Canada's Go Solar Guide and Directory - 2020 - 7

beginning. Does it make sense to re-do a
roof that's close to the end of its useful life?
What would the cost of removing the panels
be if your roof needs replacement or repairs
within the life of the system?
As the weather is not always consistent
from year to year, this will impact
production from your solar system. Your
installer should be able to offer some
averaging factors for the fluctuation. In
addition to this, your solar system can
produce power for well over 20 years, so
you will need to account for any future
obstructions of plans you may have. Is that
sapling going to branch over your solar
panels in a decade? Are the neighbours
planning an addition that will shade
your roof? Having a conversation with
neighbours is a good idea before you begin.
Finally, your electricity consumption may
change over the years as well. Purchasing
an electric vehicle or using your AC system
or electric heating will increase your usage.
You may also be taking measures to reduce
your usage by switching to energy efficient
appliances or switching your lights to LEDs.
These decisions may affect the overall size of
your system in the end.
NET METERING
Net metering allows homeowners
to benefit from generating their own
electricity while still being connected to
the provincial power grid. If your solar PV
system generates more electricity than your
home is using at any given time, the extra
electricity flows into the local grid for others
to use. On the other hand, if your system
isn't producing as much as your home needs,
it still draws electricity from the grid to
power your home.
It's important to note that net metering
regulations vary from province to province,
but most require solar PV systems to
be appropriately sized to meet your
electricity needs and not exceed it.
For more information on net metering
by province/territory, speak with your
electricity provider.
INVESTING IN SUNSHINE
Installing a solar system on your home is
a big investment that pays off over the long
run. There are several different ways to tap
into the power of the sun. You can purchase
a system outright, you can "lease to own" a
system or, in some jurisdictions, you can
	

participate in what is known as a Power
Purchase Agreement (PPA).
Buying your system outright can be a
big financial investment, but luckily, there
are different incentives and programs
that can help decrease the overall
cost. Depending on your province and
municipality, there may be programs
to assist you with the price of buying a
system. To view the full and updated
list of programs by province, visit
cansia.ca/gosolar.
If you are not able to put panels on
your home or if it doesn't fit your budget,
you can explore joining a community
power co-op, where members pool
their funds to build larger solar systems
on everything from school roofs to farm
fields. Simply search for community
renewable power co-op for your area
of residence.
Lease to own
Just like you can lease a car, some
solar companies will lease you a solar
system. However, just like a car lease, it
is important to read the fine print. How
long will the lease last? What are the
buyout options at the end of the lease?
How do the monthly payments stack up
versus the revenue (savings) you expect
to generate with the solar system? What
if you decide to sell your house and need
to break the lease?
You may want a lawyer or financial
advisor to review any lease documents
before you sign.
If you don't have enough funds in
the bank to pay for a solar system, it is
also worth considering other financing
options like home equity lines of credit.
Some banks and installers offer special
financing programs. Just be sure to
factor in application fees, interest and
monthly fees into your full cost picture.
Power Purchase Agreements
In a power purchase agreement
(PPA), the customer and the developer
enter a financial agreement in which
the developer can install solar panels
on the customer's property, often at
no cost to the customer, and sell the
generated power to the customer
at a fixed rate. In addition to the
revenues made from selling power,
the developer will also receive any tax

credits and incentives that the system
might be eligible for.
The typical length of the agreement
varies, and can range from anywhere
between 10 to 25 years, after which the
customer can have the system removed,
buy the system or extend the PPA.
Community Generation
Community generation means you
have partial ownership of energy projects
alongside other members of your
community. Often found in the form of
a solar garden, community generation
doesn't require you to put panels directly
on your rooftop or property. Instead, a
group of people can pool their money
together to purchase panels that are
installed at another location, such as a
school rooftop or an unused lot, or can
subscribe to an existing solar garden.
There are multiple models for participating
in a solar garden including where
electricity generated by those panels gets
sent back into the grid in exchange for
utility credits, which are then divided for
use by the solar garden's subscribers.
PRICING IT OUT
Make sure you get a written quote that
covers all aspects of the components and
installation, and which makes clear what, if
any, costs you will be responsible for on top
of the installer's quote.
Here are some potential additional costs
you should discuss with your contractor:
*	Costs of stamped engineering drawings
and building permits.
*	Maintenance costs and warranty
support.
*	Application costs for incentives or net
metering programs and the cost of
assistance with such applications.
*	Any additional components or materials
not included in the package price.
As well, you should consider issues
such as:
*	Who will pay for temporarily removing
and re-installing the system if your roof
needs to be repaired or replaced?
*	Will the installation of a solar system have
implications for your home insurance,
income taxes (revenues from power
sales) or property taxes?
Understanding the full cost picture can
help you feel a lot more comfortable with
your purchase.
Canada's Go Solar Guide & Directory 2020 | 7


http://www.cansia.ca/gosolar

Canada's Go Solar Guide and Directory - 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Canada's Go Solar Guide and Directory - 2020

2020 Industry Leaders
Go Solar Guide
About Cansia
Introduction
How Does Solar Work?
Solar Photovoltaics
Solar Thermal
Solar Plus Storage
Determining Your Solar Potential
Net Metering
Investing in Sunshine
Lease to Own
Power Purchase Agreements
Community Generation
Pricing It Out
Choosing a Contractor
What if Something Goes Wrong?
Final Checklist and Questions to Ask
Glossary of Terms
Disclaimer
Cansia Member Directory
Index to Advertisers
Canada's Go Solar Guide and Directory - 2020 - Intro
Canada's Go Solar Guide and Directory - 2020 - cover1
Canada's Go Solar Guide and Directory - 2020 - cover2
Canada's Go Solar Guide and Directory - 2020 - 3
Canada's Go Solar Guide and Directory - 2020 - 2020 Industry Leaders
Canada's Go Solar Guide and Directory - 2020 - Introduction
Canada's Go Solar Guide and Directory - 2020 - Determining Your Solar Potential
Canada's Go Solar Guide and Directory - 2020 - Pricing It Out
Canada's Go Solar Guide and Directory - 2020 - Glossary of Terms
Canada's Go Solar Guide and Directory - 2020 - Disclaimer
Canada's Go Solar Guide and Directory - 2020 - Cansia Member Directory
Canada's Go Solar Guide and Directory - 2020 - 11
Canada's Go Solar Guide and Directory - 2020 - 12
Canada's Go Solar Guide and Directory - 2020 - 13
Canada's Go Solar Guide and Directory - 2020 - Index to Advertisers
Canada's Go Solar Guide and Directory - 2020 - cover3
Canada's Go Solar Guide and Directory - 2020 - cover4
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