There are many benefits of switching to a grid-tie solar energy system. In addition to being a cost effective alternative to your monthly hydro bill, studies have shown that homes with solar power sell for significantly more than those without. So even if you aren’t in your forever home, you can eliminate your hydro bill and still make your investment back when you sell! One hundred years ago solar power was only available to the extremely wealthy, but the cost of solar has come down drastically. With the rising cost of hydro power, solar is becoming more and more practical for the everyday homeowner.
Investing in a grid-tie solar energy system is like buying your home instead of renting. When you buy a house, you are essentially paying your lifetime of rent payments at once, but at a lesser cost. You are protected from rate increases and guaranteed a rent-free future once the house is paid off. Similarly, a grid-tie solar system guarantees you 30+ years without a monthly hydro bill, for a fraction of the cost. Based on an average utility increase of 4%/year, someone who spends $100 per month on electricity today will pay $50,000 over the next 25 years!
How Grid-Tie Solar Works
A grid-tied solar energy system is available to anyone who has power service to their home with a smart meter. We can mount the solar panels on your roof or on another ground-mounted structure. For rooftop installations we use systems that integrate with various roofing materials and slopes specific to your house. Our mounting brackets are guaranteed not to damage or degrade your roof. A solar array can actually prolong the life of your roofing material by offering shade on the sunniest sections.
For those that do not have the ideal roof or property space, other residential grid tie options are available; We can customize stand-alone structures such as solar carports, deck and patio covers and wall mounts.
Once your grid-tie solar system is installed, the power created flows to your main breaker panel where it can be utilized like any other electricity, to power lights and appliances. All excess power that isn’t used immediately continues on it’s path through your meter and back to the grid. You receive a hydro credit for any power that flows out through your meter. The grid essentially acts as your unlimited battery bank.
We can design your system to oversupply the right amount of power in the summer to last through the winter, when the days are shorter and more electricity is used. At the end of the year your power company will pay out your power bank at 9.99 cents per kw/h. BC Hydro and Fortis BC both offer this net-metering program.
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Cost and Production of a Solar Energy System
Prices vary greatly depending on your home and power needs. Our residential packages start at 8 panels, about 2.4 kilowatts, for less than $7300 including installation. This is often all that is required to stay below BC
Hydro/Fortis BC’s increased second tier price. If desired, it is always easy to add more panels to an existing array at a later date.
We take many factors into account when designing every solar array including sun hours, slope and angle, direction from true south, latitude, shade from nearby buildings or trees, roof space, power requirements and budget. Using satellite imaging we can give you a rough idea of what your options are. With a short site visit and a look at your hydro bill we can accurately design and quote you on an ideal array. Consultations are free of charge.