ecoENERGY for Renewable Heat was a CAD 36-million programme that run from April 1, 2007 to March 31, 2011. It was designed to encourage the use of Renewable thermal technologies, specifically energy efficient active solar thermal equipment used for space (i.e. air) heating and cooling and water heating.
There were three distinct activities under the ecoENERGY for Renewable Heat programme - Commercial Deployment incentives, Residential Pilot Projects and Industry Capacity Building. Under the Commercial Deployment activity, almost 500 applications for thermal heat solar systems have been approved which will receive a grant ranging from CAD 2,000 to CAD 400,000. The maximum grant was increased to CAD 400,000 for solar water projects on March 1, 2009, to complement the governments desire to encourage infrastructure development in response to the economic downturn. Incentives are available to the industrial/commercial/institutional sectors only.
Over the first year the ecoENERGY for Renewable Heat programme provided CAD 3.1 million in incentives to Canadian businesses. Between April 2008 and March 2009, 135 solar air and water projects were approved totalling over CAD 5 million in incentives. For the third year, April 2009 to March 2010, the funding support is estimated over 300 applications for an anticipated incentive amount of CAD 7 million. Ontario and Saskatchewan have complementary programmes offering matching grants up to CAD 80,000. British Columbia has a complementary programme offering a matching grant up to CAD 50,000 for solar water systems on institutional buildings. ecoENERGY for Renewable Heat provides a one window access to these complementary programmes.
The ecoENERGY for Renewable Heat programmes Residential Pilot Initiative activity was set up to increase the market for residential applications of solar hot water systems. It offers funding to selected Canadian companies to run programmes to test ways of making solar water heating systems more accessible and affordable to Canadian homeowners. Under the Industry Capacity Building activity, the ecoENERGY for Renewable Heat programme also helped support the growing renewable energy thermal market through the development of industry standards and certification processes for both solar thermal and geothermal technologies; promoting the inclusion of new technologies in building codes and provincial, and municipal regulations; and training system designers, technicians and installers.