Published On: April 7, 2020

Did you know that Alberta is one of the sunniest places in all of Canada? It is estimated that the usable annual solar potential in Alberta is 26 exajoules (EJ) – that’s 26 BILLION gigajoules! For comparison, the average urban consumer uses 120 GJ (~272 GJ for rural consumers) of energy in natural gas each year. Interesting numbers – but what does this really mean?

What if you could take that energy potential and turn it into cold, hard, cash? That is what thousands of solar PV Micro-Generators in Alberta have been doing for years.

Micro-Generators who are members of the Solar Club, saw even more of that cash in their pockets. As part of the unique program offered by our network of local Energy Marketers, not only do members receive a great rate for energy exported to the grid, but they also earn cash back rebates for energy imported from the grid. This is not a government subsidy, but rather money paid out by our network, in order to help support the birth of an industry.

Members earn cash back every day of the year. Even in the middle of winter, during the first quarter of 2020, members across the network earned almost $4,000 in cash back credits plus green offsets. As we approach the first year anniversary of the Solar Club – more than $13,000 has been earned by members under the cash back reward program, plus another $17,000 in green offsets which were gifted to Micro-Generators by Green Alberta Energy.

At the end of March, local Energy Marketers deposited thousands of cash back dollars directly into Solar Club member’s bank accounts. Given the current downturn in the economy due to COVID-19, this is likely a welcome bonus for members.

Further Greening Alberta’s Grid

In addition to the cash back rebates, we continued to do our part to help the province realize its goal of achieving 30% renewable energy by 2030. But, rather than wait another ten years, we helped Solar Club members green 30% of their electricity imports for free in 2019! The total amount of electricity offset since the introduction of the program, on behalf of Solar Club members totalled over 1,000,000 kWh green offsets, known as Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs).

We will double this amount of offsets in 2020. Green offsets are being increased from 30% to 50%! Members will now be able to green half of their electricity imports from the grid. Offsets are provided free of charge to Solar Club members and the cost of the offsets are being funded as a gift to our members.

Even More Benefits to Membership

For those who don’t know, our original solar PV Micro-Generation program was called the Light Up Alberta program, founded in 2012. It was part of the foundation for what the Solar Club is today. The program has been 8 years in the making, and continues to get better every year.

Members of the Solar Club enjoy many benefits. To qualify, you must be a solar PV Micro-Generator and the only cost is a promise to donate to your local food bank.

In addition to the free green offsets and the cash back benefit, members can select from special rates designed exclusively for solar PV Micro-Generators. They can easily switch between these exclusive rates, penalty free, to accommodate seasonal generation fluctuations.

April 1 we introduced a new low export rate of 6.7 cents per kWh and as we approach the summer solstice in June, solar club members can take advantage of our new 22 cents/kWh High Export rate. These rates are a great way for those that have solar PV systems to get more out of their investment.

As we approach the one-year anniversary of the Solar Club, we invite you to join now, become part of a unique loyalty club, and do your part to green Alberta’s energy grid.

thinking about solar?

Once you have solar installed on your home, you are considered a micro-generator and are automatically eligible to be part of Alberta’s best solar loyalty program.