Albertans pay hundreds of dollars a month for electricity and the majority of it is distribution, administration and other fees. Only a small percentage of your bill is actually for the electricity and with new infrastructure projects and carbon taxes on fossil fuel generation, those extra costs are going nowhere but up.
Why pay to use electricity when you can own the equipment that produces it?
Alberta is resource rich, and that includes hours of sunlight.
No matter how you choose to produce electricity there is a cost for the equipment or facilities to generate it. However with renewables like solar, wind or geothermal the "fuel" is free. Coal or natural gas require a constant input of fuel that has its own ongoing cost.
Industry standard warranty on solar modules is 25 years. The life expectancy is closer to 40 years. With no moving parts there is very little maintenance or human operation required.
A solar array is easily expandable if your power needs grow in the future.
Solar equipment is an asset that adds value to your property and business. Whereas an electricity bill is an expense.
Extra energy generated can be sold into the grid at a “green” premium price.
The cost of solar has decreased immensely in recent years. At today’s electricity prices it takes roughly 10 years to pay for itself. With a 30 to 40 year life span that’s a 3:1 or better return on your investment Farms with $10,000 or more a year in revenue from current operations qualify for a substantial provincial grant. 60 cents per
watt of installed capacity up to 25% of total project cost.
Businesses can depreciate the cost of a solar setup at 50% per year for tax benefits.
A source of carbon credits that can be sold into the market, or used to offset other farm operations.
A grid tied system with battery backup protects you from power outages while maintaining your grid connection to sell excess power, or use grid power in an unforeseen high load situation.
WHY NOT GENERATE YOUR OWN POWER?
The cost of going solar really depends on how much power you use, so for this example I'll use my household which averages 700 kwh a month. My bills average $170 every month which doesn't seem like a lot until you add them up over the next 40 years. At $170 a month I'm going to pay $80,000 + for electricity, and that's before I consider any new taxes or inflation at 2-3% per year.
This link is to the Bank of Canada website so you can see the effects of inflation http://www.bankofcanada.ca/rates/related/inflation-calculator/
I could go solar for about $20,000 today, that includes installation.
EXAMPLE OF COST
The biggest benefit of solar is that you own a part of Alberta’s energy industry
Right now as a consumer at the end of the supply chain, the power generator, the transmission line company, the local distribution company and the energy retailer are all making a profit off of your power bill.
Even though solar is expensive upfront. It is a fraction of the cost of paying a power bill for the next 40 years. The money you save in the long run is your profit.