Updated: Apr 1
There has never been a better time to invest in solar. Prices are lower than ever as global solar production accelerates and interest rates are at their lowest in decades. There are also very attractive rebates - up to $5,000 for home solar in Nova Scotia! Add the reassurance that the sun always rises and you have a very attractive (and lucrative!) investment indeed.
Financial Benefits - Make Money From the Sun!
If your home has good solar exposure such as a sunny roof facing South (+/- 90º East or West), solar can be one of your best and most reliable investments. Many of our quotes for residential grid-tied solar in Nova Scotia have a return on investment (ROI) between 7% and 10% with a payback period typically between 8 and 10 years. Once a system has paid for itself, it will continue to generate savings every day the sun shines with additional savings up to $65,000* for a 10 kW system over 30 years (up to $30,000 for a 5 kW system).
Homeowners can save up to $65,000* and 260,000 kg in green house gases over 30 years with a 10 kW solar system.
This takes into account the purchase price of the system, which generally costs between $15,000 and $25,000 for a 5 kW to 10 kW system (including tax and rebates).
Not only does solar make economic sense, it can also greatly improve our environment, curb climate change, and benefit future generations.
Environmental Benefits - Cleaner Skies With Solar!
Every kilowatt-hour (kWh) of solar energy produced can reduce green house gases (GHG) such as carbon dioxide (CO2). Solar systems 5 kW to 10 kW in scale will typically generate 6,000 to 12,000 kWh of emission free electricity every year, significantly cleaning up the air while reducing the demand for coal and oil, and the need for more mining and drilling and the resulting environmental impacts.
Solar systems 5 kW to 10 kW in scale will typically generate 6,000 to 12,000 kWh of emission free electricity every year.
In Nova Scotia, we rely heavily on imported coal and oil for our electricity resulting in high GHG emissions per kWh from the electrical grid. A study in 2018 concluded that each kWh of electricity produced in Nova Scotia results in 720 grams** of GHGs. In other words, a 10 kW solar system can save well over 8,500 kg of GHGs per year, eliminating up to 260,000 kg of GHGs over 30 years! That is a tremendous benefit for everyone around the globe, especially our children and future generations.
Emergency Back-Up Power
If you are also interested in adding battery back-up power to your home (or cottage, RV, boat, or business) solar generators and solar battery systems can be life savers and absolutely necessary for critical operations and heat in winter. Unlike grid-tied solar systems that require the grid to be operational in order to generate power (e.g. no solar power during blackouts - a safety feature to protect power line workers), solar generators and solar battery systems can provide solar power and back-up power anytime, anywhere.
Although more expensive, solar battery systems are generally favoured where the grid is unstable or selling to the grid is not possible or economical, where energy independence is highly valued, for mobile applications, and of course, beyond the reach of the grid.
Solar Hot Water
Heating water with the sun is another great way to save money and help the environment. In Canada we also have one of the best solar hot water heating systems in the world, The Solar Boiler System, manufactured in Nova Scotia. Thermo Dynamics Ltd. has been refining the art of solar thermal and pioneering solar in Canada since 1981!
The Solar Boiler System has been installed all over the world, from Siberia to Africa, Switzerland to Japan, and was selected for the award winning Halifax Solar City program when it first launched in 2012.
It was also the highest performing system in Canada out of all CSA approved 2-panel solar water heaters, and it features a solar powered pump (which I am proud to admit, was designed by my father and I) for a 100% solar powered solution! Even after hurricanes, ice storms, and black-outs, the Solar Boiler System can faithfully heat water for homes without power.
The Solar Boiler System generally produces 2,000 to 3,000 kWh per year and costs $5,174 to $6,317 plus tax (1-panel and 2-panel system, respectively). In Nova Scotia it is eligible for a $1,000 rebate that, when factored in to the total cost with tax, results in an ROI from 5 to 8% depending on which system and whether you install it yourself (installation typically costs $1,200 plus tax).
Halifax Solar City and Financing Programs
To help you pay for your solar system (if needed) there are PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) financing programs throughout Nova Scotia. The Halifax Solar City Program is one such program which allows you to pay for your home solar system via your property tax, financed at 4.75% over 10 years. Such programs essentially allow you to pay back the loan with the solar savings you make so you hardly notice a dent in your bank account. That said, if you have the funds available and can avoid the cost of borrowing, you will maximize your savings.
With or without loans, solar is an excellent investment and is one of the best things you can do for your bank account, property value and the environment.
Together we have over 100 years of combined experience in solar!
Join The Solar Family
If you would like to know how much you could save with solar, contact us for a free estimate. We are happy to help and can provide you with a quote that details costs, savings and return on investment for your home.
We work with our partners (and literally our family) at Quality Solar and Thermo Dynamics Ltd. to provide unparalleled service and solar expertise. Together we have over 100 years of combined experience and have been involved in solar since 1981.
Read more about Alto Solar and the Allen family here.
Tomi Allen is the founder of Alto Solar Inc. a Canadian solar technology company specializing in the design, development and deployment of solar products and systems for off-grid adventures and on-grid demands. Learn more at www.altosolar.ca
* Estimated Savings for 10 kW Grid-Tied Solar System = Total savings after purchase price of system including tax and rebate. Calculations based on $0.168 per kWh (average electricity cost + 5% tax), 2.6% annual electricity inflation, 0.4% annual solar panel degradation, 14% total system losses (shading, electrical, dirt, availability, etc.), 1.2 DC to AC ratio, and 96.5% inverter efficiency for a 10 kWDC solar PV array facing true south at 34º to the horizontal (8/12 pitch roof) in Halifax, Nova Scotia.