Solar Energy for your Home

Frequently Asked Questions

Is solar right for me?

  • How long do Solar Energy systems usually last?

    Your system should last for decades. The solar modules we use are guaranteed for 25 years, and the inverters come with a 12-year manufacturer warranty. With proper installation and care, you can expect your system to far outlast the warranty. 

  • Will solar panels damage my roof?

    Since solar panels will need to be removed if the underlying roof needs to be replaced, we highly recommend that a new roof be installed first.

    Our installers take extra measures to properly seal all points of contact when attaching the solar array to your roof. Our 5-year workmanship warranty will provide you with added confidence. In the unlikely event a leak does occur, we’ll repair any leaks resulting from the solar array installation.

  • Will my solar panels be damaged by snow or hail?

    The PV materials we use are built to withstand severe Canadian weather. Our solar arrays have been tested with golf ball sized hail at 100kph and the results show hail does little to impact PV modules.

    As for snow, diffused light through some snow cover will still allow the panels to produce power. Often the slope of the panels, the natural heat that is generated from the panels produce power, as well as wind action, will remove much of the snow naturally. Even when snowfall is heavy and blocks the sunlight from reaching the PV panels, you don’t need to remove it yourself. It isn’t worth the risk of damaging the system or potentially suffering injury from falling off a slippery roof. During heavy snow days, the amount of electricity generated is insignificant compared to the power generated during the long snow-free days in the spring, summer and fall. 

  • How many solar panels do I need to power my home?

    We’ll help you determine the best system for you. We’ll look at your home’s annual power usage and your available space. Then we’ll select a PV module with a power rating that’s right for your application.

  • What does it cost to install a solar array on my home?

    How much your system will cost will depend on a few factors, including the number of panels, location, roof complexity and any additional equipment required. Current solar pricing varies but typically cost around $2.50 per Watt installed. This price can be further reduced based on available government rebates or incentive programs. ATB financing is also available through ATCO. 

Will I save?

  • Will I Save Money?

    Many people choose solar to reduce their carbon footprint or become more self-sufficient.

    There’s no question that going solar is a long-term investment. It’s difficult to predict where the cost of energy will be in the future, but you can expect your solar array to pay for itself about halfway through the warrantied lifetime of your system.

    The size of your system will also influence the total savings in your energy charges and the fluctuating nature of energy prices directly impacts how much money you will save. 

  • Will this eliminate my electricity bill?

    Without a battery, your solar system will still be connected to the grid. Even if you produce enough electricity to be self-sufficient, you’ll still get an electricity bill that includes some Transmission and Distribution fees associated with being on the grid.

    In Alberta, you can expect to generate more power than you need in the summer and less in the winter. You can sell any excess solar power your panels generate back to the grid. Your energy retailer will give you a credit on your energy bill for the power you feed back into the grid. 

  • How can I calculate the cost and payback time from a solar power installation?

    Payback time on solar installation is typically between 12 – 18 years. There are many solar system payback calculators available online, but keep in mind that various assumptions used in solar calculators will have a significant impact on the results. At your request, we can provide you with our own payback assessment based on your actual utility bill consumption history.

  • How will I know how much energy my system is producing?

    All of ATCO’s solar systems use equipment with free online monitoring software. You can view your solar installations production in real time on your computer, Smart TV or smartphone. All energy credits will also be reflected on your monthly electricity bill from your electricity retailer.

  • How will I get credits for any extra energy my solar array generates?

    Your electrical provider will monitor your solar energy generation vs usage and credit you accordingly on your bill.

    Everyone’s system and energy habits are unique and as such so are everyone’s savings, but the average home in Alberta uses 6,900kWh/year which is roughly what 22 solar modules will produce. The average home will become electrically Net-Zero from just 22 solar panels!

    You will be able to monitor your solar power statistics through an online monitoring service available on any internet-enabled device. Through this online service, you can see how much solar energy you’re generating and how much carbon your solar panels are offsetting. 

  • Are there financing options available?

    ATCO is a proud partner with Alberta Treasury Branch (ATB) as a recognized solar vendor to offer customers with residential solar financing through a Line of Credit or Personal Loan at interest rates of Prime + 2.00. Let us know if you would like to take advantage of this opportunity and we will facilitate the application process for you!

  • Are there rebates available?

    The municipal incentives that are currently available in Alberta include:

    The City of Edmonton

    To find out more information, visit http://ace.edmonton.ca/energuide/residential-solar-program-terms-and-conditions/

    • $0.40/W based on total system capacity
    • Maximum of 40% eligible system costs
    • Up to a maximum of $4,000
       

    Eligible Expenses

    • Eligible expenses will include the solar PV equipment (solar panels, racking, inverters, cabling, etc.), design, development, modelling, engineering, permitting fees and any fees borne to upgrade the transmission/distribution system (if necessary).
    • Ineligible expenses include GST, lease payments, batteries, and admin/internal costs

     

    Brazeau County

    To find out more information, visit https://www.brazeau.ab.ca/energyrebates

    • $0.90/W based on total system capacity
    • Maximum allowable watts is 15,000
    • Up to a maximum allowable rebate of $10,000
       

    Eligibility:

    • For residential service, system is designed and installed by a qualified installer (not self-installed) and system components meet the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) requirements for electrical safety or equivalent certification to applicable Canadian standards.
    • Combined incentives from government programs must not exceed 100% of eligible system cost.
    • For residential service, the solar photovoltaic (PV) system must be grid connected in accordance with Alberta’s Micro-Generation Regulation (AR27/2008).

     

    Town of Banff 

    To find out more information, visit https://banff.ca/807/Solar-Power

    • The Town of Banff Solar PV Incentive Program is a post-install rebate program, with funding based on the size of solar system installed.
    • The town provides eligible participants with a rebate of $750/kilowatt (kW) of solar capacity installed, to a maximum of 7.5kW.
       

    Eligibility:

    • Project must be complete and all documentation submitted by December 31, 2019
    • All electrical systems must be CSA or ULC approved for installation in Canada
    • Only one application will be allowed per individual property

Is Solar right for your home?