the installation of more than 2,000 systems.

Kendy denied that the program has been undersubscribed. "I think that with all things it takes a little while to get the ball rolling. We've had an increasing interest. We just wanted to provide an additional push," she said.

SolarBC is administered through the B.C. Sustainable Energy Association and is funded by the provincial and federal governments. More information about the grant and other SolarBC programs can be found on its website.

Colleen Kimmett reports for The Tyee.

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