As international demand for natural gas rises, Canadian winter towns expect surges in electric bills—between 50 and 100 percent on average. No wonder many are considering solar panel installation in Canada to combat rising electricity prices.
In fact, over the past few years, using solar panels has become a trend for people who want to generate their own energy. After all, your electricity is almost free once the system is ready to go. But as practical as it sounds, are solar panels a good investment in Canada? Does the promised savings outweigh the initial investment? Let’s find out.
Factors to Consider When Investing in Solar Panels in Canada
Geography is one factor to consider when investing in solar panels in Canada, as the amount of sunshine and the cost of installing the solar equipment vary from one location to another.
Although many believe that solar setups are only great for hot places and are not ideal for a winter place like Canada, this is not the case. Solar power panels, like other electronic devices, function more effectively in cold temperatures, producing more voltage and electricity as long as the sun is present.
On top of that, many cold places in Canada have longer sunlight hours annually than you might think. Take Edmonton, Alberta, for example. Edmonton is one of Canada’s coldest cities, with temperatures ranging from +5 to -38 degrees Celsius. Yet, it is, nevertheless, one of the best places for solar panels due to the high amount of sunlight it receives on average.
Benefits of Investing in Solar Panels in Canada
There are many benefits to installing solar panels in Canada. These benefits include lower energy costs, a higher property value, and no need to worry about electricity outages.
Solar panels also require low upkeep after installation. Tilting them at a 35-degree angle can prevent the need for frequent cleaning. They are also very reliant, with many able to withstand 140 mph winds. The system even has a few moving parts, which means it has a little chance of breaking.
Solar energy is a more sustainable form of energy, as you don’t have to pay every time you use it, resulting in a lower monthly electricity bill. And since you do not need to rely on the traditional electric grid more often, you can compensate for the installation costs quickly.
Aside from reducing your electric bill, it can also be a source of income. Did you know that you can earn money by selling solar panels’ excess power? The money you get from net metering, the power bill savings, and other incentives will pay back the cost of the system.
The average price of solar power in Canada is $3.07/watt, but this does not include other costs such as installation, the size of the equipment needed, and the offered incentives. Also, the setback varies by location and premises, even within nearby regions. For instance, a building that requires more electricity and sun must have more panels, not to mention wiring, batteries, and inverters, making the installation costs higher.
For perspective, calculate how much energy you use over the course of a year. Start adding your hydro bills and monthly kWh usage for the past 12 months. You can use this information to figure out how much energy solar panels can produce annually.
To calculate the size of solar panel equipment, you would need to generate the amount of energy you expect to use in a year. After that, divide your yearly energy usage by the average number of hours of full sunlight in your area. Then multiply the quotient by the cost per watt quoted by solar companies.
Note that this equation only provides a rough estimation of how much you can expect. Call an expert solar panel installation service provider for more concrete information.
Investing in Solar Panels is a Long-term Commitment
Those who choose to invest in solar panels expect to have an ROI within seven to eleven years. In some cases, this can be faster if the person lives in an area with low electricity costs and plenty of sunshine. Although installing solar panels may increase your home’s value if you plan to sell it soon, it would be a more cost-effective investment if you intend to stay in the house for an extended period of time.
Are solar panels worth your investment?
Are solar panels a good investment in Canada? Solar panels can help you save money on your electricity bill, but it depends on your location and the type of solar panel you have. In most cases, you can save more money than you would have if you had just bought electricity from your utility. If net metering is in place, you could reduce your bills even further.
And, since solar panels will last up to 30 years, the ROI will be much higher than the initial investment. Of course, only if you can afford to pay the upfront cost and have the money available to pay it off within ten years.
Besides this, also consider other things, such as whether solar power is viable in your area and whether you are eligible for government subsidies. A study shows that investments are only lucrative in areas with high electricity rates compared to those with lower rates. But for most parts of Canada, such as Edmonton, solar power is a good choice from a financial standpoint.