FAQ

Solar FAQs (7)

How Does Solar Work?

When sunlight strikes a solar panel, it knocks electrons free creating energy in the form of direct current (DC). The direct current then flows into an inverter which converts it to a more usable alternating current (AC). AC is what you use to run your household appliances. The AC then flows into a utility meter which measures the volume of electricity before sending it to the grid. The clean energy generated by your solar panels can be sold to your local distribution company (LCD) at a premium rate. Your home receives electricity from the grid the way it always did and by selling the clean energy produced by your panels, you can off-set your monthly utility bill while also earning extra income.

How much power does the system produce?

This depends on the size of system, but under optimum conditions a 1kW installation in Ontario will generate about 1200 kilowatt hours, annually. For every kilowatt generated by your solar panels, you are helping reduce 1 kilowatt of coal-generated power.

How does the technology work? Is there a battery?

No batteries are incorporated. The system is connected directly to the grid. Think of it as your own a small scale renewable power plant feeding the grid.

Can I use this energy to Power my home?

No. All of the energy produced by your system is sold to the grid at a subsidized rate. This will not reduce your bills directly, but you will see income generated by your system in the form of a cheque in the mail with your name on it.

Is there enough sun in Canada for solar energy?

Areas where 90% of the population lives in Canada receive more solar radiation than Germany which is the world leading nation per capita in PV use. Regions with similar or lower sunlight and similar cold winters such as Austria and Switzerland are world leaders in use of solar water heating for combi-systems (solar space heating plus domestic water). Regions where the purchasing power is very low (China) are also very big users of solar water heating. So yes, with 3 to 5 kWh/m2/day, Canada gets enough solar radiation for solar energy to be technically possible.

Does my system interfere with anything?

Not at all. Solar panels are completely silent, and besides having panels on the roof and an inverter somewhere near your utility meter, your entire solar system is virtually invisible to daily living.

How long will the solar panels last?

The solar panels are performance guaranteed for 25 years, but your panels can generate electricity for much longer. Solar Electric Exchange has partnered with industry leading suppliers to ensure durability and longevity of your system.

Solar in Ontario (3)

What is the MicroFIT Program?

If you are a homeowner in Ontario, you have the opportunity to develop a small renewable energy generation project on your home. Under the MicroFIT Program of the Green Energy Act, you will get paid a guaranteed price for the power your project produces for at least 20 years.

How do I sign up for MicroFIT?

Solar Electric Exchange will take care of the OPA application so you don’t have to. There is no application fee, so there is no hassle to you.

What if the government cancels and/or lowers the tariff?

You will have an agreement with the OPA where they will offer the tariff at a fixed rate for at least 20 years. It is guaranteed to stay the same throughout the 20 year agreement.

www.greenenergyact.ca

www.powerauthority.on.ca

Your Home - Your System (6)

Who installs my system?

Solar Electric Exchange has hired trained installation crews dedicated to ensuring the solar power system is installed professionally on your home and ensuring all local regulations are complied with.

How will the solar system affect my roof?

The panels will not compromise the roof in anyway. Solar panels act as a shield and will ultimately protect your roof from the elements. Our solar systems shield and protect your roof from the rain, sun and snow and ultimately double the longevity of your shingles.

Is the system easy to maintain?

Yes, with no moving parts, there is very little maintenance needed. Solar Electric Exchange can offer your system ongoing system monitoring and performance guarantee at an additional cost.

Will I have to perform maintenance on my panels?

No. Solar Electric Exchange will take care of all maintenance and support of your solar system so you don’t have to.

What makes a good home for solar?

When deciding which homes are suitable for a solar system, our process usually involves an expert coming to your home and performing a site inspection to see if your home matches the necessary criteria. A few of the main requirements that determine if a home is suitable for solar are: a home with a roof younger than 5 years, a south or west facing roof and no tree cover.

What if we sell our house?

If the homeowner decides to sell their house during the term, the solar system and agreement is transferable to the new homeowner at no cost. It has been well documented that solar is a great selling feature on a house.