The generation of electricity using solar photovoltaic cells has been around since the 1950’s. Early users of the technology were limited to research deployments, government agencies like NASA or in niche applications such as on remote lighthouses and oil rigs. Then, in the 1970’s the use of solar cells for residential applications started to gain in popularity for both the environmentally conscious and for those where grid accessibility was limited. Fast forward to today, where advances in solar cell manufacturing and solar cell technology itself, has widened the viability of solar PV to all.
UP AND COMING
In the early days of solar PV technology, the motivating factors to adopt the technology as a homeowner, were only for those fierce environmentalists and those who had no other options. Now, we are seeing the final hurdle, the financial merit of solar, being cleared. Through a combination of falling costs and government incentives available in the maritimes, there is no better time as an Atlantic Canadian homeowner to invest in a solar PV system.
In Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick there are lucrative incentives available to help offset the upfront cost of an installation. The average maritime home can support a 9 kW system which comes at an average cost of about $2.90 / W installed. Utilizing available rebates and tax incentives, this average system will come in at less than $20,000 cost to a homeowner and can potentially eliminate a power bill from day one. When factoring in the electrical bill offset achieved by this system, payback periods are as low as 8 years with ROI values greater than 11%. For comparison, the world’s top performing stock market index, the S&P 500, has yielded an average ROI of just 8% over the last 50 years. Furthermore, a residential solar PV array is not just an investment in offsetting electricity bills, its also an investment in your home! A Berkeley National Labs study found that the installation of a solar PV system can increase a property’s value by up to 20%. At a minimum, an investment in solar is a 1:1 ratio of cash to property equity.
In the past, solar PV was a niche technology, reserved for the use of space agencies and devout environmentalists. Now, a solar PV is one of the smartest investments that can be made for a homeowner.
Want to learn more? Contact our PV designer, Matt Donovan, [email protected], or get a free solar assessment for your home here.