How much money you can save with solar in Saskatoon?

how much money can you save with solar in Saskatoon

We’ve all heard about how using solar panels can save people money on their power bills, but the information we find online about how much you can actually save doesn’t always match up with our situation here in Canada.

It is true that using solar power is a fantastic way to save money on your power bills over the 30 to 40 year design-life of the solar power equipment, but let’s take a closer look at how much money can actually be saved.

What programs are available?

Residents of Saskatoon have an advantage over much of Canada in that there are two great programs available through the city that make investing in solar panels more attractive: The Saskatoon Light & Power Net Metering program and the Small Power Producer program.

In addition to these two municipal programs, there is a rebate program available through Saskpower that helps reduce the up-front cost of investing in a solar power system in Saskatoon

This article will help outline what parts of your bill will be lower when using solar panels in Saskatoon and how the two municipal programs help compensate residents for the power they produce.

Keep in mind that this article will focus on grid-tied solar power systems without batteries.

Understanding your electrical bill

There are two main parts of your Saskatoon Light and Power electrical bill: The Service Charge, and the Electric Charge.

The Service Charge

how much money can you save with solar in saskatoon service charge

This part of your bill I not based on how much power you use but is instead a simple daily rate.

The daily rate may change every few months but is usually very close to the same amount over the course of the year.

The service charge is not affected by using solar panels in Saskatoon and will always appear on your bill no matter how little power you use.

The Electric charge

how much money can you save with solar in saskatoon electric charge

This portion of your Saskatoon Light and Power bill is based on how much power you have used within the billing period.

The billed amount changes each month based on how much power is used and the current billing rate per kWh for the electricity used.

This portion of your bill is where using solar panels in Saskatoon can really make an impact.

Let’s see how the two municipal solar power programs can affect the Electric Charge.

How does the Net Metering plan work?

When you are under the Saskatoon Light and Power Net Metering program, the solar power you produce is first used up by the electric loads in your home. Extra power is exported to the grid where it builds up a billing credit at the same billing rate as the power you use.

This credit is used to pay for your power when your solar panels aren’t producing enough to match your needs, but the credit is reset each year at the end of March so you will want to size your system carefully to minimize wasted credit.

If your system is designed properly, the extra power your produce during times of more sun will match your power needs for the winter and nights.

This ability to build up billing credit allows your Electric Charge over the course of the year to average out to $0. Not a bad deal!

For the bill pictured in the above picture, the savings for the month would be $53.86 plus any applicable GST.

This program is best suited for people who want to save money by generating their own power but not sell bulk amounts of power to the grid.

How about the Small Power Producer plan?

When you are using solar panels under the Small Power Producer program, instead of receiving a billing credit for extra power, you will be paid a cash amount for any extra power you export, although at a slightly lower rate than what you are normally billed at.

The selling rate for power produced with solar panels under the Small Power Producer program as of January 2017 is $0.108222 per kWh and increases by 2% each year (for now).

With a 100kW solar power system size limit, this plan is designed to allow people or groups to contribute to the power production network of the province and be paid a great price for the clean power they produce.

There is the potential to generate a significant amount of money over the lifetime of the solar power equipment using the small power producer program as shown in the chart below. The small power producer program may be viewed as a formula to becoming a millionaire or in the least, as a way to generate a considerable amount of income for years to come.

how much money can you make with the small power producer program in Saskatoon

The above chart features the 40-year production value forecast of a system designed to maximize the 100kW capacity of the Small Power Producer program and takes advantage of the capital cost allowance federal tax deduction class 43.1/43.2 which may apply to businesses claiming their solar power installation as a depreciable asset. The forecast assumes a modest 2% per year increase in power prices year over year.

It is possible to size your system so that the money generated will offset your own power bills but if you are only looking to offset your own power needs, the Net Metering program would be a better option because the export rate is the same as the billing rate.

Adding it up

Using solar panels in Saskatoon for the small power producer program or the net metering program are great opportunities in their own ways.

The opportunity presented by these two programs hasn’t been seen before in Saskatoon and the timing couldn’t be better. Power prices are set to rise fast but with solar panels installed under the Net Metering program, it really doesn’t matter how high the prices go, you will be covered by your very own clean, low maintenance power producing equipment.

A system designed to cover your full year’s worth of power consumption in Saskatoon will save you 100% of the electrical rate.

If you are looking to make a reliable return on your very own, environmentally friendly investment then a larger system under the small power producer program should be at the top of your list. There truly isn’t a more accessible, reliable way to earn a return on your investment in Saskatoon right now.

It is even possible to apply for both programs under two different meters and get the best of both worlds if you are looking to make the most impact.

These programs may not be around forever and we would truly enjoy helping you figure out what system size and program would be best for you so that you can take part in this unique opportunity.

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Here’s how much you can save with solar in Calgary…

here's how much you can save with solar in Calgary

In Alberta’s deregulated energy market, figuring out how much solar can save you in Calgary is hard to nail down exactly, unless you know what to look for.

To figure this out, we need to understand what the different parts of your power bill mean and how you get compensated for the power you produce.

Continue reading “Here’s how much you can save with solar in Calgary…”

Here’s how much you can save with solar in Edmonton…

what parts of my edmonton power bill will be lower with solar

In Alberta’s deregulated energy market, figuring out how much solar can save you in Edmonton is hard to nail down exactly, unless you know what to look for.

To figure this out, we need to understand what the different parts of your power bill mean and how you get compensated for the power you produce.

Keep in mind that this discussion will be based on grid-tied systems with no batteries.

Breaking it down

The bill from your energy retailer might have a different look to it, but the names of the charges should be the same.

The energy charge

Edmonton energy bill energy charges

The energy charge is what the power company gets paid to make electricity at the power plant.

You can save up to 100% of this cost with solar installed on your property, without using batteries because of how net-metering works, and here’s how:

If your solar power system is designed properly for net metering, you will be producing more power than your property is using up during the day in the sunnier times of the year. This means that you will be selling the electricity back onto the grid and building up a net metering credit.

At night and in the winter you may be using grid power, but instead of being charged, you will earn back those net-metering credits you built up when the sun was shining.

With a properly designed solar power system, your extra net-metering credits can match up with the amount of power you need from the grid at night and in the winter.

This means that your energy charge can average out to $0 at the end of the year!

Distribution charges

Edmonton energy bill distribution charges

This is what the power company charges you to get the electricity from the electrical substation to your property.

During the sunnier times of the year, your solar panels will produce enough power during the day that you won’t be bringing power in from the grid, but when you use grid power at night and in the winter months, you will still be charged for distribution.

The exact amount of distribution charges you can save with solar will depend on how much power you use during the winter/night, and how much the utility charges for distribution. Let’s take a look at what customers in Edmonton get charged for distribution:

Edmonton is the distribution territory of EPCOR and they maintain all of the power lines in the city. To find out what they charge for distribution, we need to look at their rate charts, as seen below.

The chart below shows how much EPCOR charged residential homes for distribution as of December 2016.

Epcor Distribution Charges Residential

This chart tells us that there is a per-day charge of $0.56446 and a usage based charge of $0.00823 per kWh for residential homes in Edmonton. The per-day charge will always be the same no matter how much power you use.

For the power bill pictured above, that customer’s home with solar would be charged about $17 a month for the per-day charges and could save a portion of the usage charges, equal to about 0.4 cents per kWh.

Over the course of the year, you can expect to save about 50% of your usage based distribution charges by using a net metered solar power system.

Transmission charges

Edmonton energy bill transmission charges

Transmission charges are what the power company charges you to move electricity from power plants to cities across the large, high-voltage power lines that span the province.

In Edmonton, EPCOR manages the billing for customers using the transmission network. The transmission billing rate for residential customers in Edmonton as of December 2016 is $0.02996 per kWh used, as seen in the picture below

EPCOR transmission charge rate chart

Because transmission charges in Edmonton are purely usage based, you will be able to save a significant portion of your monthly transmission charges during the sunnier months with a net metered solar power system. This is especially true if you use very little power after the sun goes down.

For the bill featured in this article, the customer could expect to save about 1.5 cents per kWh in transmission charges by using a solar power system designed for net metering.

In the winter months, when there are fewer sunlight hours, you will notice an increase in your monthly transmission charges. Over the course of the year you can usually expect to save around 50% of your transmission expenses when using a net metered solar power system.

Adding it up

In Edmonton, it is possible to save a significant amount of money by using a net metered solar power system without batteries. For the month featured on the bill in this article, the total savings from using a solar power system designed for net metering would be about 6 cents per kWh.

While most of your savings will come from avoiding energy charges, you can save on distribution and transmission charges by avoiding the use of grid power when the sun isn’t shining as much. Other charges, like administration and local access fees, will still show up on your bill, no matter how little power you use.

If you are looking for the most recent billing rate information for Edmonton, you can always get in touch with EPCOR through their website.

What we do to help

To make your life easier, all of the savings estimates we provide in our free quotes take your specific case into account and you won’t have to worry about figuring out all of these details.

If this article has sparked your interest, we would gladly help you figure out how much money our solar power systems can save you in Edmonton, or anywhere else in our Western Canada service area.

Head to our Contact page or call our hotline at 1-877-910-4164 to get started with your own no-pressure estimate.

Cleaning Rooftop Solar Panels

what parts of my edmonton power bill will be lower with solar

In Alberta’s deregulated energy market, figuring out how much solar can save you in Edmonton is hard to nail down exactly, unless you know what to look for.

To figure this out, we need to understand what the different parts of your power bill mean and how you get compensated for the power you produce.

Keep in mind that this discussion will be based on grid-tied systems with no batteries.

Breaking it down

The bill from your energy retailer might have a different look to it, but the names of the charges should be the same.

The energy charge

Edmonton energy bill energy charges

The energy charge is what the power company gets paid to make electricity at the power plant.

You can save up to 100% of this cost with solar installed on your property, without using batteries because of how net-metering works, and here’s how:

If your solar power system is designed properly for net metering, you will be producing more power than your property is using up during the day in the sunnier times of the year. This means that you will be selling the electricity back onto the grid and building up a net metering credit.

At night and in the winter you may be using grid power, but instead of being charged, you will earn back those net-metering credits you built up when the sun was shining.

With a properly designed solar power system, your extra net-metering credits can match up with the amount of power you need from the grid at night and in the winter.

This means that your energy charge can average out to $0 at the end of the year!

Distribution charges

Edmonton energy bill distribution charges

This is what the power company charges you to get the electricity from the electrical substation to your property.

During the sunnier times of the year, your solar panels will produce enough power during the day that you won’t be bringing power in from the grid, but when you use grid power at night and in the winter months, you will still be charged for distribution.

The exact amount of distribution charges you can save with solar will depend on how much power you use during the winter/night, and how much the utility charges for distribution. Let’s take a look at what customers in Edmonton get charged for distribution:

Edmonton is the distribution territory of EPCOR and they maintain all of the power lines in the city. To find out what they charge for distribution, we need to look at their rate charts, as seen below.

The chart below shows how much EPCOR charged residential homes for distribution as of December 2016.

Epcor Distribution Charges Residential

This chart tells us that there is a per-day charge of $0.56446 and a usage based charge of $0.00823 per kWh for residential homes in Edmonton. The per-day charge will always be the same no matter how much power you use.

For the power bill pictured above, that customer’s home with solar would be charged about $17 a month for the per-day charges and could save a portion of the usage charges, equal to about 0.4 cents per kWh.

Over the course of the year, you can expect to save about 50% of your usage based distribution charges by using a net metered solar power system.

Transmission charges

Edmonton energy bill transmission charges

Transmission charges are what the power company charges you to move electricity from power plants to cities across the large, high-voltage power lines that span the province.

In Edmonton, EPCOR manages the billing for customers using the transmission network. The transmission billing rate for residential customers in Edmonton as of December 2016 is $0.02996 per kWh used, as seen in the picture below

EPCOR transmission charge rate chart

Because transmission charges in Edmonton are purely usage based, you will be able to save a significant portion of your monthly transmission charges during the sunnier months with a net metered solar power system. This is especially true if you use very little power after the sun goes down.

For the bill featured in this article, the customer could expect to save about 1.5 cents per kWh in transmission charges by using a solar power system designed for net metering.

In the winter months, when there are fewer sunlight hours, you will notice an increase in your monthly transmission charges. Over the course of the year you can usually expect to save around 50% of your transmission expenses when using a net metered solar power system.

Adding it up

In Edmonton, it is possible to save a significant amount of money by using a net metered solar power system without batteries. For the month featured on the bill in this article, the total savings from using a solar power system designed for net metering would be about 6 cents per kWh.

While most of your savings will come from avoiding energy charges, you can save on distribution and transmission charges by avoiding the use of grid power when the sun isn’t shining as much. Other charges, like administration and local access fees, will still show up on your bill, no matter how little power you use.

If you are looking for the most recent billing rate information for Edmonton, you can always get in touch with EPCOR through their website.

What we do to help

To make your life easier, all of the savings estimates we provide in our free quotes take your specific case into account and you won’t have to worry about figuring out all of these details.

If this article has sparked your interest, we would gladly help you figure out how much money our solar power systems can save you in Edmonton, or anywhere else in our Western Canada service area.

Head to our Contact page or call our hotline at 1-877-910-4164 to get started with your own no-pressure estimate.