Should you install solar panels on your home?

This article is courtesy of our partner The Personal.

Installing solar panels comes with many benefits that can help you shrink your carbon footprint and lower your energy bills. Find out if a solar energy system is just what you need for your home.  

Natural energy from the sun is clean, green, and abundantly available most of the year, and modern solar panels are an efficient, reliable, and scalable way for you to start benefitting from this solar energy.

Besides the potential cost savings you get from installing a solar energy system, the reduced carbon footprint will benefit you, your community, and future generations. Plus, technology has advanced far beyond the common concept of solar panels on the roof of a home.

Going off the grid, or staying on?

If you plan to become completely independent from the traditional electrical grid, you’ll have to consider whether your location will support your electricity production needs. It may not be feasible to rely entirely on solar energy if your location is subject to regular periods of bad weather and limited hours of sunshine during the different seasons.

Is your home a candidate for solar?

A solar energy system needs unobstructed access to the sun’s rays for most of the day. Ideally, the roof you plan to place the solar panels on should face south – although east and west-facing roofs may also be viable. Your roof must be relatively flat with minimal obstructions such as vents or a chimney. If your home is surrounded by trees that could obstruct the sun, you may have to cut or trim them down. Plus, if you’re located in higher latitudes or northern parts of your province, the hours of sunlight may reduce the possibility of breaking even on your initial investment in a reasonable time frame. That’s why it’s essential to speak to a qualified solar contractor who has experience working in your area and follow up with any neighbours with solar panels to ask about their experience.

Is solar worth it?

How much you’ll save on your energy bills depends on how many solar panels can fit on your roof, and you also need to consider the upfront costs. You’ll likely save in the long run, but it may take several years before you break even. Plus, the amount you pay for home insurance may be impacted once you install the panels. It’s a good idea to speak with your insurance provider before installing a system and ensure that you have coverage in case of a loss.

Another factor to consider is that installing a solar energy system doesn’t always need to be just a financial decision. Many people want to leave a positive impact on the environment and having a solar home is one way of doing so.

Bottom line: Talk to several experienced contractors in your area to determine your upfront costs and to help you set realistic expectations. You can also check for government financial incentives or programs in your province by visiting the Government of Canada’s Energy Efficient Homes webpage, where you’ll find a list of incentives related to energy efficiency.

To find out more, call 1-888-476-8737.

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This article is being provided by OSPE on behalf of The Personal which has a group sponsorship agreement with regards to home and auto insurance for our members.

The Personal refers to The Personal General Insurance Inc. in Quebec and The Personal Insurance Company in all other provinces and territories of Canada.

The information and advice in this article are provided for informational purposes only. The Personal shall not be liable for any damages or losses arising from any reliance upon such information or advice. The Personal recommends using caution and consulting with experts with respect to the proper use, installation and storage of any products referred to herein.

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