Guide to Installing Solar Panels for Your Home in Alberta

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Sunshine, financing, rebate, and net metering Alberta has everything to go solar. According to the data, Alberta is currently producing 0.1 gigawatts (GW) of solar energy and expects to grow to 1.8 GW of solar by 2025. Every passing day, more and more people are installing solar panels in Alberta. If you have not yet installed solar panels in your home, then it is the right time to go solar.

Here is everything you need to know about installing solar panels in Alberta.   

1.      Why more Alberta homeowners are going solar

The homeowners in Alberta are rapidly shifting toward solar energy to harness its immense financial and environmental benefits. More and more people are installing solar panels in Alberta in their residential buildings to achieve energy independence and contribute to their role in protecting the environment.

Another major reason for people shifting toward solar panels in Alberta is that this province has immense potential for solar energy. Alberta receives the second highest amount of solar energy among all the states of Canada. This makes solar panels in Alberta very feasible and effective. The summer in Alberta is longer and less cloudy, which makes Alberta an ideal location for a solar energy system. Data shows that Southern Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Manitoba receive more solar irradiation than anywhere else in Canada. According to the data, Alberta is currently producing 0.1 gigawatts (GW) of solar and 1.8 GW of wind energy. By 2025, it expects that to grow to 1.8 GW of solar and 6.5 GW of wind.

Calgary and Edmonton are two main cities that receive the highest amount of sunshine in Alberta. According to the data, Calgary receives 333 days of sunshine, and Edmonton receives 325 days of sunshine. Similarly, Medicine Hat and Fort McMurray receive 320 and 306 days of sunshine. In other words, in Alberta, solar power systems can produce 1,257 kWh/year on average. On average, Calgary and Edmonton can produce 1,291 kWh and 1,2,44 kWh energy per year. Typically, an average house in Alberta requires 6 to kWh/ per year. This means that in Alberta, you can produce more energy than you require in a year.  

Furthermore, the incentives provided by the government are also a major driving force in the growing number of solar panels in Alberta. The state and the federal government are offering tax breaks and rebates that incentivize people to install solar panels in Alberta. In brief, from sunshine to rebate to tax brakes, to net metering to financing, Alberta has everything to become an ideal place for solar energy.

2.      What is solar energy and how does it work for your home?

Solar energy refers to the light and heat that we receive from the sun, which warms up our environment and maintains the earth’s atmospheric temperature. This energy is used in its raw form or can be converted into useable heat or electricity. Multiple technologies are used to convert solar energy into other forms of energy—heat and electricity. The most commonly used technology to convert solar energy into heat and electricity is through solar thermal and solar photovoltaics.

Our sun is like a nuclear reactor. A fusion reaction of the hydrogen atoms takes place at the inner surface of the sun and releases energy in the form of tiny energy packets known as photons. Scientists further say that the sun produces enough energy in an hour that can be used to light up the entire world for an entire year. This is the huge amount of energy produced in an hour. People around the world are using solar panels or solar cells to capture solar energy and convert it into electrical energy to light up their houses.

How do solar cells work? It is very simple. Solar panel systems work by converting solar energy into electrical energy. Solar panels are composed of small units known as solar cells. These solar cells are made up of a semiconductor known as silicon. These cells produce Direct Current (DC) electricity through the photovoltaic effect. The DC is then converted into Alternating Current, which is then used to light up our homes.

Further, you can use solar batteries to store the extra amount of electricity produced during the daytime and can use it during the nighttime. Moreover, suppose you are producing more electricity than you need. In that case, you can sell it to the government and earn some extra income.

3.      Does solar make sense in Alberta?

The world in the twenty-first century is facing an existential threat of global warming. This natural calamity is gradually increasing the earth’s average temperature and making it uninhabitable. Scientists say that if the earth’s average temperature keeps increasing at the same pace, the world will become uninhabitable by 2050. How can we stop this impending natural disaster? By reducing carbon emissions—the main cause of global warming—and by shifting toward solar energy from traditional fossil fuels generated grid electricity.

The traditional grid energy is produced by burning fossil fuels that produce carbon dioxide as a by-product that increases the concentration of carbon dioxide in the environment, ultimately causing global warming. By shifting toward solar energy, you would be playing your role in saving the planet earth.

In addition to saving the planet earth, installing solar panels in your home has huge financial benefits. You can reduce your electricity bills by almost 60%. Moreover, the government in Alberta has multiple other incentives for installing solar panels. The government has created a $36-million solar rebate program to cut solar installation costs; as a result, you can get a rebate of 75 cents for every per wat. Homeowners can get up to 30% rebates on solar panel installation costs, which means installing solar panels in Alberta is very easy and economical. Lastly, you can sell the extra energy produced to the grid and earn some extra income.   

Wondering how much you can save with solar panels in Alberta? Check out Zeno’s Solar Panel Savings Calculator by clicking here.

4.      Factors that affect the cost of solar panels in Alberta 

So far, due to multiple environmental and financial benefits, you must have decided to install solar panels in your homes in Alberta. Now, you must be thinking about the solar panel installation cost and the factors that affect the cost of solar panels. Here are some of the factors that affect the cost of solar panels.

Output of solar panels: Solar panels are rated in watts. The greater the watt, the greater will be the price of the cost of solar panels.

Types of solar panels: Solar panels are available in three forms: monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and amorphous. The cost of each type is different; however, monocrystalline solar panels are the most expensive.

Shading & Weather: The environment plays an important role in the efficiency of solar panels in Alberta. If your system is fully under the sun, then you need fewer solar panels, whereas more shades mean more solar panels to produce the same amount of energy.

Roof type: Solar panels can be installed on metal, shingle, and flat roofs here in Alberta. Each roof type requires a different amount of labor and components. It is easy to install panels on flat roofs than on others.

Your energy requirements: It also depends on your energy requirements. The greater the requirement, the greater will be the solar panel cost.

To learn more about the factors that affect the cost of solar panels in Calgary, click here.

To learn more about the factors that affect the cost of solar panels in Edmonton, click here.

5.      Rebates and loans for going solar in Alberta

The Canadian government and the state provide incentives for people in the form of rebates and loans to convince people to shift toward solar energy. The Alberta government has introduced a 36 million dollar program to provide rebates to reduce the installation cost of the solar system. Under this program, the state government aims to reduce solar installation costs by up to 30 per cent for homes and 25 per cent for businesses.

In addition, under the Canada Greener Homes Grant, Canada’s government provides up to $ 5,000 to get a part of your costs back for eligible home retrofits. Similarly, under the Canada Greener House Loan program, the government provides interest-free loans up to $40,000 with a repayment term of 10 years to help you undertake major home retrofits. You can avail these opportunities to make your homes energy-efficient in Alberta, Canada.

6.      How the installation process works in Alberta?

The solar installation process in Alberta is quite simple. Usually, it is completed in four steps: Site analysis, proposal, construction, and commissioning. This may vary with different companies that offer services to install solar panels in Alberta.

Site analysis: The first step in installing solar panels in Alberta is site analysis. In this step, the engineers and technicians from the solar panel installation service providers visit the site to collect general information. They analyze the site, check your energy requirements, inspect your existing electrical infrastructure, and understand your goals. This step is necessary to gauge the solar panel requirements to meet your energy demands.

Proposal: After the successful completion of the site visit, the solar installation service providers such as Zeno provides a detailed proposal outlining all the required equipment, system size and component options, installation steps, installation timeline, expected cost, and other necessary details.  

Construction: After the submission of the proposal, the construction starts on the site. The professionals, engineers, and technicians visit the site and start the installation process. At Zeno, solar projects are installed by certified electricians under the guidance of a Master Electrician.  

Commissioning: Once the installation process is successfully completed, the project head visits the place and verifies the compliance with protocols, international standards, codes, local laws, and proper system functionality. Once everything is in accordance with international safety standards and regulations, the installation service provider makes your system operational.

Zeno has a proven process for going solar here in Alberta. You can check out solar journey here.

7.      Things to consider when selecting a solar panel installer

As more and more people are installing solar panels in Alberta, many companies in the market offer solar panel installation and maintenance facilities. With too many service providers, choosing the right solar panel installer is hard. Following are some important things to consider before choosing the solar panel installer.

Expertise: Solar panels in Alberta is a growing industry and you can find many solar panel companies specializing in renewable energy solutions such as solar panels. Things to consider when assessing the expertise of a company: length of time in the business of solar, knowledge of solar panels and how its installations affect the possibility of future upgrades (EV charging and battery back-up solutions), certifications and awards, and more.

Check their past projects: One of the best ways to gauge the expertise and professionalism of solar panel installers is to look into their past and existing projects and get feedback from the ones who took their services. If you are aiming to install solar panels in Alberta, don’t forget to check the solar panel installer’s past projects.  Check out Zeno’s past projects located all over Alberta here 

Team experience and qualifications: It is another thing to consider when choosing a service provider to install solar panels in Alberta. Ensure the engineers and technicians have the required degree, certification, and license before hiring them to install solar panels in Alberta.

Customer feedback: Don’t forget to read customers’ testimonials and reviews. The company’s reviews sections on Google and Facebook are the perfect place to get honest feedback. Choose the service provider that has very good feedback.

Pricing and quality: There are multiple solar installation service providers in the market; however, their pricing and service quality are not the same. Some companies offer several years of maintenance and others use the best solar panel products in the market. Don’t simply go with a service provider because they are the cheapest. When looking at the price, be sure to check what products you are getting, what warranty your are getting, if they subcontract the work, and more. Carefully choose the service providers that give you the best value for what you need.

8.      Conclusion

Solar panel energy is the future of energy in the world. It provides financial assistance to lowering your home’s energy bills and plays an important role in reducing carbon emissions, consequently saving the planet earth. The efficiency and return on investment of solar panel energy systems greatly depend on the sunshine of the area. The greater the sunshine, the greater will be the efficiency of the system. Alberta has everything that needs to be an ideal place to go solar. The federal and state government assist residents in going solar by providing grants, loans, and rebates. On top of that, Alberta has, on average, 333 days of sunshine and long summer days. All these factors indicate that it is the right time to install solar panels in Alberta. If you have decided to make your residential building energy efficient by installing solar panels and are looking for the best solar panel installer in Alberta, Zeno is your go-to place. We have professional engineers, certified professionals, and experienced technicians who ensure to provide quality solar panel installation service in Alberta. 

Get a FREE solar panel quote from Zeno.