Alberta is the sunniest spot in Canada, with more than 300 days of sunshine every year. That’s a whole lot of solar energy you could be putting to work in your home! Have you thought about installing solar panels on your home or property? Let’s shed some light on how solar energy systems can brighten your day…
Look up! Look waaay up!
Solar panels are (most often) installed on the roof of your home. An installer’s job is to get them up and running while protecting your roof. They’ll safely secure your solar panels, seal all points of entry and be careful to consider factors like weight, weather, etc. Talk to your installers about workmanship warranties to cover you in the unlikely event a leak does occur from the installation – a professional crew will keep you covered.
Costs vs. Savings
The cost of your solar system is impacted by the number of panels, location, the complexity of your roof, and if additional equipment is required to complete installation. While pricing varies, the cost is typically around $2.50 per Watt installed.
Everyone’s system and energy habits are unique and, so their solar energy savings are too, but the average home in Alberta uses about 6,900 Watts per year. With just 22 solar modules, those homeowners are net-zero!
Watch the savings in real time
Depending on the size of your system and the fluctuating nature of energy prices, your energy savings with vary. Watching that happen can be fun and satisfying! Most solar systems use equipment with free online monitoring software (like ours!), so you can view your solar energy production in real time on your computer, Smart TV or smartphone. Then, you just have to wait for your monthly electricity bill from your electricity retailer to see your energy credits roll in.
Staying ‘on the grid’
Many people choose solar to reduce their carbon footprint and become more self-sufficient. In Alberta, you can expect to generate more power than you’ll need in the summer and less in the winter.
Even if you produce enough electricity to be self-sufficient, you’ll still get an electricity bill that includes some transmission and distribution fees associated with being on the grid. This is good! Not only because it keeps you covered during bad weather or for when you need a little extra power, but also because you can sell back your unused energy. Your energy retailer will give you a credit on your energy bill for the power you feed back into the grid.
What about all that snow?
Solar panels and materials that fasten to your roof are built for all weather, even our Albertan winters! Ours, for example, outlasted tests with golf ball sized hail at 100kph!
Snow doesn’t stop the energy flow either. Light is diffused through snow cover to allow panels to produce power. Bonus: The heat generated from the panels will remove most snow naturally. So, put the ladder away! Your snow will clear off on its own. Stay in and get cozy while your panels work for you in more ways than one.
Worth the investment?
The extra great news is that solar systems last for decades! With proper installation and care, your system should far outlast the warranty. And you’ll see a payoff even sooner than that! It’s hard to predict the future cost of energy but you can expect your system to pay for itself about halfway through its warranted lifetime (between 12 – 18 years).
Talk to your energy provider about a personalized payback assessment based on your actual utility bill consumption history.
Green energy on the go
You can stick with solar power even when you’re not at home by using a portable solar generator. They’re perfect to throw in the camper for outdoor excursions or to take with you to remote worksites. They’re especially popular on film sets that need to plug in lights at night!
On the move?
If you want to feel that personal payoff, investing in a solar system is especially wise when you’re planning on remaining in your home for a long time. If things change and you decide to move, you can most often (depending on how they were installed) take them with you. However, uninstalling and reinstalling them can be an expensive task. When you’re deciding, talk to your real estate agent about the value they add to your listing as well as your installation experts on the costs to move them.
Nothing like a little bit of energy savings to brighten your day. If you’re considering installing a solar system, talk to a solar expert to determine the best system and the right number of panels for you. They’ll look at your home’s annual power usage and available space before selecting a module with a power rating that’s right for your application.
You’re one installation away from decades of energy savings. Want to learn more? Give us a call!