Frequently Asked Questions about the Ontario Solar Thermal Heating Incentive (OSTHI)
- What is it?
OSTHI helps the province's industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) sectors cut their energy costs by supporting solar thermal energy systems, which lower the province's carbon footprint, supports the growth of green jobs and helps to build a culture of conservation.
- Why is it important?
Solar installations can help reduce the use of fossil fuel-based energy for space and water heating by as much as 25 to 50 per cent depending on an operation's water use, the season and the size of the system. Water and space heating can represent a large percentage of operating costs. That's why Ontario launched this program in 2007, with funding of $14.4 million
- Why the change to the program?
To further support the objectives of the Green Energy Act, Ontario is significantly increasing the per-project funding available for solar hot water projects under the program -- moving from a maximum of $80,000 per project to a maximum of $400,000. This change will be made retroactive to March 1, 2009. Ontario will also continue to provide up to $80,000 per project for solar hot air projects.
- How does the program work?
The Ontario Solar Thermal Heating Incentive provides rebates matched by the federal government's ecoENERGY for Renewable Heat Program.The province's program applies to those Ontario applications submitted to the federal program on or after June 20, 2007 and before March 31, 2011.
Each program provides an incentive payment based on a rate per square metre of collector area multiplied by a preset collector-specific performance factor (list available at http://www.ecoaction.gc.ca/ecoenergy-ecoenergie/heat-chauffage/v2008/collectors-capteurs-eng.cfm)
- Who is eligible?
Industries, commercial businesses and public institutions (schools, hospitals, municipalities, municipally owned utilities, industry associations), non-profit organizations and energy service companies are eligible. They must be located in Ontario, and install an eligible solar water or solar air heating system.