Generate your own solar electricity and save money on your electrical utility bills. SaskPower offers a net metering program which gives you credit for extra electricity you produce and feed back to the utility.
A grid-tied solar power system with a net metering program is an excellent investment with an average rate of return around 10%.
Saskatchewan has a 20% rebate, available until November 30, 2018, for the capital costs of a solar power system.
How Net Metering Works
With a net metering program, solar power systems are designed to reduce your power bills by producing close to the same amount of electricity as you use. It offers many benefits such as maintenance free operation, credit for extra power you produce and banking credits so you have “seasonal storage” for your solar energy.
You can find out how much electricity you use by looking at your power bills. Find the current and previous meter readings – the difference will be the amount of electricity you have used during this period.
The number of solar panels you will need depends how much electricity you use and on the amount of sunshine you receive in your area. For example, a 5 kW solar power system will produce an average of about 700 kWh per month in central Saskatchewan, Canada.
Our solar power systems include internet monitoring that shows what your solar array is producing at any time, as well as overall production per day, per week, per month and since the system was installed. The webpage will also show what this means in terms of the environment.
This screenshot shows per panel monitoring for the system in the photo above. The numbers on each panel can show what it is producing right now or how much energy, in kWh, it has produced for any period since it was installed.
Your monitoring display also shows a broad overview of the solar production and environmental benefits in an easy to read format. Take a look at the example below for the Solar Co-op system installed on the Two Twenty building in Saskatoon..
Commercial Rooftop Solar Array in downtown Saskatoon
Watch Time lapse Video of Solar Installation – Click Graph to see Live Monitoring
If you are interested in more information, take a look at these Tips:
Frequently Asked Questions
What does the Rebate include?
The rebate applies to the equipment, installation and design costs for a solar power system that is connected to the electrical utility company. The rebate, to a maximum of $20,000, is available for customers of SaskPower, Saskatoon Light and Power and the City of Swift Current.
What is the Warranty on the Solar Power System?
Solar panels have a manufacturer’s warranty of 25 years. SolarEdge optimizers also have a 25 year warranty and the SolarEdge inverter has a 12 year warranty, extendable to 25 years. Micro-inverter warranties vary, depending on manufacturer. Suncatcher Solar has a 5 year installation warranty and provides free installation of warranty replacements.
What is the expected lifetime?
The expected lifetime is 35 or more years. Solar panels already exist that have been producing for longer.
Will solar panels be damaged by hail?
Solar panels are mounted in aluminum frames with tempered glass faces. They are very robust and would only be damaged by extremely severe hail storms, See a hail test in this Tips article: Solar Panels and Hail. In this case, the panels should be covered by your home insurance policy. Contact your insurance provider for details.
What happens in winter?
Solar energy varies throughout the year. Typically, the average roof angle combined with the short days of winter makes production low in the winter but optimal during the summer. Snow cover typically slides off or melts off once the sun shines again. Net metering takes advantage of the high summer production to offset the much lower production in the winter.
What happens during a power outage?
During a power outage, your solar power system will not continue to produce. Your system must shut down automatically so that the problems with the electrical utility system can be safely repaired. When utility power is restored, your solar system will automatically restart and again produce power for your home.
What are the options for backup power?
If you have critical loads or frequent power outages, battery backup can be added to your grid-tied system or you can use a backup generator. Costs vary depending on how much backup you want.
If I have to replace my roofing, what would you recommend?
Metal roofing or asphalt shingles with a 35-year warranty both have a long lifetime. A light color will keep the house cooler in the summer and light colored shingles also last longer.