Pros and Cons of Installing Solar Panels For Your Home

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In 2018, we continue to see troubling growth in two important areas that affect us all: energy costs and concerns over environmental change. This has resulted in increased awareness about the need to reverse these trends, and L. Patten and Sons recommends installing solar panels for your home in order to positively impact both the cost of powering your home as well as your community.

When taking a look at the pros and cons of solar panels for your home, trust L Patten and Sons with all your custom home needs, and contact us today if you have any questions or further inquiries.

Pros and Cons of Installing Solar Panels For Your Home

Before asking yourself if you should install solar panels on your home in Ontario when the snow if off your roof, it's good practice to look at some pros and cons to fully assess the situation.

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Pros

1. Saves Money: One of the biggest incentives involved in solar panels for your home is the savings on your energy bill.

As Mike Holmes recently argued in the National Post, "You are going to consistently save money on the monthly output of electricity for years. The cost of energy keeps going up - so if you can minimize that cost, it’s a smart investment."

Ontario also uses a net metering system, meaning "once you’re connected to the distribution system, your local distribution company will continue to read your meter just as they do now and then subtract the value of electricity you supply to the grid from the value of what you take from the grid."

What you’ll see on your bill is the “net” difference between these two amounts, and if you supply more power than what you take from the grid over the billing cycle, you’ll receive a credit toward future energy bills. The credit can be carried forward for up to 12 months.

There's also the Solar Panel Power Canada Cash Incentive Program to be aware of, the value of which is always equal to the number of years that Canada has been an independent country.

2. Good for the environment: With solar energy, you no longer have to worry about leaving a large carbon footprint. Solar energy is clean and renewable, and you will be greatly helping the environment and contributing less to global warming by cutting down on your use of fossil fuels.

Some choose not to power their entire home with solar energy and decide on a smaller system to power a smaller percentage of your home, but even in that case, you are still greatly reducing any negative impact on the environment.

3. Low Maintenance: Once installed, solar panels don’t require much effort or costs in order to maintain. In terms of cleaning, you can usually maintain a solar panel using the same equipment that you use to wash your windows; as long as you provide regular care and don't allow dirt and other environmental elements to settle on the panels for too long. Here's a quick tutorial on how to clean your solar panels. You can also install a monitoring system to keep an eye on the performance of your solar panels, and when the performance goes down you'll know that maintenance is required.

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Cons

1. Initial investment: A major hindrance for many in taking the step to install solar panels for your home is the up-front cost. 

The average cost of a solar power system in Canada is between $15,000 and $30,000 , but that cost is dependent on several factors, and can be broken down per province.

That range applies for a 7,500kW system (what a normal house needs), but changes depending on the size of system required.

Regardless, it's a significant investment, but one that allows you to take comfort in energy and environmental savings for years to come.

2. Attractiveness: Some people are quite simply turned off by the thoughts of having solar panels plunked on top of their homes, or free standing in their yards. It's a relatively new technology that some aren't accustomed to, and they can take away from the look of a more traditional home.

Most residential homeowners in Ontario put solar panels on the roof, while rural homeowners tend to put them on the roof of their house, shop, or in their yard.

Here's what you need to know if you’re putting solar panels on your roof, according to Solar Power Panel:

  • A south facing roof is best, east and west facing are good, north facing is just OK.

  • Output on panels are guaranteed for 25 years, so you may need to replace your shingles before installing.

  • If you’re concerned about snow, roof-mounted panels are harder to clean.

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Note: Recent changes in regulations state that if the property owner pays residential rates for hydro, then no ground-mounted solar panels will be allowed; all panels must mount to the roof or wall of a building.  Furthermore, this building may not exist for the primary purpose of acting as a support for the panels. A local building official will be required to certify that the building has another primary purpose.

All of the above should be factored in your decision, and it's important to consider whether up-front costs and aesthetics outweighs saving money and the environment.

 

Solar Panels In Ontario

Ontario has been ranked by Solar Power Panel Canada as being the eighth best province for solar power, scoring because of the net metering programs and for being the fourth sunniest province in the country.

As of 2018, Ontario is Canada’s largest installer of solar power (per capita). There is currently over 800 MW of developed solar projects across the province from the cities of Toronto, Ottawa, Thunder Bay, and Sudbury, and another 1500 MW of solar projects on rural properties across the province.

A custom home in the Collingwood area is primed for solar panel usage, giving you the ability to design and install them in the most cost efficient and aesthetically pleasing way possible.

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Trust The Professionals At L. Patten

Whether you’re considering a remodel or new build, trust the professionals at L. Patten to help you make your decision, even when it comes to whether to install solar panels for your home.

Case-by-case we evaluate what the best solution is for you. As experts, we can help you make an educated decision. 

Contact us today to find out what the best option is for you. 

"As an interior designer I have great respect for a company with the construction and management skills to build a home on time and in budget while meeting a client's vision. Through every stage of construction the Patten team took our design and turned it into reality. We have our dream home."
- Maria Cumming

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