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HRAI Renewables Databank

This databank is intended to act as a guide for members of The Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) to comfortably engage in increased activity in the Renewables area – specifically in geothermal and solar thermal technologies areas. The databank will be updated as programs advance.

Geothermal

Agencies

The Canadian Geo-Exchange Coalition is the national voice of the ground source heat pump industry. This organization offers design and installation training programs in New Brunswick and Quebec, and reports on related projects and incentives activity across Canada.

Standards and Codes

Equipment Performance
Under CSA’s Steering Committee on Performance, Energy Efficiency and Renewables (SCOPEER), the Renewables Technical Committee has for many years been developing performance testing standards on geothermal products and systems. At present these standards include:

  • C445 - Design and Installation of Earth Energy Systems (predecessor to C448 below)
    Referenced by Alberta Building Code and Quebec Ministry of the Environment
  • C448 Series 2 - Design and Installation of Earth Energy Systems. This standard was reaffirmed in February 2007. No present committee activity other than collecting information for next edition. Referenced in 2005 National building Code and 2006 Ontario Building Code.
  • C13256-1-01 - Water Source Heat Pumps - Testing and Rating for Performance - Part 1: Water-to-air and Brine-to-air Heat Pumps - Last reaffirmed in July 2006. No present committee activity. Referenced in Federal Energy Efficiency Regulations and Ontario Energy Efficiency Act.
  • C748-94 - Performance of Direct Expansion (DX) Ground Source Heat Pumps - Reaffirmed March 2005 - No present committee activity. Referenced in Regulations in BC under BC Energy Efficiency Act and in Ontario under Ontario Energy Efficiency Act.

Copies of these documents are available for purchase from CSA by visiting their website at www.csa.ca and selecting Online Store (or if in doubt select HELP - How to place an Order). Then select ENERGY. Under Energy you can select Energy Efficiency or Renewable Thermal Energy, and all available standards will be listed for you. Select the one(s) you want and decide whether you want hard copy or downloadable versions, and “Add to cart”. You may have to set up an account. You may also order hard copies by calling the CSA Sales Department at 1-800-463-6727.

Regulations

Federal – Natural Resources Canada
Energy Star Program: To be able to display the ENERGY STAR symbol, products must meet or exceed technical specifications designed to ensure that they are among the most energy efficient in the marketplace. Requirements vary from one category to another, but typically an ENERGY STAR model must be from 10 to 50% more efficient than a conventional model. Ground Source Heat Pumps are included in the Energy Star Program.

Provincial – Refer to equipment performance standards listed above.

Grants and Incentives and Rebates

Federal – The “ecoEnergy for Renewable Heat” initiative started in April 2007 and will spend $36 million dollars over four years to increase adoption of renewables including solar and geo-thermal technologies. Refer to Environment Canada’s website where you can search by province, program type and keyword (geothermal or solar thermal).

Provincial
Ontario
As part of the 2004 Ontario Budget, the Ontario government expanded the current Retail Sales Tax (RST) rebate for solar energy systems to include geothermal energy systems installed in residential premises. As announced in the 2007 Ontario Budget, the rebate has been extended for qualifying alternative energy systems that are purchased and installed in residential premises by January 1, 2010. For more information, visit the Ontario Ministry of Revenue website.

Prince Edward Island
PST exemptions are available on small-scale renewable energy equipment with a rating of 100 kilowatts (340,000 BTUs) or less including ground-source or geothermal heat pump energy generating systems. For more information, visit the Environment, Energy and Forestry section of the Government of PEI website.

Quebec
Hydro Quebec has a grant program for new construction and existing homes which will provide up to $2,800 for a new home construction and $2,000 for existing homes. Additional grants are available through provincial energy efficiency programs. For more information and qualifying installations visit the Hydro Quebec website. Under the “Empower Program for Building Optimization”, Hydro Quebec offers eligible customers financial assistance to carry out projects involving implementation of electricity management measures in buildings.

Manitoba
Manitoba Hydro offers incentives under their “Earth Power Program”. Financial assistance is available to qualifying home owners with the cost of installing a geothermal heat pump. For loan and eligibility details visit Manitoba Hydo's website. A “Commercial Earth Power Program” is also available providing financial incentives to customers who install a geothermal heat pump system to replace a conventional electric heating system.

Saskatchewan
A loan program is available for residential and farm customers who choose to install a Canadian Geoexchange Coalition (CGC) certified geothermal and/or renewable system. This program is applicable to customers who install a system in a new home, or choose to retrofit an existing home to accommodate a geothermal and/or renewable system.

PST Exemption is available on new ENERGY STAR qualified heat pumps.

Saskatchewan’s ENERGUIDE for Houses Grant Program has been extended and enhanced and offers a rebate to residential customers of up to $3,500 for retrofit installation of a CAN/CSA-C448 compliant geothermal system. For more information visit www.saskenergy.com or call 1-866-409-9770.

British Columbia
The Fortis PowerSense Heat Pump Incentive program offers loans and grants for ground source heat pump systems. For more information, visit the Fortis BC website.

Solar Thermal

Agencies

The Canadian Solar Industries Association provides information relating to the solar energy industry in Canada. Their website contains sections pertaining to training, general information, resources and federal and provincial incentives.   

Standards and Codes

Equipment Performance
Under CSA’s Steering Committee on Performance, Energy Efficiency and Renewables (SCOPEER), the Renewables Technical Committee has for many years been developing performance testing standards on solar thermal products. At present these standards include:

  • F378-87 Solar Collectors - This Standard specifies a set of technical requirements and test methods for solar collectors and covers component materials, materials performance, operating performance, and marking requirements.
  • F379-08 Packaged Solar Domestic Hot Water Systems (liquid-to-liquid heat transfer) - This is the first edition of the CSA F379 Series, Packaged solar domestic hot water systems (liquid-to-liquid heat transfer). It replaces the previous editions of CSA F379.1, Solar Domestic Hot Water Systems (Liquid-to-Liquid Heat Transfer) and CSA F379.2, Seasonal Use Packaged Solar Domestic Hot Water Systems, published as stand-alone documents in 1988 and 1989, respectively. This Standard applies to the performance, durability, and safety of packaged solar domestic hot water (SDHW) systems that use liquid-to-liquid heat transfer and liquid heat storage media suitable for year-round use.
  • F383-08 Installation of Packaged Solar Domestic Hot Water Systems – This is the second edition of CSA F383, Installation of packaged solar domestic hot water systems. It replaces the previous edition, published in 1987 under the title Installation Code for Solar Domestic Hot Water Systems. This Standard specifies requirements for the installation of packaged solar domestic hot water (SDHW) systems that meet the requirements of the CSA F379 Series.

Copies of these documents are available for purchase from CSA by visiting their website and selecting Online Store (or if in doubt select HELP - How to place an Order). Then select Energy. Under Energy you can select Energy Efficiency or Renewable Thermal Energy, and all available standards will be listed for you. Select the one(s) you want and decide whether you want hard copy or downloadable versions, and “Add to cart”. You may have to set up an account. You may also order hard copies by calling the CSA Sales Department at 1-800-463-6727.

Regulations

Federal - Natural Resources Canada
Energy Star Program: To be able to display the ENERGY STAR symbol, products must meet or exceed technical specifications designed to ensure that they are among the most energy efficient in the marketplace. Requirements vary from one category to another, but typically an ENERGY STAR model must be from 10 to 50% more efficient than a conventional model. As of April 2007 there are no solar thermal products included in the Energy Star Program. For future reference visit the website.

Provincial - Refer to equipment performance standards listed above.

Grants and Incentives and Rebates

Federal: Natural Resources Canada
The ecoENERGY for Renewable Heat Program runs from April 1, 2007 to March 31, 2001. Incentives are offered to the industrial/commercial/institutional sector to install energy-efficient solar air and/or water heating systems. Incentive rates will be based on a rate per square meter of collector area multiplied by a collector-specific Performance Factor and an incentive rate. Eligible projects must be completed and commissioned within nine (9) months of the signing of a contribution agreement with NRCan. For further information, visit the Government of Canada’s ecoACTION website.

A 50% accelerated capital cost allowance (CCA) under class 43.2 of Schedule II to the Income Tax Regulations for specified clean energy generation equipment. Eligible equipment includes solar thermal, solar air and solar photovoltaic equipment. Project size restrictions have been eliminated.  Class 43.2 is currently available for assets acquired on or after February 23, 2005 and before 2012. For more information visit Natural Resources Canada’s website.

Provincial
Ontario
Solar Energy Systems Rebate: Returns the Retail Sales Tax (RST) paid on solar energy systems to homeowners or builders who install the energy systems into residential premises, including mult-residential premises, or who expand or upgrade an existing solar energy system. This rebate applies to qualifying systems that are purchased and installed in residential premises before January 1, 2010. For further details, visit the Ministry of Revenue website.

OPA Electricity Retrofit Incentive Program (Commercial): The Ontario Power Authority (OPA), through the Every Kilowatt Counts initiative, has developed a commercial incentive program. Commercial building owners/tenants can retrofit their building with solar hot water heaters and other electricity saving equipment and receive a rebate from the OPA.

PEI
Renewable Heat Loan Program: Available to all homeowners, this program provides loans to assist in the installation of renewable energy equipment. Eligible systems include solar air and solar domestic hot water systems. The Renewable Energy Loan Program provides loans up to $5,000 at an interest rate of six percent.

Sales Tax Exemption: Provincial Sales Tax (PST) exemption on small-scale renewable energy equipment. Items which are exempt from provincial sales tax include solar thermal and solar photovoltaic systems. For more information please visit: http://www.gov.pe.ca/oee/.

Nova Scotia
Solar Water Heating Rebate: Conserve Nova Scotia provides a 15% rebate of the installed cost of a solar water heating system for residential, industrial or commercial use. The maximum provincial rebate is $20,000.

Solar Air Heating Rebate: Conserve Nova Scotia provides a 15% rebate of the installed cost of a solar air heating system for residential, institutional, industrial or commercial use. The maximum provincial rebate is $20,000. 

Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan EnerGuide for Houses Retrofit Grant Program: The Government of Saskatchewan has extended and enhanced the Saskatchewan EnerGuide for Houses retrofit grant program until March 31, 2011. Individuals who qualify under this new program also qualify for the ecoENERGY Retrofit Initiative introduced by the Federal government on April 1, 2007. This allows existing homes which install a solar domestic hot water heating system to receive a combined $1,500 from the Saskatchewan government as well as the Federal ecoEnergy program.

Solar Heating Initiative for Today (SHIFT): The SHIFT program provides funding for new solar water heating systems to large, non-residential consumers of hot water in Saskatchewan. The program is available for businesses, industries, multiple-unit residential buildings over three stories, public institutions such as hospitals and schools, and municipal and provincial facilities. The SHIFT incentive matches the ecoENERGY for Renewable Heat incentive level combining to provide up to 50% of eligible project costs.