How Does Solar Electric Work?
Most solar electric (also known as photovoltaic) systems for residential customers are done through the BC Hydro and Fortis BC Net Metering programs.
Net metering means you receive credit for the power you generate, decreasing your electricity bill. If solar is not providing all of the energy, the grid will supply rest.
So, I Don’t Have To Be Off-Grid Or Have Batteries To Generate My Own Power?
This is a common misconception. With the BC Hydro and Fortis BC Net Metering Program, you can produce your own power while still being connected to the grid, and do so without the need for batteries.
The utility is the system’s storage.
How Much Does a Typical Solar System Cost?
The average system we install residential is around 5 kilowatts and produces approximately 5,600 kilowatt hours per year. This grid tie system costs around $14,000 fully installed.
What Is Solar’s ROI?
Over 25 years a system could result in an Internal Rate of Return of between 3.5% and 7.5%, out performing many types of investments.
The return is dependent on a few variables: your location’s sun-hours, the size of the system, the electricity rate that you pay, and how many kilowatt-hours you consume over a year.
Are There Any Incentives For Solar?
BC offers a PST exemption on renewable energy systems.
For businesses who add solar, the federal government offers accelerated depreciation. To learn more, click here.
How Big Of A System Do I Need?
Typically, when dealing with home solar systems, we look at four different variables:
- How much of your electric bill do you want to offset?
- How much south facing roof space is available?
- Do you have a budget in mind?
- What size is your electrical service?
Because those variables are different for everyone, and because different clients use different amounts of electricity, all home solar systems are custom designed to meet your needs.
What Kind Of Systems Do You Use?
We use only the best quality modules, inverters and racking products to ensure a high-quality installation every time.
Some of our products are:
- Canadian Solar solar modules
- SolarEdge inverters
- AP Systems micro inverters
- REC Solar modules
- Kinetic Solar racking
How long does the System Last?
Modules are virtually maintenance free and very long lasting (most manufacturers offer 25 year warranties) with a 30+ year lifespan.
I Plan To Build And May Want To Add One Of These Systems Down The Road. Should I Do Anything To Prepare?
We encourage you to make your house “solar ready.” Have some conduit or appropriately sized cables installed from the attic space to the electrical room (or area where your main service panel will sit).
That way, should you choose to install solar at a later date, the installation will be a lot easier, cleaner looking and less expensive.
We offer anyone building a new home a free review of their plans to find out their solar potential and review their solar ready rough-in. Contact us here.