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Curious about solar panels?

Curious about solar panels?

What would you think is Alberta’s most abundant energy resource? Oil? Gas? Think again! It’s SUNSHINE! Did you know that Lethbridge, Alberta and Estevan, Saskatchewan have the highest solar resources in Canada? And Edmonton isn’t far behind! Pretty cool! And because we’re in such a sunny spot it makes lots of sense to considering harnessing that energy for your home.

Here are just some of the benefits of adding a solar energy source to your house:

  • Your electricity bill will drop by as much as 80%.
  • Your  electricity-generated greenhouse gas emissions can be eliminated.
  • You’ll enjoy more stable electricity costs.
  • It will make your house a bit cooler in the summer because it shades some of your roof.
  • And, it will make portions of your roof last longer as the solar array protects your shingles.

Here’s a quick analysis of the financial benefits:

  • The average household uses 7200 kWh per year.  This would require a solar photovoltaic (PV) system containing roughly 22 solar PV modules, which would currently cost approximately $16,000 including GST for the installation.
  • The average rebate available to a homeowner is currently $5400  which has increased, from The Province of Alberta and an additional $950 from the City of Edmonton, so the net cost to the homeowner is $9800.
  • In most situations the payback for a solar module system is 14 to 17 years.  New options for financing the installation of a solar module system will reduce this even further.  Watch the news for announcements regarding a program called PACE – Property Assessed Clean Energy.  This system will allow financing of solar energy systems for homeowners, with payments collected through the property tax system.
  • There is a basic cost for the choice of connecting to the electricity grid of $68 per year for billing administration plus $238 per year for operating and maintaining the distribution system, for a total of $306 per year because you are still using the grid for storing your excess daily electricity and providing you with voltage and frequency, even if you provide all your own energy.
  • Alberta uses a “net billing” system. This means you get credit on your bills for the energy you generate when you don’t use it!
  • The net savings from a solar PV system source is $600 to $800 per year for the average household depending on from whom you purchase your electricity!

Government rebate programs offer homeowners the opportunity to save up to 40% of the cost of going with a solar PV system!  Learn more in the links below!

I hope you find this helpful as you explore the best ways to power your household!

Contributed by Kathy Schmidt, Broker Owner, Schmidt Realty Group Inc.
Technical information courtesy of Gordon Powell, P. Eng, Howell Mayhew Engineering, Edmonton Alberta

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