Why invest in a grid-tied system?
Turn your unused roof space into a power plant. Solar users like to use their own energy first, and knowing its source is clean, renewable energy production. Solar fixes the energy costs, avoiding utility rate increases and reducing Step One, Step Two, PST, GST and Rate Rider on your monthly BC Hydro utility bill. Solar has a great return on investment (ROI-10.3%) based on the escalation rate from BC Hydro over the 25 year warrantied solar array. Grid-tied solar is very safe and reliable while connected to BC Hydro Net Metering Program.
Are solar panels a good investment?
Solar electric panels feature a 25-year output warranty and will likely last for 30 years + or more. Systems you install today will produce free and reliable electricity for decades. As an investment in your home or business a system will enhance its value while delivering clean, quiet energy for you to use.
Explain Grid-Tie to me. What can I expect?
Grid tie solar array’s are for any property or structure with a BC Hydro or Fortis BC electrical connection. A solar array mounted on your roof or property can produce a large amount of electricity to offset some or all of your consumption. Most Canadian homes consume 30kWh daily of electricty. Solar systems can reduce electrical consumption by the following amount:
How does a Grid-Tie System work?
See the cross section of a house with solar grid-tie system. There are two basic components:
Solar array: One to ten kilowatts of solar panels, typically mounted on unused south facing roof space.
Inverter: Converts solar energy (DC) to match utility power.
What happens during a power failure?
Grid-tie systems safely disconnect in the event of a power failure. Our Enphase Micro inverters have an automatic rapid shutdown that will prevent any back-feeding to the grid to unresponsive grid. Your system is worry-free.
How much energy can I gather with a solar PV system?
In most of Canada, a kilowatt (1000 watts) of solar panels (area A. of 80 – 90 ft2), mounted with good exposure facing south, could generate between 1000 and 1400 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per year. Although south facing exposure is ideal, east and west exposure will generate 95% of what a south facing array would harvest.
What is net metering?
Net metering measures the difference between the electricity you buy from your utility and the electricity you produce with your solar energy system. Under net metering, any excess electricity produced by your solar energy system is delivered back into the utility grid. Your bi-directional Smart Meter keeps track of this net difference as you generate electricity and consume electricty from the utility grid.
Is my Roof Suitable?
Our systems come with a 25 year warranty so a roof inspection will be done before an installation to make sure there are no issues. The solar array protects the roof from harmful UV rays and environmental conditions producing an extended life to your roof. A solar array absorbs a substantial amount of roof heat and in-turn cools your attic space. You will use less air conditioning or fans further reducing energy consumption.
One of the biggest reasons for going solar is eliminating or significantly reducing your electric bill.
Regardless of whether you are a homeowner or a business, electric costs can make up a large portion of your overall budget. An average monthly electric bill of $100 becomes $1200 for the year and $30,000 in 25 years. And those numbers don’t factor in increases in electric rates which have grown between 2.5% and 7% per year over the past decade.
Installing a solar panel system at your home or business takes you out of this cycle. It either eliminates your electric bill completely or reduces it so dramatically that electricity costs are no longer a significant factor in your budget. How much you will save is a function of many factors—things like how much energy your system produces or how much you consume. The biggest determinate of savings, though, are the rates you would have paid if your electricity came from your utility. Your savings are equal to the costs you avoid by going solar, so if rates are high in your area, you’ll be saving more. And, since electricity prices are guaranteed to continue rising every year, your savings will continue to grow every year over the 25 – 30 year lifespan of your solar panel system.
Slashing the amount of one of your largest expenses makes perfect sense, but the benefits of solar aren’t just economic. Because electricity prices are so unpredictable, they make managing your budget very difficult, especially for businesses or homeowners whose cash flow can fluctuate from month to month. By installing a solar photovoltaic (PV) system, you can fix these costs, making them more predictable. This is especially beneficial for retirees or others with fixed incomes and also for businesses whose cash flows stabilize when electricity expenses are reduced or eliminated. By making these costs more predictable, solar power systems also improve a home or business owner’s expense management capabilities.
How does Solar Electric work and what is the average cost?
Solar Electric (also known as Photovoltaic) systems for residential “grid tied” customers are interconnected through the BC Hydro Net Metering program. The program allows customers to produce a portion or all of their own power. If a customer produces an excess amount of electricity, above and beyond what they consume, they will be credited for the energy that is supplied to the grid at 9.99 cents per kWh.
The standard residential system we install is typically 8kW (30 modules). This system will generate around 10,000 kWh annually. You can always start off small and add solar modules if the budget permits.
Do I have to be off-grid to generate my own power?
This is a common misconception. As mentioned above, with the BC Hydro Net Metering Program, you can produce some of your own power while still being connected to BC Hydro/Fortis, and do so without the need for batteries.
How big of a system do I need?
When dealing with grid-tie systems, we look at three different variables. How much of your electric bill you want to offset? How much south facing roof space is available? Do you have a budget in mind? Those variables are different for everyone, and because different clients use different amounts of electricity, all grid-tie systems are custom designed to meet your needs.
What kind of systems do you use?
We use only the best quality modules, inverters and racking products to ensure a high quality installation every time.
How long does the system last?
Modules are virtually maintenance free and very long lasting (most manufacturers offer 25 year warranties) with a 30+ year lifespan.
I plan to build and may want to add one of these systems down the road. Should I do anything to prepare?
I would highly encourage you to make your house “solar ready.” Have 2 inch conduit or appropriately sized cables installed from the attic space to the electrical room (or area where your main service panel will sit). That way, should you choose to install solar at a later date, the installation will be a lot easier, cleaner looking and less expensive.