Your household has decided it wants to do its part to help achieve Northern Alberta’s and Edmonton’s Energy Transition Strategy & Action Plan. This plan calls for homeowners to transition to solar energy and heating. This is accomplished via the installation of photovoltaic cells, also known as solar panels. These semiconductors are made up of silicon atoms that convert the sun’s energy into electricity. They are highly effective in a region that averages 325 days of sun and 2,345 hours of sunshine per year and has the potential to supply as much as 100% of a home’s electricity and hot water needs.
Moreover, solar will reduce your vulnerability to fluctuations and long-term increases in conventional energy prices. Solar doesn’t just power your home, it empowers YOU. Knowing this, you’re ready to begin the transition, but the big question is: What does a residential solar plan look like, and how do I prepare for it?
At BLDG, we get this question on a daily basis. Here’s a concise breakdown of the steps to follow to ensure success.
Effective 4-Step Action Plan for Transitioning Your Edmonton or Northern Alberta Home to a More Efficient Solar Panel System
Step 1: Get an Energy Efficiency Home Evaluation
The City of Edmonton suggests that you ensure that your house is as energy-efficient as possible as you prepare to add solar. To do this, investigate your home’s energy efficiency by getting a professional home evaluation. The evaluation will help you understand how your home currently uses energy and identify how Solar PV (and other retrofits) will improve your home’s energy efficiency. Moreover, the evaluation will determine your home’s eligibility for the Canada Greener Home Grant and Loan and potentially other upcoming incentives (more on this below). 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. The 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. Ask us for a referral by calling (780) 328-6491.
Step 2: Calculate Solar Potential
While your home evaluation will provide valuable insights into how Solar PV will improve your home’s energy efficiency, we recommend that homeowners develop a better understanding of their solar potential. Canada’s Ministry of Natural Resources has launched an open-source web-mapping application that provides estimates of solar potential for any location in Canada, Edmonton and Northern Alberta included. You can also reference this rooftop solar potential platform, which provides a bird’s eye view of every Edmonton area residential rooftop.
Step 3: Confirm Provincial and Federal Incentive Programs
You will see a very significant return on investment as the months and years pass post solar transition. However, you can also take advantage of Provincial and Federal programs that will reduce your cost of installation. Please note that availability is contingent upon when you’re reading this, although incentive programs are ever-changing. For instance, while Edmonton’s Change Homes For Climate Solar Rebate Program is fully subscribed and no longer accepting applications, the city and/or province may announce new initiatives for 2024 and beyond. Check back on the City of Edmonton Environmental Financial Incentives platform often for updates. We also recommended looking into the Canada Greener Homes Initiative, which offers up to $5,000 in grants and $40,000 in interest-free loans for home energy retrofits and installing renewable energy systems. View more on this and other potential incentives right here.
Furthermore, we encourage you to investigate how you can actually make money from your upcoming installation via carbon credits that can be sold into Alberta’s compliance market under various programs. For pre-installation reference, read How to Make Money on Carbon Credits from Your Home’s Solar System.
Step 4: Choose Your Solar Designer / Installer
The province explicitly recommends that area homeowners work with a qualified system designer to select the appropriate technology and system size for their homes. The installer will determine the appropriate system based upon the following:
- Available sunlight
- Ideal orientation and tilt for solar panel placement
- System efficiency in converting sunlight to electricity
- How a solar system will work with other power sources (as applicable) such as conventional utilities, a wind turbine, or fossil fuel generator
Your installer will also help you understand how billing and net metering will work so that you know what to expect moving forward as the proud new owner of solar.
The good news is that you have found your installer in BLDG Electric. We offer an all-in-one service for solar PV array installation and maintenance for residential property owners throughout the greater Edmonton area and Northern Alberta. We are a proud member of the Solar Energy Society of Alberta, and our staff are CSA NOC 7241 Certified for Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Systems.
You can contact BLDG Electric at Step 4 of your plan to install a home solar system via the contacts provided below. Or, feel free to reach out today for assistance in creating your plan for residential solar.
CALL: (780) 328-6491