We hear a lot of talk about solar energy from both enthusiasts and naysayers. Sometimes it’s hard to get the facts straight with all the back and forth.
Solar is a significant investment; you should never feel pressured into committing to an installation before you’re ready. Some of the major benefits of solar include lower electric bills, increased home value, and helping the environment. The main reason many of our customers decide to install solar panels is to protect themselves against rising electricity bills. With programs like Net Metering and government incentives available, installing solar is usually much more affordable and lucrative than many think.
On the other hand, solar isn’t always for everyone. It’s essential to make sure, first and foremost, that installing a new solar system makes sense for you financially.
We’re here to lay out all the facts—both the pros and cons of going solar, so you can make an informed decision.
Lower Electric Bills
Nobody likes paying expensive electric bills. Solar is one of the only surefire ways to reduce your long-term electricity costs. It’s simple—generating and using your own electricity means not relying on your utility company for your power needs. Everyone’s home and usage patterns are different, but a properly sized system can bring the energy portion of your bill all the way down to $0!
Solar can also help you offset fees calculated from your usage. Certain parts of your delivery fees are based on kWh, so drawing less energy from the grid means you’ll also see other parts of your bill go down.
Solar panels have a very long lifespan—more than enough to earn back your initial investment. Solar panels have an average lifespan of 25 years but have been tested to last for up to 40 years. Another great bonus is the lack of moving parts and maintenance. You can expect to lose a very small amount of efficiency every year (0.5% is the average degradation rate), but the panel itself will most likely never completely die out. Most panel manufacturers will offer a 25-year performance warranty to ensure your panels perform up to a certain standard throughout their lifespan.
One of the most well-known benefits of solar energy is its impact on the environment. Solar is a renewable energy source, which means you can produce 100% clean electricity without any emissions. If you’re looking into new ways to reduce your carbon footprint, installing solar panels might be the way to go.
Higher Home Value
Solar is seen as a valuable asset and can raise the value of your home by up to 4%. The total increase will depend on your geographic region, system age, and installation cost.
Solar—and renewable energy in general—is growing due to its many environmental benefits. We all have a responsibility to take care of our planet, so it’s no surprise that the Canadian government is offering incentives to promote environmentally friendly upgrades like solar. The Canada Greener Homes Grant offers up to $5000 for solar installations, making it more affordable than ever for Canadian homeowners to switch to renewable energy.
The total price of a solar system (racking, solar panels and microinverters) can add up. The average price of residential systems sized between 5kW to 10kW can cost anywhere between $15,000-25,000, depending on the province. This can become a pretty steep investment for many homeowners.
Despite the hefty price tag, there are ways to go solar without breaking the bank. With financing and leasing programs available, you can reduce the large upfront cost of a system while still enjoying the benefits. We personally offer a low-interest financing program that can go down to as little as 0%.
The payback period will vary from person to person depending on your system size, province and consumption. Generally, solar panels will pay for themselves in about 8-16 years if you buy the system outright.
For that reason, financing and leasing a system is far more appealing to most people. With the right program, your solar savings can be enough to cover your monthly payments. In some cases, your savings could even outpace your costs by the first year.
Requires suitable roof
Unfortunately, solar doesn’t work for everyone. Your roof needs to have access to an adequate amount of sunlight to produce enough energy for your home. One of the biggest adversaries for solar is shade—whether it be from trees or nearby buildings. Other factors, such as your roof’s orientation and angle, can also significantly affect production.
Installing a solar system isn’t as simple as just putting the panels on your roof. There are applications, designs, inspections, grants and other things we have to look at before the installation can be complete. This process exists to make sure the design and installation are up to proper safety codes. Everything together can take a couple of months to complete, and the timeline will vary depending on the type of project and province. In most cases, The average timeline is around 4-6 months from site assessment to the moment the system is online.
Dependent on the sun
Your solar system’s production does heavily depend on the weather. Your panels will still produce energy on cloudy days, but you should definitely expect a drop in production. Solar installers will keep the weather in mind when designing your system to ensure it can support your usage needs for the whole year. There are also programs like Net Metering available that allow you to bank extra electricity generated during the summer to use during the slower winter months.
Get A Free Quote To See Your Options
Weighing out the pros and cons is the best way to make an impartial decision about installing a solar system. If you’d like to get more information about how a system would work for your home, you should consider getting some quotes. A solar quote usually maps out your system size, production estimates, costs and savings so you can decide if solar is truly worth it for your home.
Fill out our quick survey, and we can have one of our experienced solar specialists get you started with an easy free quote. https://polaronsolar.com/survey/