Calgary, known for its picturesque landscapes, fluctuating weather, and thriving energy industry, has recently seen an uptick in a different kind of energy source: solar power.
As more residents of Calgary consider the transition towards a more sustainable lifestyle, the question on many minds is, “Are solar panels worth it?” At first glance, investing in a solar power system for your home may seem daunting. A closer look, however, reveals some substantial benefits that could make the investment well worth it. Whether you’re an eco-conscious individual or just looking for long-term financial savings, this guide will shed light on everything you need to know
What are Solar Panels?
When considering solar panels, it’s crucial to understand the components of a residential solar power system and how they work in harmony to harness the sun’s energy for daily use.
Solar Cells: The solar cells are at the heart of the solar panel system. These units, primarily made from silicon, directly convert sunlight into electricity. Their photovoltaic properties capture and transform solar radiation into usable energy.
Solar Modules (Panels): Solar cells come together to form what we commonly call solar panels or modules. These assemblies aim to efficiently capture and convert more sunlight. They are the recognizable blue or black panels you’ll typically see on rooftops.
Solar Array: Taking it further, multiple solar modules connect to form a solar array. These are larger installations, typically spread out on rooftops or other open spaces, designed to maximize the capture of solar energy.
Solar Inverter: A critical component is the solar inverter, which turns the direct current (DC) produced by the solar panels into alternating current (AC), the form of electricity most homes use. There are two main types: standard inverters and microinverters, with the latter allowing each panel to function independently.
Mounting Systems: Holding the solar panels in place are the mounting systems. These are meticulously designed to ensure the panels are optimally positioned relative to the sun, thus making the most out of the sunlight available.
Solar Batteries: Optionally, some homeowners choose to incorporate solar batteries. These storage solutions capture excess solar energy, making it available during nighttime or overcast days, ensuring an uninterrupted power supply.
Monitoring Systems: Many solar installation processes include monitoring systems to keep tabs on the system’s efficiency. These tools track the performance of your solar setup, helping homeowners recognize if the system is operating at peak efficiency and identify potential issues.
Grid Connection: Lastly, a connection to the local power grid allows homeowners to sell back surplus energy or draw additional power when the solar yield is low.
Each component of a solar power system plays its role seamlessly, ensuring that sunlight lights up our world and powers our homes sustainably. But how much will it cost to own a solar power system? Let’s take a look.
Breaking Down the Costs of Solar in Calgary
When contemplating the shift to solar energy in Calgary, one of the primary concerns for many homeowners revolves around the costs. Here’s an in-depth look at the financial facets of installing solar panels in this region.
In Calgary, after incorporating rebates, the average price to fully set up solar panels typically oscillates between $10,000 to $17,000. This comprehensive quote includes administrative procedures, like the application, permit fees, essential materials, and labour charges. However, these figures serve as general guidelines. The actual price could vary based on individual requirements and specific situations.
4 Factors Influencing Cost:
1) Electricity Consumption:
Your historical energy usage determines the size of the solar system you’ll need. Essentially, higher consumption patterns might require a more extensive (and possibly more expensive) setup.
2) Roof Dynamics:
The layout and material of your roof play pivotal roles in cost determination. South-facing roofs, or a combination of south, east, and west-facing sections, are usually more solar-friendly. While standard asphalt shingle roofs might come with a regular installation fee, unique materials like clay tiles or metal seams could incur additional costs.
3) Electrical Infrastructure:
Your home’s electrical panel’s current condition and capacity can be a boon or a potential additional expense. If your panel already has the necessary space and infrastructure to support a solar setup, it’s smooth sailing. However, any required upgrades or expansions can add to the initial investment.
4) Equipment Preferences: Decisions about specific equipment types, such as opting for microinverters over standard inverters or choosing a particular brand, can also impact costs. It’s worth noting that, in general, industry professionals recommend Tier 1 solar equipment for optimal performance.
Making Solar More Affordable in Calgary
Solar panels represent a significant but invaluable investment toward a greener, more sustainable future. Recognizing the upfront costs can be a barrier for many, Calgary and the broader Canadian community offer several incentives and financing options to make this transition more economically viable. Here’s a closer look at how you can save money and also tap into these opportunities:
One of the most direct ways to reduce your solar installation costs is by availing of the Canada Greener Homes Grant. This initiative from the Canadian government can provide up to $5,000 off the total solar system cost. Essentially, the grant covers $1.00/W based on the total system capacity.
Canada Greener Homes Loan: This 10-year, interest-free loan is open to all Canadians looking to enhance their homes’ energy efficiency, making solar panel systems more attainable. It’s an excellent option for those who might find the upfront costs prohibitive.
PACE Alberta: An innovative program, Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Alberta, focuses on helping homeowners upgrade their properties with renewable energy solutions by offering financial backing. The investment is linked to the property, allowing for increased flexibility and potential ease of transfer if you ever decide to sell.
Royal Bank’s Solar Programs: Traditional banking institutions also recognize the shift towards renewable energy. The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) offers specific financing programs for solar installations, featuring an interest rate discount, malleable terms, and options to skip payments when needed.
A strategic approach can also lead to savings. For instance, if you know your roof shingles are nearing their end-of-life, consider replacing them before the solar panel installation. Rather than performing the two tasks separately, you can save money by doing them simultaneously. At Halat Electric, we work with you to design a solar system that fits your needs and develop an action plan that considers your budget and timeline – and helps you understand the value of making a solar investment. We’ll also provide an in-depth analysis of your energy usage and help you identify opportunities to reduce costs through efficiencies or other enhancements!
Is Solar Worth It?
So, is solar worth it? The answer to this question depends mainly on factors such as your location’s solar potential, where you install the panels, energy costs, and the incentives available in your area. But one thing is certain: Going solar makes sense for many homeowners. As solar technology continues to advance and become more affordable, more people are deciding that investing in solar energy is an excellent decision. And as energy costs continue to rise, solar becomes an even more attractive option. So why not investigate further and get a free estimate for your home’s solar system today? You might be surprised by what you find!
Step Into Your Solar Future with Halat Electric
Embracing solar energy in Calgary signifies more than a shift towards sustainable living; it represents a commitment to a brighter, greener future for our community and the generations to follow. While the journey to solar might come with questions about costs and feasibility, the landscape is ripe with opportunities to make this transition smoother and more affordable.
Halat Electric stands at the forefront of this renewable revolution in Calgary, equipped with expertise and a dedication to helping residents make informed decisions. Our team is committed to providing tailored solutions, addressing individual needs, and ensuring every Calgary home fully harnesses the sun’s potential.
We invite all Calgary residents to reach out, explore your solar potential, and embark on this transformative journey with us! Contact Halat Electric today and take that first step toward your solar future.