Is there enough sun in Alberta?

YES! Alberta is the second sunniest place in Canada. Alberta averages 320 days of sunlight a year. You live in a solar goldmine!

Will solar reduce my electricity bills?

YES! Solar will reduce your electricity bills. Whatever you produce will be used by the house first and any excess will be sent to the grid for credit. Your power provider will credit you for your generation at the same rate you pay for power. The transmission charges on your bill will also be reduced since you aren't using as much power from the power provider.

Are there any grants or incentives?

YES! There is the "Canada Greener Homes Grant" from the Federal Government. They will rebate you $1,000/kW to a maximum of $5,000 plus $600 for the cost of the Energuide evaluation.

There is also the Clean Energy Improvement Program (CEIP/PACE) that provides financing to residential and commercial property owners to make energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades more affordable.

What is grid-tie?

Grid tie is the most common solar install. Instead of having batteries to store the power generated, it is put back into the grid and your power provider gives you a credit for your excess generation. This type of system allows you to get credit for surplus power or draw from the grid when you need more power, on cloudy days for example.

Rule of thumb: it costs less to go with a grid tie system if you have power at your property.

What is off-grid?

Off-grid means there are no power lines (or you are not connected to them) going to your house. If you are off-grid, you will need batteries for storage and most likely a generator to makeup for multiple cloudy days in a row. This all depends on how many days of autonomy the system is designed for.

If there is no power to your property then generally off-grid is the type of system to go with.

Do I need batteries?

If you are completely off-grid then you will need batteries to store the energy you generate. Most installs are grid-tie configurations where the grid becomes your battery.

Where can I put solar panels?

You can mount panels on existing roofs, do a ground mount system or even incorporate them into the exterior finishing of your house or building.

Where is the most economical place to put my panels?

Roof mounted systems generally are the most economical place to install the panels since no new structure is required. A South facing roof is the best, but East and West also work.

What happens when it snows on my panels?

Snow will decrease the output of your panels because the sun can't get though as well. A light skiff of snow will reduce the output somewhat but may melt off in the day or blow off. You can use a brush or leaf blower to remove the snow if the panels are accessible.

Will the cold winters affect generation?

The colder the panels operate at, the more efficient they are. Another reason Alberta is a prime location for solar.