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How much do solar panels cost?

This can vary widely depending on energy needs and the number of panels installed. Solar panels have rapidly decreased in price over the last decade. Some factors will drive costs up, such as warranty and source of manufacturing. 

The average installation price for a 7.5 kW system in Canada is $22,500, but there are numerous incentives and cost relief options available from the federal level all the way down to municipal government.

Solr Solvr can provide many solutions to reduce your solar system cost.

Solar versus wind power

Solar power and wind power are both forms of renewable energy. Single-home wind turbines exist, but they are less efficient and do not generate as much electricity as solar panels. A typical turbine for single-home use is about 80 feet tall and must be placed in an area that has high average wind speeds.

Wind turbines can generate power 24 hours a day, whereas panels can only generate power during sunlight hours. Solar power is more popular for homeowners, and wind power is used more at the utility scale.

How much can I save from going solar?

This depends on your specific needs and the scope of the project you have in mind. Each project is different. The average 6 kW system will save about $1000 in electricity costs annually. 

Please see the free assessment tool for more information.

Do I need a new roof before going solar?

The roof will be the foundation for the solar panels. It is a good idea to ensure that your roof is minimally damaged before the panels are installed. Repairing your roof after the panels are installed is possible, but it will be more expensive. 

If you have recently replaced your roof with fiberglass shingles, you should contact your manufacturer or installer for specific details.

How long do solar panels last?

Improvements in technology have increased the lifespan of solar panels to 30-40 years. However, all panels regardless of brand will be subject to a small reduction in peak output as they get older, which is important to consider.

How does solar work?

The process starts with light (not heat!) from the sun that hits the solar panels. A solar panel is comprised of solar cells, that create an electric field to generate direct current (DC) electricity. 

Most houses use alternating current (AC) electricity, so the electricity generated by the panels must be converted to AC using an inverter, a simple and small addition that makes the electricity usable. 

A net meter will measure the electricity production and usage and record it for your hydro company. 

Don’t know what net-metering is? Don’t worry, it is covered further down. Keep reading!

Where do I start with solar?

We have a blog post about this: Considering Solar: Do this first

There is no better place to start than with Solr Solvr! We inform, assess, and when you're ready we can connect you to installers.

Is Solr Solvr free?

Yes! We simplify the solar process by contacting verified installers and manufacturers that operate in your area to find the best solution for you. 

We only charge a small fee to the installer once you have agreed to go forward. Clients inform us that they save more than our fee because it is a competitive bid.

What maintenance is needed for solar panels?

Solar panels are surprisingly low maintenance, considering all the Canadian weather they must withstand! Panels should be cleaned a few times a year to maintain high energy output. This can be done by the homeowner themselves. You may also want to clean snow off the panels after an extended snowfall, but when the sun comes out, snow will quickly melt and fall off the tilted panels. 

Did you know? Snow reduces solar production by less than 5% annually!

Does solar make sense for my house?

If you are a homeowner and want to see a reduction in your utility bill, going solar makes sense! See our free solar assessment for more information.

How can I get a free solar assessment?

If you are a homeowner and want to see a reduction in your utility bill, going solar makes sense! See our free assessment page for more information.

Interested in learning more?
How do I power my house at night with solar?

Most Canadians use ‘net-metering’, so the hydro company banks their power generated. Excess energy produced during the day can be stored and saved for nighttime use with a battery system.

Do I need batteries with solar?

Batteries are needed in an ‘off-grid’ setup where there is no connection to an electric grid. Nearly all solar systems in residential neighborhoods are grid-tied. Some grid-tied customers still use batteries to power out-buildings, like sheds or separate garages, and in the case of power outages.

Will solar get rid of my entire electricity bill?

With net-metering, you will still have to pay your fixed delivery charge from your hydro company. The offset on your electricity bill depends on the size of your system, the price of electricity, daylight hours, and the size of your bill.

Can I get solar windows?

Solar windows are a newer technology where ordinary glass is coated with a transparent photovoltaic layer that converts the light from the sun into usable energy. Solar windows are still in development, and they are not widely available. 

Roof mount versus ground mount

The primary benefits of roof mounted systems are that they don’t take up any ground space on the property. They are also cost-efficient and won’t alter the aesthetics of your property. 

Ground mounted systems are sometimes used when solar panels on the roof are not suitable. They are easier to maintain and clean, but they take up a lot of ground space and the mounting structure will raise costs.

What is grid-tied?

A grid-tied solar system partners with your local utility to bank your excess electricity generated in summer and provides it back over winter months. It is when you hand over all power generated by the panels to your local utility company, and you receive power through the traditional power grid. “Power banking” covers a 12-month period, and then starts over.

What is an inverter?

An inverter is necessary in combination with your solar panels to convert DC (direct current) to AC (alternate current) so your home’s power system can utilize it. There are central sine wave inverters or micro inverters that attach to each panel, and there are benefits and setbacks to each.

How does net metering work in Ontario?

Net metering is essentially ‘selling’ the power created by solar panels back to hydro companies, and in return you receive a credit that is deducted off your monthly bill. If the credits pay off your entire monthly bill, the remaining credits can be stockpiled and saved for future use for up to 12 months.

What are the warranties for solar panels?

Solar panel warranties vary greatly depending on the manufacturer. Most major manufacturers give their products up to a 25-year warranty, but cheaper products often come with a shorter warranty.

Can I monitor solar panels on my phone?

There are numerous apps that allow you to see the details of your panel’s status and energy production at any time. The solar app you use will depend on if you use a central sine wave inverter or several microinverters.

Will solar cause a fire?

No. Solar electricity is generated from the light from the sun, not the heat.

Will solar make my roof leak?

No. When installed by professionals, your roof is guaranteed not to leak. There is minimal impact on your roof’s warranty but check with the roof manufacturer.

Does solar increase your insurance?

Solar does not increase your risk insurance, and it may increase your home value. In Ontario, roof-mounted panels are usually covered by homeowners' insurance. Contact your insurance provider for more details.

Are there Federal incentives or rebates for solar?

The Canada Greener Homes Grant is available for homeowners who want to renovate their house to be more energy efficient. A grant of up to $5600 is available. $5000 for panels, and $600 for an energy audit. The federal government has also announced a $40,000 interest-free loan is now available for renewable renovations.

Businesses in Canada adopting solar can also benefit from Tax Incentives For Clean Energy Equipment.

Does Ontario have incentives or rebates for solar?

Ontario currently has no incentives for homeowners looking to install solar panels, but there are incentives offered through the federal government. Check your municipalities’ website for municipal incentives.

Are you ready to purchase?
Are gel batteries better than lithium ion batteries?

We at Solr Solvr recommend lithium-ion batteries, which we think are better value despite their higher price. Gel batteries degrade significantly faster than lithium batteries, and they have a shorter period of operation before having to be charged again. 

With the onset of electric vehicles, lithium-ion batteries are coming down significantly in price. For homeowners in Canada looking to install solar panels, we recommend lithium-ion or LiFePo4 (lithium-ion phosphate) batteries. They are lighter, smaller and can be drained down to 10-20% power without damage, whereas lead acid and gel batteries can only be drawn down to 50% safely.  LiFePo4 batteries also function better in Canada’s colder climates.

Should I lease solar panels?

Leasing solar panels is an option for consumers who do not want to pay upfront, but there are important things to consider before agreeing. Firstly, the energy savings will be smaller when compared to buying the system outright. Some panel owners find it difficult to transfer leases.

If you are considering leasing solar panels, have a lawyer review the contract.

How do I get the CMHC interest free loan for clean energy renovations?

Homeowners and business owners should check the CMHC website to see if you qualify for the clean energy renovations loan.

What approvals do you need for solar?

For grid-tied systems, approvals are needed from the municipal planning office as well as your electric utility the hydro company.

One panel is lower than the rest

If possible, check your monitoring system to see potential points of failure. If the problem persists, contact your installer, manufacturer or certified technician.

My solar panel output is low

There are several reasons for lower output including dirty panels, an obstruction, or issues with the wiring and inverters.

Solar installer complaints

Contact your installer directly to narrow down the source of the problem. 

Solar warranty problems

Bring the issue up with your installer before contacting the manufacturer to understand the process. If you are having an issue getting resolution, please contact Solr Solvr.