Part one: General Questions
Part two: Installation questions
Part one: General Questions
Part two: Installation questions
What is Net-metering? How does it work with Saskpower?
Electricity sent to the grid is banked and applied to your current month’s electricity consumption. Any excess electricity is carried over to the following month and applied against that month’s consumption. A credit appears on your monthly bill showing the net amount of electricity that has been banked. Saskpower will credit your excess power at the same rate that you purchase power. Power billing is based on kilowatt-hours (kWh). As an example, if you are purchasing power at $0.1123/kWh, then your excess power will be credited at that amount.
Is the price of solar going to continue to drop?
The price of solar modules has been driven down to the point that there are a significant number of module manufacturers that have gone out of business as the low price of modules is not sustainable. Regarding module pricing we may be bottoming out for a while. The long term prognosis is that, because of economies of scale, prices will continue to drop but probably at a slower rate than we have seen in the last few years. The balance of system costs, such as marketing, system design, labour, permitting, often referred to as “soft costs” will likely trend downward as governments continue to encourage solar development and installers increase installation efficiency.
Do my panels produce power even when the sun isn't shining?
The amount of power your solar energy system can generate is dependent on sunlight. As a result, your solar panels will produce slightly less energy when the weather is cloudy, and no energy at night meaning unless using batteries you will slightly pull energy from Saskpower. However, because of high electricity costs and financial incentives, solar is a smart decision even if you live in the cloudy city. Lucky though, Saskatchewan has some of the clearest skies and best solar potential.
Should I change the angle of my solar array through the year?
Changing the tilt of the array is up to each solar system owner. Most on-grid system owners do not change the angle. Off-grid systems have greater needs during the winter months. It often makes sense to change the tilt twice a year at spring and autumn equinox. Changing the tilt angle twice a year will typically increase annual production by 4-5%. Ground mount arrays are usually easier to access than roof mounts
How do I get my 20% solar rebate from Saskpower?
No worries at all, as during the installation of your system we here at Brighterfuture solar will 100% take care of your 20% rebate application to Saskpower and all you have to do is wait for it to come in the mail once the installation has been finished.
I am concerned there is a problem with my solar system, what should I do?
If you suspect that there’s a problem with your solar system, the best first step is to contact the solar installation company who originally installed the system. They will be the most qualified to troubleshoot the PV system and contact the manufacturer of any equipment that may be malfunctioning. You may also contact us here at Brighterfuture solar and we will do our best to troubleshoot for you and fix any of your solar problems or concerns.
Can Solar power my entire house/business or property?
Unless your solar energy system includes battery storage and you are fully off the grid, you will still receive a bill from your utility. However, you can dramatically reduce your bill, or even cut the amount you owe to $0, with a solar panel system that matches your energy use and needs.
If the grid goes down, will I still be generating energy through my solar system?
No, if the utility grid goes down your solar system will also shut down until the grid is once again available. This is to comply with safety regulations.
How long will my solar system last? Does it degrade at all over time?
In general, solar panels are very durable and capable of withstanding snow, wind, and hail. The various components of your solar power system will need to be replaced at different times but this is drastically being improved as the technology continues to rapidly advance in the field; Your system though should continue to generate electricity for 25 to 35 years with most manufactures guaranteeing an annual degradation of 0.6% of system generation per a year.
How does solar affect my property value?
Studies have shown that homes with solar energy systems sell for more than homes without them. However, your property value will only increase if you own, rather than lease, your solar panel system. In most parts of the country, going solar will actually increase your property value more than a kitchen renovation.
What is the maintenance work of my panels?
Solar panel systems are made of durable tempered glass and require little maintenance for the 25 to 35 years that they will generate power. In most cases, you don’t even need to clean your solar panels regularly. If something does happen, most equipment manufacturers include warranties. We at Brighterfuture Solar also offer a maintenance monitoring and cleaning program to all our customers. If you do have a off-grid system though with Solar batteries then weekly maintenance is usually required to guarantee the full value and life of your batteries.
What happens during the solar system installation process?
Once we've finished up all the paperwork and the project has been finalized to go forward, the next steps we will take is getting the supplies delivered to the job site and simply choosing what day works best for the install to happen. From there on the day of install our trained team of technicians will arrive to complete in the install in a timely and quality manner. After the install its almost time to start up your system and be producing power! We will lastly call Saskpower to book the inspection meeting with a Saskpower inspector and after he places sticker on the system your in power.
I hear "xxxxxx" models are the cheapest. Wouldn't those be the best choice?
As with most products, you get what you pay for. Given the 25-year performance warranties solar module manufacturers’ offer, We here at Brighterfuture screens module manufacturers not only for product quality and performance, but also for long-term financial viability since a 25-year warranty from a company that went out of business creates a risk that can overwhelm and potential savings from using discount modules. We typically choose only diversified manufacturers who can weather the ups and downs of the business cycle to ensure long-term warranty coverage is maintained.
Can I put solar panels on any type of structure or roof?
Most definitely solar installations are not restricted to just one type of roof or structure, with special methods available allowing us to put up solar systems on almost type of roof including: Clay, Metal, Tin, Wood, and tile.
I have plans for expansion, is this possible to plan for now?
We frequently take into account future growth plans when designing your system. The choice of inverter can be influenced by near-term expectations about power usage and in some cases it may make sense to include excess capacity now and simply add more modules later. We'll discuss this with you and explore a variety of options to meet your needs now and in the future.
Do I need to install solar batteries with my solar system?
Solar power systems that include solar batteries, known as solar plus storage systems, are increasingly popular for cabins, hard to reach places and those who like to go off grid; but this can be pricey. Luckily, batteries are not necessary for most solar homeowners. As long as you are connected to the grid, your system does not need a battery: excess power goes back into the grid, and you can draw from the grid if you need more electricity than your panels can generate.
What is involved in a solar site assessment?
An on-site solar assessment is a crucial part of the planning process. It is done by a solar installation contractor. Often, depending on the driving distance a solar site assessment will be made at no charge. The solar site assessment includes a shading analysis. If the system is to go on the roof, the assessment will include a cursory examination of the roof structure (a more in-depth engineering analysis may or may not need to happen). It will also look at the roofing material, access requirements, location for the inverter, wiring distances and more. A site assessment looks at the existing meter and for rural sites a look at the transformer.