Saaf Blog

Is solar right for your home?

September 14, 2023
Things to consider while evaluating Solar for your home

As residential electricity prices soar, solar power has gained popularity as a viable option for homeowners. Solar panels can not only help reduce your energy bills significantly but also reduce your carbon footprint in the long run. Recent Federal Grants and Loans have made the investment in solar power more attractive. However, before you decide to invest in solar for your home, there are several important factors to consider to ensure it's the right choice for you. In this blog, we'll explore the key things to keep in mind when evaluating solar for your home.

1. Your Location

One of the first considerations when evaluating solar for your home is your location. The amount of sunlight your area receives throughout the year plays a crucial role in determining the efficiency of your solar panels. Regions with more sunlight generally yield better results from solar installations. Alberta is one of the best regions for solar installations in Canada. You can check your area's solar potential using online tools like NREL’s PV Watts or contact us to see if Solar is right for you.

2. Energy Consumption, Roof Area and Current Wiring at your Home

Understanding your household's energy consumption is essential when determining the size and number of solar panels you'll need. Review at least 6 months of your past energy bills to gauge your average usage, and consider any future changes in consumption (like addition of heat pumps or EVs to your household). Solar panels should be sized to meet your energy needs, and our installer partners will calculate the right capacity for your home based on your energy consumption and available roof space. 

Another thing to consider is whether your home is either pre-wired for solar and if your electricity junction box(es) have enough space to accommodate solar generation. This will help understand any additional costs associated with getting your home ready for solar.

3. Solar Panel Quality and Efficiency

Not all solar panels are created equal. There are various types and brands available, each with different levels of efficiency and durability. Research the types of solar panels available and their warranties. High-quality panels may have a higher upfront cost but can provide better long-term performance and reliability. As part of the quotes received, we will provide you with details on the solar panels used to help in your evaluation.

4. Installation Costs and Incentives

The cost of installing solar panels can vary significantly depending on your location and the size of the system. On average installation costs in Alberta range from $2.51 to $2.77 per Watt of installed capacity which equates to $12,550 to $13,850 for a 5 kW system. 

Be sure to obtain quotes from multiple reputable solar installers to compare prices. Additionally, look into government incentives, tax credits, and rebates available in your area. These incentives can significantly reduce the initial investment and improve the return on your solar investment. Saaf provides you with all the resources you need to get the quotes that work for you. 

5. Maintenance and Repairs

While solar panels generally require minimal maintenance, it's essential to understand what's involved in keeping your system operating efficiently. Routine inspections and occasional cleaning may be necessary. Find out if your chosen solar installer offers maintenance services, and inquire about any warranties that cover system maintenance and repairs.

6. Net Metering and Grid Connection

Check with your utility company to see if they offer net metering. Net metering allows you to sell excess electricity generated by your solar panels back to the grid, providing additional savings on your energy bills. Ensure your solar system is correctly configured to take advantage of this option. In Alberta for grid-tied systems, you can sell excess production to the grid at the same price that you pay for electricity used at your home.

7. Long-Term Savings and Electricity Usage

Solar panels are a long-term investment, and it's crucial to consider the potential savings over the life of the system. While the upfront cost may seem high, the reduction in energy bills and potential revenue from excess energy production can lead to substantial savings over the years. 

Once you install a solar PV system consider changing your electricity usage patterns so that you use more electricity during the daylight hours when you are generating solar energy. Run the washer/dryer, charge the EVs at this time as this will optimize the value of your solar production and help save money. Remember while the Transmission & Distribution charges on your electricity bill will not go away, however, the variable components of these charges will reduce based on the electricity generated and consumed at your home.

Let Saaf help you add solar to your home

Evaluating solar for your home is a significant investment decision that involves careful consideration of multiple factors. By assessing your location, energy needs, current wiring, roof area, panel quality, financing options, and other relevant aspects, you can make an informed choice that aligns with your financial interests and environmental goals. Solar power offers the opportunity to reduce your energy bills and carbon footprint over the long term, making it a compelling option for homeowners who are ready to save money and embrace clean energy solutions.

Fill out our intake form when you're ready and let us help you add solar energy to your home.

Join our mailing list
Like what you see?
Sign up to get our content in your inbox.
Thank you! We'll be in touch shortly!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Get a green-energy
home makeover
Transform your home into a carbon-free home of the future. Pay less and save time searching when we do the shopping for you.
How it Works
Still have questions?