Are solar panels a cost-effective solution for your home?
Both clean and renewable, solar power is becoming more and more popular. But is this a cost-effective solution in Quebec? Read on to learn more about solar power for your home, from types of solar panels to costs and subsidies.
Generating solar power in Quebec: advantages and disadvantages
Solar panels help alleviate challenges caused by winter peaks, debottleneck the electricity transmission grid, and meet the needs of homes located farther from the grid.
Although the advantages of solar energy are significant, the cost of this type of system remains higher than using Quebec’s electricity grid. Quebec has some of the lowest electricity rates in North America.
What types of solar panels are best for your home?
There are two ways to transform solar energy: photovoltaic and thermal solar panels. More widely known photovoltaic panels use the energy of the sun to generate electricity and meet a property’s energy needs. Because the system’s energy output is variable, it must be connected to a storage device or to the Hydro-Québec grid to provide a continuous power supply.
Thermal panels heat water or air with energy from the sun but do not generate electricity. A heating system can then be powered with that hot water or heated air, which reduces the electricity requirements of a home.
How much does a solar panel system cost?
In addition to the type of installation, you need to evaluate the quantity and size of the solar panels. Although panels are frequently installed on the roof, they can be installed on walls, integrated into the building, or installed separately from the house.
These elements will vary depending on your needs and available solar resources. The number of hours of sunshine and snow accumulation will affect solar potential and energy.
Hydro-Québec has a calculator to help you evaluate installation costs and the estimated energy a system can produce. Give it a go!
The federal government offers the Canada Greener Homes Grant, which subsidizes up to $5,000 of eligible home retrofits. The amount of financial assistance granted is based on the energy efficiency that will be added to the property and includes the purchase of batteries for photovoltaic solar systems.
Thermal panel installation is funded under Hydro-Québec’s LogisVert program. Financial assistance provides for the acquisition of sensors used to heat a system with water or air.
Generating electricity autonomously is an option that is of interest to many homeowners. You can also consult a specialized professional engineer to assess the financial viability of your project. Otherwise, you can always consume more wisely and reduce your energy costs with small daily actions.