Did you know that Edmonton is one of the sunniest cities in Canada? Solar energy is becoming more popular in Edmonton and the price keeps dropping. More homeowners are taking advantage of the approximate 2,300 hours of annual sunlight we get in an average year and are using it to power their homes.
How does a solar system work?
Think of a residential solar system like a mini power plant attached to the roof of your home. Instead of generating electricity from coal, you are generating power from the sun, which is free and 100% renewable. Your home will still be connected to the grid, so you can use power at night or when the sun isn’t shining so bright. When the sun is shining, the solar panels power your home. Any excess energy that your solar system produces, gets fed back into the grid. You’ll get credit on your electricity bill for the energy your home has put back into the grid.
Solar power offers you free, renewable energy from the sun with a backup system (the city’s power grid) for nighttime. This gives you stability with far less resources used to power your home compared to the old-fashioned way, burning coal and emitting carbon into the atmosphere.
How can I get a solar system on my home?
The first thing you do is contact a reputable solar installer. They’ll run an analysis on your home based on your location and the amount of sun and shade you get. They’ll determine your electricity needs to create the best solar panel and mounting options for your roof. Solar panels can work when wall mounted or north facing, but perform best when they are south facing and don’t have any obstructions blocking the sun like trees or other buildings.
After you approve their quote, the solar company will take care of obtaining the necessary permits and add the necessary upgrades your home will need to go solar. Those things include a racking and mounting system on your roof, the solar voltaic panels that attach to it and the inverter in your home that turns solar energy into power.
The inverter will connect directly to your circuit breaker box and delivers power onto the grid that flows into your home. It can tell the amount of power you’re producing and using a two way meter, you can determine how much power is being pulled from the grid and how much excess power your contributing to the grid. The reduction of energy you’ll pay for off the grid, plus the credit for the excess energy you put back into the grid will help pay for your solar system over time.
Take advantage of rebate programs.
Efficiency Alberta offers the Residential and Commercial Solar Program (RCSP) to Alberta homeowners, businesses and non-profits who install a solar photovoltaic (PV) systems on their homes or business. The program provides a $0.75/watt incentive to residential systems. The maximum grant amount is the lesser of 30% of eligible system cost or $10,000. Read more here.
The City of Edmonton offers an additional incentive of $0.15/watt towards the cost of a residential system. This combined with Efficiency Alberta’s incentive can pay for one third of the cost of going solar!
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