Last week we began a new home renovation product.
I am referring to our new home solar panel project which for us would be under the Ontario microFIT program.
If there is going to be significant enough impact to reduce the need for coal and uranium and even natural gas power plants, mass saturation of the residential market needs to occur for solar and wind energy.
Remember, I do not pretend to understand these things. I have no electrical training at all.
So, I think I’m like the masses here. If I end up doing this then as the saying goes, everything else being equal, you can do it too!
The first thing I decided to do was to seek help from an independent organization to understand for my specific situation, i.e. my house, what it would cost and what would be the financial benefit to having solar panels installed from a reputable vendor.
For me, that independent organization was OurPower who I referenced in my first article in this new series. They are a non-profit project of the Toronto Renewable Energy Cooperative, or TREC. I mentioned in our first article that I registered with them and paid the $25 for an online assessment.
Want to see it?
OurPower uses a Google Earth image of your roof to determine available sizing, information in their vast array of installations they have been associated with, information from the vendors which have been involved in their prior installation projects, etc.
Above are the solar potential statistics for our house from OurPower’s online assessment. This site assessment indicates on our (not exactly due) south facing roof we could have a solar electric system up to 3.4 kilowatts which would cost us around $25,312.
Such a system would be expected to generate 72,109 kWh over the 20 year life of the Ontario Power Authority’s microFIT contract, providing $57,790 revenue for us over that time span.
The above is the Monthly System Performance which breaks down the expected kilowatts per hour generated by month. So, according to this the peak months of power generation are April through September. If we financed most of the solar installation we might be paying a little out of pocket on the loan in the winter months (November through January) until it is paid off but will more than recoup this difference in the summer months.
Above is the bottom line financial numbers portion of the OurPower assessment we received. And, the bottom line indicates that not only will we do our part for the environment but also that over the 20 year lift of the contract we will make money. The above numbers seem to be in line (I think) with the Ontario Power Authority’s desire for “… roughly an 11 percent return on investment over the 20 years of the [microFIT] project contract“.
Yes, that money is taxable income to me, geesh, yet income to us none the less.
Notice their assumed 5 per cent interest rate for the 70% financing option for those of you keeping score at home (as they say on the baseball broadcasts).
So, armed with this information we decided to call in for a free on site proposal from one of the vendors who has worked on TREC community solar projects for a long time.
Select this link to learn about our first on site solar assessment experience.
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