Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems convert energy from the sun into electricity. Solar PV panels have few operating costs and can be installed on any kind of home or building, providing a safe and reliable source of electricity that produces no on-site pollution or emissions. And the fuel – sunshine – is free!
What to Look For
- Work with a qualified system designer to select the appropriate technology and system size for your home. The Canadian Solar Industries Association provides guidance on selecting qualified solar energy service providers.
- Make sure your home is as energy-efficient as possible before you add solar. To determine the right size system for your home, review your energy bills for the past 12 months to see how much energy you use.
- Hire a solar contractor and install and connect your system to the utility.
Things to Consider
- Consider adding energy storage (batteries) to store electricity generated by your system for future use.
- Before you install, make sure your roof is in good condition. It should be less than five years old.
- The orientation of your roof matters – the priority should be south-facing roofs, followed by west and then east.
- Trees and buildings that shade your roof can lead to a less powerful system.
- Consider getting a home energy evaluation to help you understand how your home uses energy and identify all improvement opportunities.
- Check with your municipality, utility or retailer to see if rebates are available.
$25,000 to $30,000 with installation.
Source: Natural Resources Canada