The premise of today’s article might have seemed a bit far fetched five or ten years ago, but as we sit here today the residential solar industry is booming and the idea of turning to solar power for your home is far from unreasonable.
So what does it mean to go solar?
Well, that is pretty much just a fancy way of describing the process ( and yes, it is a process) of having solar panels attached to the roof of your home and utilizing those panels as a means to convert the sun’s energy into usable electricity.
Why do people go solar?
Even though having solar panels installed is much more normal today than it was a decade ago, it will still help if you are a bit of a forward thinker. One of the most significant benefits of going solar is the massive reduction in your home’s carbon footprint, which is essentially a measure of how much strain the emissions from your home are putting on the environment. If the health of the environment is something that truly resonates with you that could be a big motivation to push you into going solar. One of the other big perks of going solar is the monthly cost savings on electricity. If you electricity bill is excessive to the point that it troubles you, solar power, especially with the help government subsidy, may be an appealing alternative.
How does it work?
It’s pretty straightforward. Solar panels are designed to absorb the sun’s energy which is then transformed by conductors and invertors into electricity which can be used to provide power to your home and operate your appliances.
As part of this process, excess electricity may be generated and sent back to the grid.
In Ontario, there are solar financial relief programs ( including the Feed in Tariff Program & Net Metering Program) that will actually compensate you financially for the excess energy you produce using your solar panels, which helps make them more practical and affordable in both the short and long-term.
How much does it cost? Will I get it back?
The sun’s energy is free right?! Not quite… there are costs associated with purchasing and installing solar panels. The precise amount you are looking at will vary based on a number of factors, so your best bet is to get a quote from a local provider to get a better idea of what you are looking at.
The good news is that current industry estimates suggest that , by the year 2020 , the combined decrease in cost of solar equipment and increase in cost of electricity will mean that, without including the kickback from government credits, homeowners in Ontario will make back the cost of their solar panels over the life of the technology. So if you are on the fence about going solar, just know that it will keep making more and more sense in the future such that if you aren’t quite ready to do it today, you will have another chance down the line.
Is My Home A Good Candidate For Solar Panels?
As far as whether or not your home is an ideal fit, your roof will need to be exposed to sunlight during the middle of day to ensure efficient utilization of the sun’s energy. If your home is enveloped by tall trees or buildings, it may not be an ideal candidate for solar panels but this is a discussion that is best had with industry professionals.
How long do they last?
Solar panels are extraordinarily durable, so much so that they can even extend the life of your roof. You will often find solar panels sold with extensive 25 year warranties. They also happen to require little to no maintenance.
There you have it folks! If you are a forward thinking homeowner who is tired of excessive electricity bills and wants to be part of a real movement to help heal the environment, solar energy is your answer. If the solar movement resonates with you, but just isn’t a practical or affordable solution at this point in time, have faith that it will be in the coming years.