As we enter 2024, well over 43,000 solar (PV) energy installations are affixed upon residential, commercial and industrial rooftops across Canada, providing power directly to those properties. The country’s current solar capacity (maximum amount of electricity the system can produce under ideal conditions) hovers around 4.4 gigawatts (GW). Canada is expected to reach 35 GW of total solar installed capacity by 2050, which will dramatically increase its share in renewable energy generation.
In order to do your part and enjoy the cost-saving (and money-making) benefits of solar you are determined to make the switch, if reasonable. How do you know if your home or building is right for solar? Read ahead to find out.
4 Things That Help Edmonton and Northern Alberta Property Owners Determine if it’s Time for a Switch to Solar Power
Location, Location, Location
In a region that boasts an average of 325 sunny days and 2,345 sunshine hours per year, your Edmonton / Northern AB property is already on track to benefit from solar. That being said, insight via calculations can help:
“When attempting to gauge efficiency, you will first need to consider a given solar panel’s wattage, capacity and power output. You’ll see this represented in wattage (i.e. 300W). Solar panel output is calculated by multiplying the number of hours of direct sunlight by the solar panel’s wattage. Let’s say you’ve installed a premium panel that offers 300W and is getting 6 hours of direct sunlight per day, on average. The individual solar panel’s output is, therefore, 1,800 watts-hours, or 1.8 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per day, or more notably, over 650 kWh of energy per year. Multiply that by the number of panels installed and you can see the potential.”
Logically, a building that receives significant sun exposure is right for solar. To gauge potential, use Canada’s Ministry of Natural Resources web-mapping application and get a “second opinion” by referencing this rooftop solar potential platform, which provides a bird’s eye view of every Edmonton area residential rooftop.
The Size of Your Property and Type of Rooftop
Traditionally, rooftop styles and sizes logically align with the interior square footage of a home or building. Common rooftop types include gabled roof, clipped gable roof, dutch gable roof, hip roof, mansard roof, shed roof, and flat roof. All of these offer slopes/gradients appropriate for solar panel installation with the array of mounting methods BLDG Electric can employ.
The following breakdown of home/property size, estimated annual electricity needed, and number of solar panels required can help you determine how right solar is for your property:
Source: EnergySage | How Many Solar Panels Do I Need for My Home 2024?
Remember, these are just rules of thumb. The right installer can configure panels to work with (and greatly benefit) nearly any type of property. Here is a recent case study for an Edmonton area home solar pv system. If you’re unsure about your rooftop square footage as it corresponds to the size of the property that requires power, don’t let that prevent you from further investigation. If located in Edmonton or the Northern Alberta area, schedule a consultation with BLDG Electric.
While not an innate feature of the property, you’d be remiss to think that occupant usage doesn’t factor greatly into the equation. The estimated annual electricity needed per size of home is provided in the table above. However, if you find that your annual energy expenditure exceeds this, solar isn’t just right for you - it’s desperately needed!
Your Property Evaluation Says So
Investigate your property’s energy efficiency by getting a professional evaluation. The evaluation will help you understand how your property currently uses energy and identify how Solar PV will improve energy efficiency. BLDG Electric works with select energy advisors whom we can refer you to based on where in Edmonton or Northern Alberta your property is located. For homeowners, an energy advisor will assess your home and provide an EnerGuide rating along with an energy efficiency report to help you make the most informed decision about your solar transition. There are also energy advisors available to assist commercial and industrial enterprises. Ask BLDG Electric for a referral to one of these advisors by calling (780) 328-6491.
While the information above offers insight into how appropriate solar will be for your building, the best thing Edmonton / Northern AB property owners can do is consult with BLDG Electric.
We work directly with property owners to select solar panels that will provide the greatest energy output and efficiency based on the building’s size, layout, dimensions, location and current energy consumption.