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Bermuda updates solar rebate programme

Walter Roban, speaking about the updated Solar Rebate Programme (Photograph supplied)

Walter Roban, speaking about the updated Solar Rebate Programme (Photograph supplied)

The Solar Energy Rebate programme is being updated to ensure that it provides the strongest support to owners of lower value homes.

Walter Roban, the Minister of Transportation and Regulatory Affairs, described how rebates would differ according to a home’s annual rental value. At a news conference today, Mr Roban said the previous solar technology rebate programme was launched in 2010, offering $1 per kilowatt of solar power to all applicants up to $5,000.

The updated Solar Energy Rebate programme offers:

• For homeowners with an ARV up to $30,000, a rebate of $2 per watt up to $8,000

• For homeowners with an ARV between $30,000 and $65,000, a rebate of $1 per watt up to $4,000.

• For homeowners with an ARV between $65,000 and $120,000, a rebate of $1 per watt up to $2,000.

The rebate programme also includes rebates for solar thermal installations, which use the energy of the sun to directly heat water.

The rebate scheme for solar thermal installations are calculated on the measure of the heat output of the water heater, or megajoule. It offers:

• Homeowners with an ARV up to $30,000, a rebate of $40 per megajoule per day up to $2,500.

• Homeowners with an ARV between $30,000 and $65,000, a rebate of $20 per megajoule per day up to $2,000.

• Homeowners with an ARV between $65,000 and $120,000, a rebate of $10 per megajoule per day up to $1,200.

“With lending institutions having more appetite for making loans available to homeowners for the express purpose of solar technologies, we believe that this initiative will give incentive to the average consumer to take advantage of this rebate programme,” Mr Roban said.

Mr Roban stressed that there will be no rebates allowed for illegally installed systems.

“While this programme was successful in achieving our goal to encourage the uptake of solar energy technologies in Bermuda, the average consumer fell on the higher end of the annual rental value, or ARV scale,” Mr Roban said.

“For those who are not aware of what this means, an ARV is a value given to properties for the determination of land tax. Typically, it is a calculation of the size and amenities of the building that determines the ARV.”

He added the need to assist homeowners whose properties and systems fall on the lower end of the ARV scale, the rebate programme was updated to increase the benefit of solar technology installation for these individuals.

Jeane Nikolai, director of the Department of Energy, introduced the updated programme with Mr Roban.

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