February 2018 – Solar Income

February 2018 – Solar Income

As some of you know, this year we installed a 9.75 kw microfit solar panel system on our roof. The process was a long one starting in May and finally all the T’s were crossed and the I’s dotted in the middle of January. This is our February 2018 – Solar Income update.

 

February brought a mix of sunny days and snow. We got hit pretty hard with snow and it stayed on about 20 panels for quite awhile. The other 10 are on a bigger slope and the snow slid off on a sunny day. We haven’t seen a month yet where the panels were completely clear.




What is the microfit program?

The microfit program was introduced in Ontario for smaller renewable energy systems under the 10kw size. It’s part of the fit (feed in tariff) program to promote the use of renewable energy, increase investment into this space and create new green jobs.

We bought our system outright and installed it on the roof of our house. 10 Panels facing the south and 20 Panels facing south-west. 2017 was the last year of the program and we signed a contract to sell the hydro generated to Hydro One. In return they would pay us 28.8 cents per kwh for the next 20 years. After 20 years we can sign a new contract at most likely a higher rate (since hydro rates will likely be higher) or look into a battery system to power our house.

Sun = Money

In February we generated 300 kwh of power. Since we get a fixed rate of 28.8 cents per kwh, we brought in $86.40 this month. I was actually expecting more, but got to realize everything is a month earlier. (Since they read our meter at the beginning of the month.) The solar company estimate for February was $169.42, again we didn’t hit that mark. Here’s hoping that is the snow factor again and not a gross overestimate.

February 2018 - Solar Income

This chart is a summary of what our panels were generating in February. When the panels are clear and the weather is decent I can see this really doing well. It’s nice seeing the panels generating almost 40 kw in a day this month. (compared to the 25 in January) There was almost a full week where the system did nothing at all…….. March looks a lot better so far!

Conclusion

We have a long way to go to break even on this investment, but its one of those feel good things to do. $86.40 won’t retire us any day soon but is another source of income we did nothing to generate. This one is truely passive, I do absolutely nothing anymore. Stocks I still watch and follow the market. Here’s hoping we hit 3 digits next month!

Got to love when Hydro One needs to pay you!

Cheers.

System Installed January 2018

Total System Cost ——–$32,396.46

Total Income Received ——–$135.36

_____________________________________________

Amount to Breakeven —- $32,261.10

Hey I’m Rob, creator of Passive Canadian Income.

In 2011 me and my wife had almost $60,000 in debt and a negative $7,000 Net Worth. Through hard work and financial education we paid all that off. Now we are focusing on increasing our Passive Income Streams to make the money work for us. Feel Free to Follow along the Journey!

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10 Responses

  1. Michelle says:

    I liked the chart. I look forward to seeing how much energy they will produce in the summer months.

  2. s cord says:

    What is your actual utility cost?

  3. Passive income is passive income. Just takes time to build up and break even. Obviously, the snow doesn’t help things in the winter time. Covering up the panels and such and there is just less sun in general. Wonder if there is a safe way to remove snow from the roof in the winter months so more sun can hit the panels and generate more income? Something to think about in the summer when you are doing yard work.

    • Rob says:

      Hey daze. Yeah thats true.

      I keep thinking of like snaking my bathroom exhaust fan under the panels to blow the hotter air… i dunno if thats economical though!

      Cheers

      • I saw a video of a guy online that was using a long pole like you would use for cutting high branches. It had a pole coming off the side to cut into the snow. Then a tarp attached to the pole so the snow would slide down the tarp off the roof. So he was only making about a foot and a half at a time fall off since he could separate it from the rest. Instead of just making it all avalanche down at the same time.

        Still safety is a concern though with him being on the ground and snow coming down. Think he just got the main top layers then the sun did the rest since there wasn’t much left. Also have to make sure not to damage the solar panels. Idk, but it looked cool and interesting of an idea to get the weight off the roof.

        • Rob says:

          Haha thanks man.

          I saw that exact video! I would be worried about scratching the panels. There is one spot where the snow banks on the roof and piles pretty high this pole would be great for that!

          Thanks for the idea
          Cheers

  4. Suzy says:

    Hi there!

    We have purchased a home and resumed the 20 year contract to lease our roof to a solar panel company.
    There is 18 years left until the panels become ours. Ha! We are considering buying it out (approx. $30K).
    Your information has been useful. I read somewhere that we can write off the interest from any loan used to purchase the solar panels – I can’t seem to confirm that anywhere though. I look forward to reading more about your solar story. Also, you mention 2017 was the last year of the microfit program, so perhaps there’s no incentive for me.

    • Rob says:

      Hey Suzy

      Congrats on your new home purchase!
      The leased roofs are always a little crazy. Do you get anything from the solar company each yr? Or is it just you own the panels after 18 more years?

      I dont know what kind of program you would get now if you buy them outright. Im sure you could just call the ieso or microfit program and find out. The installers mentioned after this program was over there would be another kinda program. I just dont know. Sorry.

      As for the writeoffs you definately can. I couldnt last yr because we didnt earn a income until this year.
      Our tax accountant mentioned writing off a portion of the house as well, since the roof is holding the panels.

      One thing to note is the income we make off the panels will be taxed.

      I would talk to the ieso, see what they say and then get an exact figure from the solar company. If you have the cash to buy the system outright id consider it, as its another great passive income stream.

      Best of luck, let me know what you decide to do!

      Cheers

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