Top 6 Benefits of Installing Solar Panels in Homes Across Canada
Homeowners can easily capture the energy of the sun to power their homes by installing solar panels along their roof. As these panels soak up the rays, they minimize heat transfer in the attic and use the energy to produce electricity for the home. Unfortunately, at around $20,000 before tax credits, their high installation cost can make it difficult for North Calgary homeowners homeowners to decide if this is the right move. With a look at all the solar power benefits, however, it is much easier for these individuals to justify the cost and move forward with this project.
Lower Monthly Energy Bills
Depending on the type and size of solar panels installed on the roof, they can dramatically reduce energy bills or eliminate them altogether. These savings immediately start to offset the installation cost, making it a great long-term investment.
With an average six kilowatt system, the solar panels can produce up to 94% of the electricity used in the home. This results in a significant savings for the average households using 1,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) per month.
At the average rate of $0.174 kWh, those households pay over $2,080 on electricity each year without solar panels. As the panels pick up the slack, however, the remaining 6% will only cost them about $125 for electricity across the whole year.
Earn Money Back as Bill Credits and More
Depending on the location of their home, households in Canada can even use their solar energy system to make money. They just have to sign up to sell the excess energy generated by their panels through an appropriate program.
Upon signing up to participate in the net-metering program, the home's solar panels feed any excess energy used by the system back into the meter. The meter keeps close track of this exchange, allowing the electric company to determine the difference between the energy used and supplied.
If the household provided more energy than they used from the grid, they will receive credits on their next bill. Any size solar panel system qualifies for this program, though credits can only be held on the account for 12 months.
Alternatively, homeowners can sign up for the microFIT, or micro feed-in tariff, program to receive a direct payment for the energy supplied to the grid. To qualify, the system must have a 10 kWh capacity or less, and it must meet the metering requirements.
Avoid Increasing Energy Costs
With solar panel systems installed, homeowners save themselves from ever-increasing electricity prices. All across Canada, the cost of electricity is increasing much faster than inflation. From 2007 to 2016, these costs increased by 66% in Ontario alone, and this trend is likely to continue through the years. Without an alternative way to generate electricity, homeowners have to simply pay these rising costs and hope they do not get too high in the future.
Improve the Value of the Home
Solar panel systems can increase the value of the property and even make it easier to sell. These systems are desirable because they make the home much more self-sustainable, allowing people to achieve an off-the-grid lifestyle. They are also a big investment that can pay out for decades after their installation.
In most areas, solar panels increase the value of the property by about 4% on average. This offsets the installation cost by about $12,000 on a $300,000 home. Although this return on investment is not realized right away, unless the homeowner elects to sell, it adds up with the other benefits to make solar panels a wise investment.
Receive Tax Incentives
Although there is no federal solar energy tax program in Canada, certain provinces and territories do offer their own incentives, such as:
- British Columbia
- New Brunswick
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- Northwest Territories
- Nova Scotia
- Prince Edward Island
- Yukon Territory
In these areas, homeowners can receive a one-time rebate or sign up for the net-metering program. Either of these options helps homeowners recoup up to 20% of the cost of their solar panels.
Decrease Carbon Footprint
Solar panels provide clean, renewable energy that can decrease a household's carbon footprint by quite a lot. They do not produce any carbon emissions unlike the methods used to provide electricity to everyone in the city. There are some carbon costs, however, in their production, though the system tends to pay that back in just two years.
After that, the solar panels continue to produce clean energy for up to 28 more years, dramatically reducing the household's use of fossil fuels. The positive impact on the environment is equal to the benefits of planting 150 trees each year or 4,500 trees total across the life of the system.
With a look at these solar panel benefits, homeowners in Canada can start to see how this project will pay off now and in the future. Then, they can move forward in their plans with confidence their investment will provide great rewards every step of the way.