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Colchester County to support up 20 solar projects per year

TRURO, N.S. - Colchester County Council will establish a $300,000 annual budget for loans to ratepayers who want to participate in its solar energy program.

The money is intended to assist residents who want to equip their homes with solar panels as part of the municipality's Property Assessed Clean Energy program.

Each project will cost $15,000 to $20,000, depending on anticipated energy use, roof size, design of the panel system and other factors. At those costs, the $300,000 budget will enable the county to support between 15 and 20 projects per year.

Property owners who buy into the project will be required to pay back their loans over a 10-year period at an interest rate of 0.75 per cent over prime.

The program is available for residential properties, occupied by the property owner and with up to one rental unit. However, other properties housing a place of worship, a charity, a co-op or a non-profit operation can also qualify. However, the Municipal Government Act does not permit municipalities to provide financial assistance to businesses.

All loans must be paid off within 10 years.

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