You might have curiously driven by a house with solarpanels, or perhaps you’ve heard murmurs of them being a safe haven in the face of increasing energy rates here in British Columbia. Either way, solarpanels are being talked about now more than ever. After all, doesn’t it makes sense that we take advantage of a readily-available renewable resource? (renewable as in the sun is expected to burn for another 5 billion years)
It’s not all sunshine and roses though. Solarpanels are initially an expensive undertaking. And, is our perma-gloomy climate in the Lower Mainland able to even sustain solar powered energy throughout the year?
If you are thinking of moving, or have just moved, we want to show you the benefits and drawbacks of installing solarpanels— and then you can see if you wanna walk on sunshine or not!
Weighing the costs of moving to solar power in BC — do you really save money?
The long term answer is yes, but solarpanels aren’t cheap to initially buy. We’ve taken a look at where to buy solarpanels in Vancouver and it seems the average installation is going to cost around $5000.00 -10 000.00 for a mid-sized home. Your electrical bill after the fact, however, is pretty much non-existent. On the bright side, solar panel technology is on the rise like never before, and year by year, the price of installing a system will decrease quite rapidly.
BC Hydro does say that with today’s energy rates, it might take up to 20 years before you recoup the costs of your initial investment. However that is coming from a company that likely doesn’t want to lose you as a customer, so their information should be taken with a grain of salt. Who’s to know what the future will bring. Perhaps energy prices will climb, perhaps they will fall… but there is definitely value in being completely self-sufficient for power and not relying on anyone or any company to provide it for you.
Does Vancouver BC get enough sunlight to sustain solar powered homes?
Everyone knows that a Vancouver BC winter season means that the sun likes to go into hiding. It can be many days, even weeks of solid cloud coverage with no end in sight. So what does that mean if you’ve invested in relying on the sun’s energy?
To put things in perspective, Berlin, Germany is the world’s current leader for solar energy. On average, they get about 900 kWhs of energy per year on a standard solar panel, whereas that same panel in Vancouver, can provide up to 1026 kWhs per year— so we’re doing well.
Even though solarpanels have a higher production yield, the more sun they get, being in a cooler and damp west coast climate actually makes solarpanels in BC more efficient. This is because higher temperatures are known to reduce the average output of a solar panel by up to 25%. So bottom line, it may seem like we would need more daily sunshine, but our panels run more efficiently and you wouldn’t notice any tangible power interruptions because of it.
So will YOU install solarpanels before you move?
Whether you install solarpanels on your existing home before selling, or can foresee adding it as an upgrade to your new home, there are definitely some benefits and costs to consider.