Podcasters shine light on city's solar rebate

Podcasters shine light on city's solar rebate

· The Pulse

The City of Edmonton's decision to launch a revised version of its residential solar rebate program is a surprise that offers some promise, the hosts of Episode 270 of Speaking Municipally said.

"The city has told us that this program was not coming back," co-host Troy Pavlek said about the four-year initiative that exhausted its funds in 2022.

But, well, it's back, though in a modified form. The new rebate program is now for multi-unit properties with "four or more permitted units or dwellings," the city's webpage reads. The previous version was for residential properties irrespective of units. Applications open on July 2 for the $1.3 million pot. Projects must be completed and reported on by Dec. 16.

Pavlek, who installed solar panels on his home with help from the last incarnation of the project, thinks this timeline favours those who are already prepared. "I think this is going to look a lot like the last rebate program, where only people who already have this in the pipeline are able to benefit," he said.

The City of Edmonton ostensibly replaced the last version of the program with its Clean Energy Improvement Program, which was piloted for two years and should become permanent this year. Administered by Alberta Municipalities, it's a low-interest loan option that a recipient repays through their property taxes.

Fellow host Mack Male looked at the rise of solar implementation and made reference to other fast-moving advancements in energy transition — specifically Capital Power divestment from coal that happened years ahead of schedule.

"(Solar) far surpassed each and every possible projection that had been made over the last 25 years," Male said in reference to reporting by The Economist, which made the same point. "It's really incredible how much solar has grown, both in terms of installed capacity and how much it has dropped in terms of price."

Hear more about this, how the city might be pandering to conspiracy theorists, why mountain bikers might not love a new project built just for them, if a new green space downtown can become Edmonton's approximation of Central Park, and an update from the Taproot newsroom by managing editor Tim Querengesser on the June 28 episode of Taproot's civic affairs podcast.

Photo: People install solar panels on a roof in this file photo. (Supplied/NAIT/Creative Commons licence)