17. Light Up Alberta

Tags: Renewable Energy, Solar

Published October 24, 2012

Blog: Light up Alberta doubles down on solar electricity

To Warren Sarauer putting a solar electric system on his roof was a no-brainer but when some innovative electricity retailers in Alberta decided to offer almost double the going rate for his exported solar energy he was ecstatic.

Sarauer is a big solar energy supporter – through his company Evergreen and Gold Renewable Energy he puts renewable energy systems into people’s homes. But last year he tackled a project that would set an example for his clients, he built a net-zero office.  

Sarauer bought an old, fading grocery store in the east Edmonton neighborhood of Newton and completely renovated it top-to-bottom to build a super efficient, solar-powered office for his company.

Today he powers his net-zero office space with a relatively small 8.5 kW solar system. According to the micro-generation regulation in Alberta Sarauer can sell any excess solar electricity to the grid at the same price as he buys electricity, a price that hovers around $0.08 per kilowatt-hour.

But this year a bevy of Alberta’s small boutique energy retailers got together to do something really different. In Alberta’s deregulated electricity market they launched Light Up Alberta, a program that offers a $0.15 a kilowatt-hour rebate for solar electricity exported to the grid. More…

Podcast: Bright Idea: Alberta's small scale voluntary feed-in tariff for solar micro-generators

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If you own a solar system in Alberta chances are that you got out of interest or out of wanting to offset your carbon footprint. With the current micro-generation regulations in Alberta the payback period was quite long. Now with this new program, Light Up Alberta, paying $0.15 cents a kilowatt-hour for your electricity things are starting to look up for rooftop solar in Alberta. 

Quick Facts

Light Up Alberta press release 

SOLAR ELECTRICITY Increasingly, Albertans are generating their own environmentally-friendly solar electricity. Now electricity consumers in Alberta are able to take another step forward with the introduction of the first-ever and enhanced “premium priced credit program”; designed by Alberta’s Boutique Retailers and implemented to help promote the MG solar industry in our province.  

As innovative systems and new services evolved, the Alberta government responded by developing the Micro-Generation Regulation to simplify the grid-connection process and make the electricity grid accessible to everyone. Today it is easier than ever and more economical for residential, farm, municipal and small commercial businesses to install and operate
solar-electric systems and to export and sell any surpluses to the grid.

Good News: Alberta’s Boutique Retailers not only are paying Small Micro-Generators a premium price for their solar electricity exports, they have also reduced their retail prices in July, selling electricity at prices below the major utilities.

Join the “Light Up Alberta” initiative. This enhanced and premium credit program is now available to customers in

virtually every community across Alberta. And even if you are not a micro-generator, maybe it is time to just switch your home electricity account away from your old utility and simply take advantage of lower electricity prices. 

Effective July 1, 2012: Small Micro-Generation (MG) producers (if they are a customer of one of Alberta’s Boutique Electricity Retailers), will automatically receive a premium price of 15 ¢ / kWh for electricity generated from solar energy and exported to the grid.

1. Province of Alberta, Electric Utilities Act, Micro-Generation Regulation
2. Micro-Generator Application Guideline (Version 1.1) dated September 1, 2011
3. For more information visit The Electricity Shop