Natural energy from the sun is clean, green, and abundantly available most of the year, and modern solar panels are an efficient, reliable, and scalable way for you to start benefiting from this solar energy.
Besides the potential cost savings you get from installing a solar energy system, the reduced carbon footprint will benefit you, your community, and future generations. Plus, technology has advanced far beyond the common concept of solar panels on the roof of a home.
Here are a few key things to consider if you’re trying to determine if going solar is right for you.
Going off the grid, or staying on?
If you plan to become completely independent from the traditional electrical grid, you’ll have to consider whether your location will support your electricity production needs. It may not be feasible to rely entirely on solar energy if your location is subject to regular periods of bad weather and limited hours of sunshine during the different seasons.
Is your home a candidate for solar?
A solar energy system needs unobstructed access to the sun’s rays for most of the day. Ideally, the roof you plan to place the solar panels on should face south – although east and west-facing roofs may also be viable. Your roof must be relatively flat with minimal obstructions such as vents or a chimney. If your home is surrounded by trees that could obstruct the sun, you may have to cut or trim them down. Plus, if you’re located in higher latitudes or northern parts of your province, the hours of sunlight may reduce the possibility of breaking even on your initial investment in a reasonable time frame. That’s why it’s essential to speak to a qualified solar contractor who has experience working in your area and follow up with any neighbours with solar panels to ask about their experience.
Is solar worth it?
How much you’ll save on your energy bills depends on how many solar panels can fit on your roof and you also need to consider the upfront costs. You’ll likely save in the long run, but it may take several years before you break even. Plus, the amount you pay for home insurance may be impacted once you install the panels. It’s a good idea to speak with your insurance provider before installing a system and ensure that you have coverage in case of a loss.
Another factor to consider is that installing a solar energy system doesn’t always need to be just a financial decision. Many people want to leave a positive impact on the environment and having a solar home is one way of doing so.
Bottom line: Talk to several experienced contractors in your area to determine your upfront costs and to help you set realistic expectations. You can also check for government financial incentives or programs in your province by visiting the Government of Canada’s Energy Efficient Homes webpage, where you’ll find a list of incentives related to energy efficiency.
These tips are provided for information and prevention purposes only. They are general in nature, and The Personal cannot be held liable for them. We recommend using caution and consulting an expert for comprehensive, tailored advice.
Some conditions, exclusions and limitations may apply. The conditions of the coverages described are set out in the insurance policy, which always prevails.