We’ve already seen in the previous posts that the Ontario government has a clear interest in seeing us jumping on the green bandwagon. The more the merrier, they think. And a whole industry appeared overnight in the same place where two years ago only a couple of companies managed to survive by installing solar systems for off-grid cottages. Now every roofer who has an electrician friend can become a solar installer!
Now, remember that I already did some calculations a few years ago, when the only possibility to connect the system to the grid was through net metering: what the panels generate gets subtracted from the electricity you use, and in the end you pay only the difference. Those calculations are obsolete now, since the prices went down in lockstep with technology advances. But the big game changer is the microFIT program, with its dramatically improved payments.
From layman’s point of view, the story is pretty simple and goes like this:
- you receive an incredible good price (0.802CAD/kWh) for the electricity you generate, guaranteed for the next 20 years
- the price of the solar system is pretty big, but the contractor giving you the offer will calculate the payback time to be less than 10 years, and a ROI of between 5-14%. Some will go a step further and will compare the solar income to the money you would get from putting your cash in GICs or bonds.
- after 20 years, when the contract is over but the panels are still working, you’ll go back to net metering. You’re still ahead, because the panels are already paid, so you get “free electricity” from then on.
So get prepared, it’s time to crunch some new numbers!