Many Canadians are harnessing the sun’s rays to power their homes. With advances in solar technology, this type of power method has become more efficient and affordable. There are both advantages and disadvantages to solar panels.

Things to Ponder
Since most of Canada doesn’t have loads of sunshine during the winter months, large-scale solar panels might not be the best option, but there’s always room to get some sun power, especially if you have a larger roof that gets relatively good sun exposure.

Solar panels work best on flatter, broader roofs. So, if your roof is steep, they might not be the best option. However, solar panels don’t always have to be installed on a roof. They can also be mounted on poles.

Largest Cash Expenditure
The biggest cash setback is actually having the panels installed. You could take advantage of the incentives offered by provinces to help offset the cost. There is also the option, depending upon the wattage of your system, of selling power back to the overall grid, which is a definite bonus. To set up a properly functioning system, you’ll have to shell about between $15,000-$25,000 initially. Thanks to technological advances, though, those costs are expected to drop.

Once installed, you can expect to save a bundle on your electric bill—and that is an incentive for selling if you ever decide to list your home. The average cost in Canada for operating on a solar grid is about $3.07 per watt once fees for installing and the price of the panel are added in.

If you ever lose power for any reason, such as during a thunderstorm, you’ll lose power just like anyone else, so you might consider having a backup generator for those “just in case” times.

What About Resale Value?
Solar power is definitely becoming a positive selling feature for a home especially in light of escalating utility costs in the country. Once installed, solar panels can last for decades. A recent study showed that many prospective buyers consider them as an added incentive when house hunting.

More Canadians are thinking about the environment, and conservation and energy efficiency are high on the totem pole. If you’re thinking of going solar, make sure to save your electric bills as proof of substantial savings. Your REALTOR® will be able to use this as a selling tool, especially when most buyers are used to conventional power sources.