HomeownershipHomeownershipHomeownershipHomeownershipLifestyleSelling June 10, 2022

Solar Energy & Savings: What Green Energy Can Do for You

With the advancement of technology becoming ever-present in your house, it is only natural that green technology has also started to become more popular. With several grants and bursaries from the government, adding green technology to your home is becoming more accessible and affordable every year. And with added cost-saving benefits, such as reducing your electricity bill, green energy is the way of the future. 

Solar Energy in Saskatchewan

Living in Saskatchewan, we are fortunate to live in one of the sunniest places on earth. Using solar panels can be incredibly effective in our humble province. According to experts, Saskatchewan receives between 3.2 to 4 hours of peak sunshine daily, making us the sunniest province in the country on average! As a result, solar panels are a great feature that can provide a lot of utility and energy savings to your home. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Green Energy

Of course, technology and house renovations should bring many questions to your mind. Finding what will work best for you, your home, and your energy usage lifestyle can be a complicated process. Here are some frequently asked questions about green energy and what it can do for you.

How much will it cost?

The cost of installing solar panels greatly depends on what size of unit you want to install and which contractor you choose for the project. However, it’s safe to say that this investment will cost several thousand dollars. While a pricy investment, it does provide savings on your electricity bill and help increase the value of your home. There are also some government grants that can help to reduce the cost. 

What are the grants, and how do I get them?

The federal government has created some helpful bursaries to help cover part of the installation cost. The Canadian government’s “Canada Greener Homes Grant” helps cover up to $5,000 for eligible and recommended energy efficiency retrofits, and up to $600 for the combined cost of your pre and post-EnerGuide evaluations. You can check for eligibility and apply through the Natural Resources Canada government website.

You can also apply for the provincial home renovation tax credit. This tax credit offers savings of up to $2,100 in provincial income tax by claiming a 10.5% tax credit on up to $20,000 of home renovation expenses. Solar panel installation is considered an eligible expense under this program and may help homeowners fund this project. 

How much will I save on electricity?

How much you save will depend on many factors, such as how large the system you install is and what your energy usage and lifestyle choices are. Savings created by installing solar panels are made by the energy you produce powering your home and the excess energy going back into the SaskPower grid.

Currently, SaskPower will provide a credit on your electricity bill according to how much power you produce that goes back to the grid. However, your electricity bill will also, theoretically, be lower due to you using your solar-generated electricity. Currently, SaskPower has excess power priced at 7.5 cents per kWh until March 31, 2026. 

Do I have to renovate my house much?

Most solar panel installation does not require massive renovations to your house. The number of panels and power generated will depend on your roof size, angle, and budget. Still, most companies will work around what you already have. The cost of the overall renovation mostly comes from the price of the panels and the installation costs. 

Do solar panels still work during our winters?

This is an important question to ask, considering our extreme weather conditions. The simple answer is yes! There can be a slight reduction in efficiency due to snow coverage; however, the annual losses are insignificant. The solar panels also melt snow off faster than surrounding shingles, as solar panels operate at temperatures above the ambient temperature. 

Another critical factor to consider is that cold weather can actually increase the efficiency of solar panels. According to studies, solar panel efficiency is significantly higher at -25 degrees Celsius than at +45 degrees Celsius. Occasionally, solar panels will also experience increased production due to reflection off of surrounding snow coverage, as well!

Does it work with an electric car?

Yes! You can add an additional connection system to charge an electric car using your solar panels. You will add savings to your electricity bill and your gas bill, too!

 

Whether you’re on the road to increasing your home’s market value to sell by way of greener energy or looking for your energy efficient dream home, contact us today  to draw on all our knowledge of Saskatoon real estate and the benefit of our numerous contacts!