Solar Panels – Is It A Good Investment? – 1 Year later

18 Responses

  1. Thanks for sharing the details, Rob. Too bad the ON guv scrapped the deal 🙁 Its something that I was always interested in doing, but couldnt justify spending $30K last year or the previous years.

    Good to see that the investment is paying off pretty well.

    Heres to sunny days 🙂

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    • Rob says:

      hey Road

      thanks man. Yeah its pretty crappy, but i could see why they would. Doesnt make sense to pay a higher rate than what customers pay.

      They should do a breakeven price for new systems.
      Politics always blows me away though, how much some leaders resist the need to go clean energy.

      cheers Road!

  2. Team CF says:

    Pretty cool Rob, hope they will continue to give you some income in the coming years. Do you (plan to) clean the snow off in the winter months? Do they also increase the price of your property?
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    • Rob says:

      hey Cheese

      Yeah they increase the property value and supposedly can make the house sell faster if we were to list.

      The 10 panels are steep so the snow slides off. The other 20 are almost a perfect fit on that part of the roof, so i dont want to risk breaking anything or falling off and breaking myself… lol


  3. DivvyDad says:

    Thanks for sharing your recap. It is really interesting to see feedback from someone that has panels, as I don’t know anyone personally that has done it. Lately I’ve been watching some of the country living TV shows like Living Alaska or Building Off the Grid and many of them are using solar panels, although they aren’t selling it but rather using it for themselves.

    In your install, are you selling all of the power back to the company? I would have thought it would allow you to eliminate your bill and sell the excess back, but based on your description it doesn’t sound like that is how it works. Either way, not too bad to be getting a 5%+ return!
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    • Rob says:

      hey dd

      There was a couple options but we chose to sell it all. Considering we get .2880 cents and power here ranges from 16-19 cents depending on the time so it made sense to sell it all.

      Solar is definately a nice option if your going to live off the grid.

      cheers dd

  4. Hey, Rob. Interesting that you pay your bill at the lower rate, but get to sell back what you generate at the higher rate (assuming I understand correctly). Sounds like a great thing. Any worries about your consumption rate going up over time and exceeding your fixed sell rate?
    In any case, it sounds like you are very happy with the solar panels and your decision one year later. That’s great.
    Any thoughts of trimming that maple tree to maximize the sun for the panels?
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    • Rob says:

      hey ed

      yeah you got it correct. It was to entice people to invest in solar panels. When it first started they got about 82 cents per kwh. That would of been insane!

      No worries. Everything tends to go up in price, clearly power will too atleast these panels will subsidize the cost. after 20 years we can negotiate a new higher rate contract =)

      As for the tree I doubt we will trim it, the wife loves it! (i do too, but could myself liking it 10 ft shorter too!)

      cheers ed

  5. Fantastic that this actually works as a source of income and a decent investment – I just love the concept of renewable energy and might even be happy without the solid returns.

    Hopefully the maple tree won’t need too much trimming as ED suggests – I’m loathe to attack any of our trees, they add so much to the garden…

    Cheers, Frankie

    • Rob says:

      hey Frank

      Renewables are a great thing and im happy to be part of the movement for sure. The extra money is nice too!

      That tree is safe. Maybe i just need to do an addition on our house and raise the roof! lol……


  6. Thanks for this post, it’s interesting to see how much the solar system produced electricity in a year instead of rough estimates. Looks like it was a good investment, because solar panels have a long technical life span and most likely you only have to replace the inverter in the next 25-30 years!
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  7. German says:

    Solar panels was a great way to diversify your source of income. If it was a good investment or not, well, the yield is the same as the stock market, but what is the lifespan of those panels? What happens after the 20 year contract? Will you able to use generated power for yourself and sell the rest? As for the tree, maybe you can trim it a bit or tie up the branches so they are not overcasting as much. And for the snow, you can probably use a long ladder and a long broom to clean the snow off your panels. That’s what I would do. I don’t want any snow on my goddamn solar system 🙂

    • Rob says:

      haha German.

      I did that the first snow storm and cleared maybe 10 panels. Was kinda crazy and dunno if it really did that much as new snow blowed bVk on them.

      The panels should last a long time and are guaranteed 20 years.

      After that we will see what the new rules are. Id love to keep selling it to the grid, but who knows what will happen then.

      cheers man

  8. Darrell says:

    Hey there. Also from Ontario. Was nice to find someone else that had installed this system. I put in a 10 kw roof mount system for 37k. Also borrowed the money. Still 22k owing. We were up and running May of 2014 at .396 cents/kw. First full year $4141. Averaging about 3800/year. I was putting the interest and loan insurance premium back into my account from the generation but last year I started covering that and putting 100% of the generation income into the debt since the interest rates on the lines of credit started increasing. A worthwhile investment. The following year, we installed a 10kw net metering system, ground mount. This essentially cancelled out our hydro bill. Well, we still have to pay around $25 /month for delivery and line maintenance. This system was 28k with a 10-12 year payback. Also worth while because we are now immune to price increases.

    • Rob says:

      Oh man Darrell, this is all kinds of awesome. Congrats guys!

      First off welcome to the site.

      Nice work getting the system in the earlier years, as you can see you generate a higher return because of that.

      I didnt even know you could have 2 different systems. I guess it was one microfit system to sell to hydro one.

      Net metering sounds interesting but i think we could gain sooo many credits we would never use. (our hydro bills are about a 100 a month)

      What do you do with the excess? or does it just keep adding up? Can u gift it?

      Anyways great to hear man, gotta love the green factor. Your place probably looks pretty sweet too. (with 2 seperate systems)

      cheers Darrell

  9. Darrell says:

    Oh, and just so we could really stick it to hydro one, we also bought and are still buying shares of the company. Somewhere around 1500 so far. They now pay us more than we pay them.

    • Rob says:

      lol just killing it man. love it.

      We used to own hydro one shares but got rid of them a while back because I hated how political they are.

      well all the political interference.

      Anyways that is a solid quarterly payment to go with those solar cheques.

      keep it up!

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