If you went through the trouble of setting up a system of solar panels for your home, and you did everything you could do get off the grid, you’d also apparently have to keep your energy production secret. If the government finds out you produce energy, they will tax you and steal your hard earned energy from you.
One man accomplished his dream. Kris Currie fully designed and built his own home that entirely relies upon nothing but its own solar energy, but since the government knows about the solar panels, every month he has to pay money on them.
Currie’s home is located in New Dominion, Prince Edward Island, Canada.
Every detail of his home was set up to minimize the usage of energy: factors were considered such as the position of the windows, the thickness of the walls, even the choice of different appliances were customized like a heat pump powered clothes dryer.
The interior walls of his home were painted a certain color to reflect natural sunlight, to avoid using lights during the day. The man’s home is called a “net-zero home”: one that by itself generates all the power it needs over the course of a year from the 35 solar panels on the roof of the home.
However, there’s a tax for that: the “HST” (harmonized sales tax). At least it’s not Denmark, where taxes are known to be often beyond 50%.
“It’s nonsense really. It should be exempt,” Currie said. “We’re using it for heat, for one. Oil’s exempt. Now that we’re producing electricity we’re getting charged for it.”
The power that is supported by the Canadian government is oil, which is exempt from HST. But wood, or electricity are not exempt from this tax.
Currie joined the island’s net metering program, which may have been a bad idea because it sounds like a government scam. The program allows individual homeowners to generate their own electricity, to harvest the excess electricity into a centralized grid in exchange for credits so when they need more electricity they don’t have to pay. There must be a catch.
His home is definitely producing more electricity than is being used, feeding into the electricity grid where Maritime Electric customers are paying for it.
In winter, when he has to use more electricity Currie has to pay about $50 or $60 a month in HST for taxes on the power he produces.
Without any government assistance, the man built his net-zero home with about $46,000 extra. He wanted to cut his monthly bills, but the government said no.
Probably because they’re both working closely together, the local government and this company Maritime Electric both said to mainstream media that this practice was perfectly fine.