Watch Senior Energy Advisor Don Eaton explain the challenges of retrofitting a house for solar energy.
We can determine whether your house is suitable for solar panels, and provide advice on a variety of installations, from photovoltaic to hot water to thermal heat.
Our Certified Energy Advisors use specialized tools to help determine how much of the sun's energy you can harness.
Our Advisor will provide you with a report that recommends whether your house is suitable for a solar installation, along with information on costs and payback.
How to generate solar energy... and make money.
Now is the time to invest in solar - the Ontario government has made it economical for homeowners, farmers and small businesses to install solar photovoltaic panels and generate electricity. What’s more, you can be paid to generate more electricity than you use.
However, investing in solar energy can be confusing.......is your house suited for solar panels?
...what is the difference between solar photovoltaic and solar thermal?
...what size solar panel system should you install?
...what about solar water heating?
...how much will solar panels cost?
...what is microFIT and how much does it pay me?
Green Communities can help
From solar assessments to grid connection, Green Communities can help you through the process of installing a solar system. Green Communities are non-profit, community-based organizations with a mission to help homeowners, small businesses and communities to reduce their impact on the environment. Since 1993, we have provided professional, independent advice on energy use to more than 200,000 homeowners. You can trust us for unbiased, third party advice.
Solar is a good investment
With rising energy costs forecasted for the future, it makes sense to consider solar. The energy from the sun is free and inexhaustible. It can be used to heat your hot water or provide energy to power your house. And excess electricity generated by your solar photovoltaic system can be sold back to the province at lucrative rates.
Solar is a long term, low risk investment requiring little maintenance. Having solar panels on your roof is like having a quiet tenant who always pays their rent on time. With the benefit of Ontario’s Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) a typical solar panel installation offers a very competitive rate of return on investment that is guaranteed for 20 years. A solar installation generates about $750-1000 per KW installed per year in income, meaning most systems pay for themselves in about 10 years. That represents a rate of return much higher than GICs or Canada Savings Bonds.
Generate power...and money...and contribute to a cleaner environment.
If you are a homeowner, farmer or small business owner, you can be part of the solar revolution and Ontario’s growing green energy movement. Under Ontario’s microFIT program, you have the opportunity to develop a very small or “micro” renewable electricity generation project (10 kilowatts or less in size) on your property. What’s more, you can make money – you can generate electricity from the sun and be paid a guaranteed price for all the electricity your project produces for at least 20 years.
And you’ll be helping to build a greener Ontario – over its 35-year expected life, a 10 kW system will provide the equivalent CO2 reduction of planting 1,450 trees and displace emissions equivalent to burning 300 tonnes of coal.
The first step towards getting a solar panel system installed is to receive a solar site assessment from a trained professional. A Green Communities Certified Energy Advisor has years of training in modeling energy systems and recommending energy efficiency improvements for buildings, in addition to their extensive knowledge in home construction and contracting.
Our Certified Energy Advisor will evaluate your home's potential for solar energy including solar electricity, solar water heating and solar pool heating. The advisor will assess your location, sunlight availability and installation requirements.
Our advisors use specialized tools and computer software for the solar site assessment. They can determine the amount of sun and shading your roof has and whether it makes sense to install a solar system. Based on our design and the information collected at your home, we will create a customized solar report that will outline your potential energy output, costs, and return on investment.
To determine your potential for solar power book a solar energy assessment with a Green Communities office near you.
Working with the advisor, physically seeing the air leakage and getting answers to my many questions were all beyond my expectations! Every step was helpful and professional, right from our first phone call.
– Rob Leonard, Kitchener.