Last Updated on May 4, 2022
Solar Energy is becoming increasingly popular in Alberta as we start to think more about sustainability. It is an attractive alternative to non-renewable forms of energy for those who wish to reduce their carbon footprints.
Let’s talk about how we can use solar to help power a home.
What is Solar Energy?
Simply put, Solar Energy is light from the sun that has been harnessed and transformed into a power source.
Most people likely think of solar panels as the primary collector of solar energy. Typically placed on rooftops, sunlight loosens the electrons in the solar panels to create electricity.
Does Solar Work on Every Home?
Solar panels can be installed on most roofs, although some will be more successful than others. A prime location is one that is:
- Free from large, shade-providing trees
- South facing
- Sloped between 15 and 40 degrees
It is also important to consider the age and condition of your roof. If you will need to replace your roof in the near future, it might not be wise to add 25-year solar panels.
If you are building a new home and are considering adding solar panels, talk to your sales team about selecting the right lot. They can help ensure that these success factors are present in your new home.
How Can I Use Solar to Help Power my Home?
The absolute best way to begin your solar journey is to have a qualified professional come up with a plan for your home. We recommend SkyFire if you are in Alberta – they do a great job!
The amount of power you generate largely depends on the number of panels you install. A typical, economical solar package is not going to be enough to power your whole home, but it will reduce bills and environmental impact.
Your solar energy system will be set up with an electronic management system you can monitor online. Here, you will be able to see how much energy is being generated, monitor costs and savings, and even sell excess energy back to the grid.
If you are building a Lincolnberg home, we do offer a couple of solar upgrade options to make the process easier.
Is Solar Energy Suitable for Alberta Weather?
Surprisingly, yes! Calgary and Edmonton are Canada’s two sunniest cities, ranging from an average of 325-333 sunny days annually. Solar panels will still draw energy on cloudy days, but at a lower capacity.
Most solar energy in Alberta is produced between the months of March-October, which includes our destructive hail season. While very large hail can break a solar panel (along with everything else in its path), most solar panels can handle hail with no damage. The tempered glass surface combined with the slope of the roof make solar panels difficult to crack.
Snow is also not as much of a problem as you’d think. Solar panels can clear themselves of snow, and most energy is harvested outside of the winter months regardless.
How Much Money Can I Save With Solar Panels?
The amount of money you save on bills will vary from month to month. During the summer months, days are longer and brighter, so the number of hours of use you get out of your cells will be higher. This means that you will generate more electricity and bills will be lower. This is good news for those who can’t live without full-time A/C.
In the winter months, the impact your solar panels will have on your bills will be lower. There are less daylight hours and days are cloudier, making harnessing energy more difficult.
Does Going Solar Impact My Home’s Resale Value?
Most purchasers view solar panels as an “upgrade” on a home, and they are a major selling point for some. Lower bills and energy consumption are attractive qualities in a home.
Solar panels will also impact your home’s EnerGuide rating, which is a government vetted third-party measure of your home’s energy performance. Homes with Lower EnerGuide ratings are more desirable and are generally considered higher caliber homes.
Should I Add Solar Panels to my Home?
We think solar energy is a great option for most people, but it really is up to you.
One of the barriers most people face when adding solar panels to their homes is that it can be a large upfront cost and return is spread out over a long period of time. While they have become far less expensive over time, solar panels are still costly.
Some homes may also lack the roof spacenecessary to support a panel system that produces enough energy to be helpful.
Overall, however, solar panels are a fantastic energy alternative that should be explored in Alberta. They are relatively low-maintenance and can give you unbeatable energy independence if used properly.
Related Read: 5 Best Energy Efficient Building Practices in Alberta