Solar Power In BC
Living in a province with so much natural beauty heightens your awareness of your impact on it. What can we do to protect BC’s ancient trees, sparkling lakes, and mountain ranges for generations to come?
Solar power is a renewable form of electricity; it’s a greener alternative to diesel fuel and hydroelectricity. By generating your own solar energy, you can save money on electricity and lessen your environmental impact.
But how practical is it to install a solar panel system in BC? We’re going to take a look at the solar potential of this beautiful province:
Common Solar Questions
You’re interested in learning more about what makes BC a good candidate for solar. Here are a few questions you might have about British Columbia solar power:
Where does my excess solar power go?
If you don’t use every kWh that your panels generate, does it go to waste? You can deal with this situation in a few ways.
The first is to install a battery storage system. A battery bank can store several hours of electricity, which you can draw from at night or on cloudy days. To set it up, you’ll need to purchase a battery and charge controller.
Alternatively, you can connect your solar system to the grid and exchange surplus power for credits. We’ll explain this more fully in the Net Metering section of this blog.
How many solar panels should I purchase?
This question will inevitably arise with any solar installation. If you want to get into solar, you might not know how many modules you’ll need.
To estimate the cost of your solar system, start by calculating how many kilowatt hours of energy you utilize in a year. Using that number, you can gauge how much electricity you’ll need to generate. Remember that if you opt for a grid-tied system, you can always use hydroelectricity if your demand outweighs your supply.
If you’re considering a roof-mounted setup, one limitation will be the size of your building. You’ll only have so much surface area to add the panels, even if your energy needs are higher. There are ground-mounted systems available as well.
If you’re thinking about installing an off-grid system, you’ll likely need more solar panels than less. This is because you’ll be unable to draw electricity from the grid when you’re running low.
Why is solar power greener than hydroelectricity?
When you compare all the methods we use to generate electricity, solar power in Canada is undoubtedly one of the greenest.
Even though producing hydroelectricity causes less damage than fossil fuels do, it still harms the environment. The dams that are used to generate hydroelectricity can disrupt ecosystems, decrease water quality, and injure fish.
On the other hand, solar power utilizes an entirely renewable and natural form of energy: light from the sun.
Can I use solar panels in remote locations?
These circumstances are where the benefits of solar power really come to light. If you reside somewhere that isn’t connected to the electrical grid, you can install an off-grid solar system to generate electricity. That way, you won’t need to rely on diesel fuel to power your abode. You can generate solar energy in any place where the sun shines.
British Columbia Solar Potential
To assess whether or not BC makes a good candidate for solar, we’re going to consider a few advantages it offers:
- Solar irradiance. This term refers to how much natural sunlight the province sees. In British Columbia, there is moderate solar irradiation potential. As you move toward the southern and eastern regions of the province, solar irradiance levels increase.
- Higher property value. If you’re interested in residential solar, one of the benefits is how it improves the value of your house. Your home is an investment. When it comes time to sell your residential or commercial property, a solar system will significantly increase its value.
- Annual savings. The cost of owning a property seems to increase each year. You never know when BC hydroelectricity rates are going to go up. But when you generate solar power, you’ll be protected from rate increases.
Solar panels grant you independence from the rising cost of electricity. You won’t need to worry about a sudden increase in your energy bills when you generate your own power. Maximize your savings by installing a solar system that meets your energy demands.
Provincial Guides and Programs
Even though many home and business owners are interested in solar power, the initial cost can be high. However, several provincial programs make it more feasible:
British Columbia is the only place in Canada that excludes the provincial sales tax from solar equipment. This includes anything from solar panels to inverters. When you purchase solar equipment, you’ll only need to pay GST. The PST exemption creates considerable savings when purchasing solar equipment.
You can access the PACE financing program to help with the costs of your installation. This allows you to purchase solar systems with no money down; to repay it, you use your property tax bill. Since cost is one of the main barriers to generating solar energy, this program is a great benefit.
In BC, you’ll earn credits for surplus energy that you sell to the grid. This means that if you have a grid-tied solar system, you can utilize any unused electricity to create savings.
With this program, your account will receive credits for the excess energy that you generate during peak months, like during the summer. When the winter arrives and the days are shorter, you can redeem those credits to access electricity from the grid.
With net metering, not only can you drastically lower your electricity bills, but you can even receive credits for any surplus energy you generate. To connect your solar panels to the grid and take advantage of the net metering program, be sure to contact BC Hydro.
See Our Resource Page For More Information
As solar technology continues to develop, and more financial incentives are made available, it’s becoming more accessible for home and business owners to generate their own electricity. BC residents can use a solar system to lower their energy bills, improve the value of their properties, and reduce their impact on the environment.
If you’d like to learn more about solar power in Canada, read more of the resource pages on our website.
Want to save on installation costs? Check out the solar panels and equipment offered at SRB Energy. We’ll show you how to install the system yourself so you can save money. To learn more, contact us today.
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