Solar energy is quickly becoming the world’s premiere renewable energy source as more homeowners begin to realize the many benefits of photovoltaic panels and solar energy systems. Acquiring solar panels for your home offers reduced energy costs and potential revenue streams, and also helps reduce your carbon footprint. With solar panel costs at an all-time low and incentive program deadlines and quotas approaching, the time has never been better for solar panel installation.
Solar Brokers Canada is Canada’s leading solar brokerage firm. Offering a comprehensive consultation process, Solar Brokers Canada guides clients through the process of purchasing and installing home solar panels. Solar Brokers Canada rigorously vets solar manufacturers and installers and, in doing so, assures that their clients enjoy a smooth process, as well as the most competitive pricing, when purchasing their solar panels.
Solar Brokers Canada’s Chief Operations Officer Joseph Barker helps to demystify the detailed process and answer some common questions clients have when considering installing solar panels on their homes.
How do solar panels work? And where are solar panels installed on one’s home?
Joseph Barker, Solar Brokers Canada: Photovoltaic solar panels capture sunlight and transform it into energy. The energy is then transferred through an inverter, where it is converted into energy that can be used by your home. Solar energy can then be stored or directed into the communal power grid.
Solar panels are installed on a homeowner’s roof in order to maximize sun exposure. Part of our process at Solar Brokers Canada involves performing what’s called a feasibility site assessment. This assessment gives our clients a better idea of whether their house and roof will allow for solar panel installation and whether there will be enough sun exposure.
What happens to the panels when I sell my home?
Joseph Barker, Solar Brokers Canada: Solar panel kits are designed to be a long-term investment. The panel installation process involves extensive mounting and wiring and really isn’t meant to be removed and re-installed multiple times. With that said, the good news is that homeowners who have installed photovoltaic panels on their homes have seen an increase in their property value, as well as increased interest by homebuyers who are savvy and want the peace of mind green energy offers. In fact, there was a Forbes Magazine article that noted that solar panels add a $20,194 premium to the sales price of a house, that’s based on repeat sales data and houses in the mid-$500,000 range.
How much do solar panels cost?
Joseph Barker, Solar Brokers Canada: This is a good topic to cover. The cost of purchasing and installing solar panels has decreased by more than 50 percent over the last five years. Local governments in the US and Canada also offer tax breaks and feed-in-tariff incentives, and these programs have readily added to the affordability of installing photovoltaic panels on homes.
What are the incentive and tax break programs in Ontario?
Joseph Barker, Solar Brokers Canada: MicroFIT is Ontario’s residential feed-in tariff program. The program offers homeowners a 20-year fixed-term rate on the energy they produce and feed into Ontario’s power grid. With a 20-year guaranteed revenue stream, the MicroFIT program makes solar panel installation lucrative for homeowners, providing an exceedingly competitive return on their investment.
Solar Brokers Canada also helps eligible customers apply for what we call the Ontario Free Solar Program. This is our program that pairs homeowners with an investor who purchases the panels and installs them. The investor and homeowner then split the revenue generated through the MicroFIT program. To qualify for The Ontario Free Solar Program, your roof must be in good condition and in a position to harness solar energy without any obstructing trees or building shadows. Your local hydro company must also have grid capacity.
For those interested in applying for either the MicroFIT or Free Solar program, a Solar Brokers Canada consultant can help keep you apprised of deadlines and requirements. Solar Brokers Canada can help clients throughout the entire solar panel purchase, the installation process and assistance that includes maintenance that may be required to the panels post-installation.
This post was sponsored by Reputation.ca, who also provided the image.
Here’s a timeline/blog on someone currently installing solar in the GTA.