Solar’s got something for everyone
Travel farther and do more
For those who follow the call of the wild into the farthest reaches, an off-grid system can provide enhanced safety and comfort. Solar energy systems can be small enough to power only your mobile device and essential outdoor gear, or large enough to power off-grid cottages, large homes and entire communities. Don’t let roads or transmission lines limit your outdoor adventures.
Amp up the good times
The absolute last thing you want is a prolonged power outage during your vacation – you lose lighting, safety becomes a concern with no way to charge mobile devices, and climate control becomes difficult. But by installing an energy storage system, you can rest assured that you’ll always have electricity when you need it – whether you want hours or days of back-up power. Should there be a power outage, an off-grid system allows you to be self-sufficient and autonomous, while your neighbours may be in the dark. Thus, you’re assured that you can enjoy your social life, invite your friends for outdoor time or family worry-free.
Compare your options
It’s not common knowledge that Hydro One is only responsible for running transmission lines to the edge of your property – you have to cover all the costs associated with purchasing and maintaining the transmission equipment (masts, cables, poles, etc) on your own land. And the bill can quickly skyrocket into the thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars in the event of a downed line or pole. If this happens, it can make more sense to invest in a solar energy system that will generate free electricity once it’s been paid off.
Silence is golden
Don’t spoil the blissful quiet with the noisy grind of a backup generator. Solar energy is silent.
Cut your GHG emissions
While Ontario has a low-carbon electricity grid (averaging 40 g CO2e/kWh), Canadian households overall consume roughly as much energy and generate as much GHG emissions as the manufacturing and oil and gas sectors.
If you installed a solar energy system that supplied 100% of your household’s energy needs, how much would you actually reduce your carbon footprint?
- The average Ontarian creates 11 tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions per year.
- Ontario households, with an average of 2.6 inhabitants, use about 9,000 kWh of electricity per year.
- This creates about 0.36 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year per household, or 0.14 tonnes per person.
The answer is that you would reduce your personal carbon emissions by more than 1 percent. The Environmental Commissioner of Ontario scored installing a rooftop renewable energy system as having a ‘medium’ personal impact.
Solar energy’s production profile matches up beautifully with peak demand, meaning it generates electricity when it’s needed most. A significant portion of peak demand is met by natural gas plants that have a GHG intensity 10 times Ontario’s average.
Don’t give up dockside for poolside
Lakefront properties farther away from the marina have a lower chance of being connected to the electricity grid. With an off-grid solar energy system, you can still enjoy a comfortable vacation property with water access.
Connecting the Sun to the IoT
If you love to connect everything you own to the Internet of Things and pour over real-time performance analytics, then you’re missing out. There are tons of apps and tech (many of it already integrated into solar components) that monitors and tracks power generation. It gets even more fun when you combine your electricity output with household energy use, storage, and conservation projects to see positive results from behavioural changes and energy upgrades.
Increase your property value
While comparative research hasn’t been done yet in Canada, American studies found that a solar energy system increases the resale value of a home by 4%. Even if those numbers don’t translate across the border, Canadian realtors say that a system can still enhance a sale when marketed as an energy efficiency feature, backed by years of demonstrated electricity savings.
Monthly energy savings
Depending on the location, sun exposure and size of the system installed, you can cut the variable portion of your electric bill (per kWh) down by up to 100%. And because solar energy systems are typically paid off before the mid-point of their <25-year lifespan, even with a low-interest loan, they are a great long-term investment.
Avoid increasing energy costs
Historically, electricity costs in Canada have increased faster than inflation. The electricity component of Ontario’s consumer price index rose 66% between 2007 and 2016, the most of any province, while the global adjustment charge shot up by 140%. By generating your own power, you save yourself from increasing energy rates and delivery charges.
Ready to book your free assessment?
Rechargeables is here to answer any questions you may have. An assessment is an important first step:
- We analyse your energy usage and needs, helping you pick the right system size and type.
- We examine available installation locations, sun expsoure and shading to determine expected performance and energy savings.
- Provide an all-inclusive price quote, so there’s no surprises.
Types of solar energy systems
You’ll see several terms used to describe this same type of solar energy system: on-grid, grid-tied or net metered. Grid-tied means that the system is connected to the electric grid. Net metering is actually a billing mechanism that allows residential and commercial customers to sell their excess electricity back into the grid and is available through all Ontario utilities, depending on your local grid capacity. The smart meter runs backward to provide a credit against what electricity is consumed at night or when the home’s electricity use exceeds the solar system’s output. Customers are only billed for their total or ‘net’ energy use.
Off-grid solar systems have no connection to the utility grid and can provide the majority of the energy needed to power your remote house or cottage. A backup generator is often used to provide additional energy during Canadian winters because of low sunlight levels. The solar panels generate electricity and any additional energy is stored in a battery bank for later use – night time, or when energy demand exceeds the panels’ supply. The system must be sized properly to accommodate your daily power needs while also replenishing the batteries, accounting for total electrical consumption, geographic location (irradiance), sun exposure and budget.
A grid-tied solar system can be paired with a battery, or the battery can be used stand-alone. Residential energy storage systems are used for energy management and backup power:
- Battery backup – Use clean energy to keep your home powered during an outage, providing up to 24 hours of potentially life-saving power for critical loads.
- Self-supply – Obtain energy independence and improve reliability
- Time-of-use shifting or peak-shaving – Store off-peak grid power for use when utilities charge the highest rates and your household energy demand is greatest.