Solar power is becoming more popular in both residential and industrial locations around the world because of the several advantages that come with it. Even residents in countries with stable electricity from the grid are now turning to electricity generation from a solar system for these same benefits.
As a testament to the popularity and massive acceptance of solar panels in Ottawa, several homeowners are nursing the idea of solar panel installation on their properties. However, as prospective solar system users, there’s a lot you don’t know about it. Despite the positive things you’ve heard or read about, you may also be skeptical about the whole thing. Well, having first-hand knowledge about solar panels in Ottawa will rectify that. This is where we come in – to inform you of everything you need to know about installing solar panels in your home.
Types Of Solar Panels
First, you ought to know that solar panels come in varieties. There are three major types of solar panels in Ottawa;
Monocrystalline Solar Panel
Regarding popularity, efficiency, and durability, the monocrystalline solar panel is the best among the three. This solar panel has an energy efficiency of 24%, meaning you will need fewer monocrystalline panels than other types to generate the same amount of electricity. This makes it ideal for homeowners with a small roof. In addition, the lifespan of this panel ranges between 25-40 years, depending on the brand or model.
As it’s the best among the three types of panels, it’s the most expensive, although its price is viewed as a fair bargain considering the quality of this panel. In addition, this solar panel is dark in color, making it blend easily with the roof instead of standing out.
Polycrystalline Solar Panel
As the name suggests, the polycrystalline solar panel is manufactured with different silicon crystals. Though it’s not as durable as monocrystalline panels, it still ranks as a close second with a lifespan that ranges between 25 and 35 years. In addition, its energy efficiency is 20%. However, the ample physical proportions of this solar panel make it unsuitable for small roofs, unlike thin-film panels.
It’s ideal for areas that don’t get full sunlight during the day because of its low tolerance to heat. Unlike the monocrystalline solar panels, this panel is blue and will stand out when installed on your roof, but in an aesthetic way.
This panel gets its form from the semiconductor materials used to make it. As its name suggests, this solar panel is sleek, flat, and light. Among the three panels, it adds the least weight after installation and is the most affordable. However, it’s the least durable, with a lifespan ranging between 10 and 20 years. It’s also cheaper than the first two panels. This solar panel is ideal for budget-conscious homeowners, but consider that it has an energy efficiency of 19%. When installed on your roof, its incredibly flat form makes it an extension of your roof.
Are Solar Panels Worth It In Ottawa
There are several reasons the use of solar power has become so appealing to homeowners all over the world.
Using a solar system is cost-effective in the long run because it pays for itself over time. Admittedly, the upfront cost can be discouraging. However, after installation, it just requires minimal maintenance and no operating costs. You’ll even discover that you’ve saved a lot of cash over the years. Don’t believe it?
Let’s do a little maths. The average monthly cost of energy bills in Ottawa is C$250. That’s an annual average of C$3k. The average lifespan of a solar system is 20 years. In that time, you’ll have spent a total of C$60k on utility bills barring inflation costs over that period.
On the other hand, solar panels cost between C$18,750 and C$22,500 (on average) for a 7.5 KW system. In addition, you’ll replace the battery and inverter once a decade. Let’s assume that your total expenses during 20 years are just under C $ 30k compared to C $ 60k for power from the grid.
Using solar panels to generate electric power reduces your carbon footprint because it doesn’t emit greenhouse gases, unlike fossil fuels. For this reason, a lot of companies are beginning to adopt the use of solar power in their factories.
Solar panels are a long-term investment because they serve you for a while. As mentioned, they can last up to 40 years with minimal maintenance. This makes them a good investment.
Enhances The Property Value Of Homes
Homes with a residential solar system installed have a higher value on the property market than homes without it. They also tend to sell quickly because prospective house buyers know that their energy bills will be significantly reduced or non-existent. This makes solar panels worth it.
Reduces Or Eliminates Energy Bills
Depending on whether you’re installing a grid-tied or off-grid solar system, you’ll start paying much less or nothing at all in energy bills.
Independent Power Source
Using an off-grid solar system makes you self-reliant regarding power generation. Aside from not needing to depend on the grid for your energy needs, you won’t be affected by city-wide power outages such as a blackout or brownouts.
Contributes Power To The Grid
Certain homeowners who produce excess solar power can export it to the grid and earn credits from it via net metering.
Factors Affecting The Cost Of Solar Power Systems
Though there’s a range of Ottawa solar panel prices, certain factors determine the exact amount you’ll spend on purchase and installation. These factors include;
Type Of Panels
If you want thin-film panels, you will spend less than you’ll pay on monocrystalline or polycrystalline panels. So the type of solar panels you want to be installed is one of the critical factors determining the cost.
The Capacity Of The Solar System
The more solar panels you’ll need, the larger the capacity and the more expensive it will be. The same way large homes spend more on power than smaller homes is the same way a 6KW solar system will cost less than a system with 10KW capacity. We’ll show you how to calculate the size of your system later on.
Types Of Solar Systems
Solar systems come in varieties – hybrid, grid-tied, and off-grid systems. A hybrid system costs less than an off-grid system but more than a grid-tied one because it includes solar batteries but at a lesser capacity than an off-grid one. On the other hand, a grid-tied system doesn’t have batteries, which makes it the most affordable. Conversely, an off-grid system will cost you more to install.
The Solar Installer
There are several Ottawa solar companies and installers, and they charge differently for their services.
Site Of Installation
Rooftop solar installation costs less than ground installation because the latter involves ground mounts.
The Cost Of Installing Solar Panels In Ottawa
As we said earlier, solar panels Ottawa cost depends on the abovementioned factors. However, assuming it’s a 7.5KW solar system, the average cost of purchasing and installing it ranges between C$18k and C$22,5k.
How To Calculate How Many Solar Panels You’ll Need
To determine the number of panels you’ll need to install, multiply your hourly energy requirement by the total sunlight hours in your area of residence and divide it by the panel’s wattage.
Let’s get our values to calculate the amount of solar panels you may need to install.
Firstly, the average household in Ottawa uses 675KW of electric power every month. To get the hourly requirement, we have to break it down to the daily requirement. That will be 675/30 = 22.5kw. Let’s divide that by 24 hours, 22.5kw/24 = 0.94 KW (940 watts).
The peak sunlight hours in Ottawa are 3.8 hours
Let’s assume our panel wattage is 300 watts.
The number of solar panels = 940 watts x 3.8/300 = 3572/300 = 11.9 (approx. 12) solar panels.
What To Consider Before You Install Solar Panels
As eager as you may be to execute a solar installation project on your property, we recommend considering the below factors before you give the green light.
The Size Of Your Roof
Before setting up the system, the solar company has to assess your property to ensure it’s suitable for the project. One of the things they will check is how much space your roof has. A small roof is not ideal for installing solar panels. In this case, the installers must execute the setup on the ground.
The Condition Of Your Roof
The state of your roof will be assessed before the installation. If it’s in a bad state (leaks or depressed spots), solar panels cannot be installed on it. If you install panels on such a roof, you’ll spend more because you’ll have to dismantle the solar panels and repair the roof. The best thing is to install solar equipment on the ground or repair/replace your roof before installations commence.
How much you can afford to spend is a critical consideration. Unfortunately, several homeowners cannot pay the money upfront. This is where installment payment plans and solar incentives or rebates come in. So before you install the solar equipment, you must first ensure that there are solar incentives in Ottawa (more on this later).
The Type Of Solar Equipment You Want To Install
As we mentioned earlier, there are various solar systems. You have to decide on the type of system you want to be installed before going on with the project.
The tilt of the roof (the direction it’s facing) is one of the most important factors because it determines how efficient your panels will be in generating power. The ideal tilt or direction is South. However, other favorable directions (though less efficient) include East or West.
What To Look Out For In A Company Installing Residential Solar Panels
Whether it’s a commercial or residential PV system you want installed, the following are some key things to look out for.
Certifications And License
This is the first thing to check out in a solar company before you conduct any business with them. Ensure the company has the relevant certifications and government-issued licenses before you hire them. Check for Certificate of Compliance and electrician licensing. Ignoring this and hiring an uncertified Ottawa solar company to set up solar panels in your home will bring avoidable complications.
Track Record And Years Of Experience
Everybody wants to work with the best installation team, and a good way to assess the expertise of a certain solar firm is by checking its track record. This includes their project portfolio – how many solar installations they have handled and their reputation in the industry. We recommend that you only go with a firm with a stellar reputation.
Another thing to check out is the number of years they’ve been in the industry. The longer, the better. Go for an installer with at least seven years of experience.
Availability Of Payment Plans
If you’re conscious of your budget, you must check if the company you want to hire for the project has provisions for certain customers to pay gradually. This makes it easy for you to install a PV system without breaking the bank. Depending on the firm, the payment period can last 2-5 years.
The best way to know if a solar firm is a good fit for you while saving time on otherwise lengthy research is by reading reviews from previous customers. While at this, take note of companies that have several glowing reviews.
Going for a company that offers quality service isn’t enough. Going for a company with responsive customer support service is also important. Some people may need after-sales service or want to make inquiries; this is where the customer support service comes in.
Solar companies usually give free quotes or estimates to house owners. This contains the breakdown of the entire system and its components – batteries, solar panels, inverters, etc. Ensure the company you want to work with gives a quote or estimate so you know how much you should budget for the project.
Solar power products come with various warranties – manufacturer warranty, retailer warranty, and workmanship warranty. Ensure the manufacturer’s warranty is the same as the retailer’s. Also, ensure the installer has a workmanship warranty on the PV system.
The Top Ottawa Solar Companies
The following includes the best companies to call if you want to have your solar panels installed.
Kajk Constructors Inc
- Area of specialty: EV charging stations, ground mounts, and carport installation
- Industry experience: more than six years
- Address: 46 Grenfell Crescent B, Ottawa, Ontario
- Phone: 613-869-8254
- Operating schedule: 9 am – 5 pm (Mon-Fri) & weekends (by appointment)
- Website: http://www.kajkconstructors.com/
- Email: email@example.com
Quadra Solar Corporation
- Area of specialty: solar canopy solutions, rooftop PV systems, ground-mounted solar, wholesale purchasing, power storage, community solar
- Industry experience: more than 15 years
- Address: 1730 St. Laurent Blvd Suite 800, Ottawa, Ontario
- Phone: 613-454-8020
- Operating hours: 9 am – 5 pm (Mon-Fri)
- Website: http://www.quadrasolar.com/
Ottawa Solar Power Inc
- Area of specialty: residential solar energy systems
- Industry experience: more than 26 years
- Address: Spencer St, Ottawa, Ontario
- Phone: 613-728-2412
- Operating hours: 9 am – 4 pm (Mon-Thur)
- Website: http://www.ottawasolarpower.com/
- Area of specialty: solar system
- Industry experience: more than two years
- Address: 1849 Brousseau Crescent, Ottawa, Ontario
- Phone: 819-921-8265
- Operating hours: 8 am – 5 pm (Mon – Fri) & 8:30 am – 5 pm (Sat-Sun)
- Website: https://www.energlad.com/
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Solar Incentives In Ottawa
Fortunately, residents of Ottawa get to enjoy government incentives and rebates on energy-efficient systems. Some of the popular incentives include:
Better Homes Ottawa Loan Program
Through this program, eligible house owners in Ottawa can apply for low-interest loans up to either 10% of their property value or C$125k. The best part about this program is that it’s a 20-year loan.
Canada Greener Homes Initiative
This initiative offers eligible households up to $C5k in grants or C$40k in interest-free loans. This program also has offers for commercial outfits or industrial locations.