Ontario Farmers & Manufacturers Eliminate Hydro Bills

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With Net Metering, solar power installations eliminate bills and pay for themselves in 10 years- Kevin Best, SunFish Solar.

With Net Metering, solar power installations eliminate bills and pay for themselves in 10 years-Kevin Best, SunFish Solar

Up until recently, investing in solar power outside of Ontario’s popular microFIT framework didn’t make sense. Suddenly, it’s the best investment around.

Net Metering has just recently become an extremely attractive option for heavy hydro users. The concept is simple: farms and businesses consume electricity just as they always have. But the power they generate from roof- or ground-mounted solar panels is fed into the Ontario electricity grid. In return, they get a credit for the power they generate that goes against their hydro bills.

Every year, get a hydro bill for $0

With Net Metering, businesses don’t sell electricity to Hydro One. They simply ‘bank’ the electricity they produce. If businesses produce more electricity than they need during the summer, they have twelve months to use the credits they have earned. Assuming that a farm’s or company’s solar installation generates the same amount of electricity as that used on a yearly basis, business owners will get a yearly bill from Ontario Hydro for $0.

Plummeting solar panel pricing is the key

What makes net metering so attractive now is recent changes in the pricing of solar, photovoltaic or PV panels. “Thanks in large part to the great success of Ontario’s Green Energy Act which brought large-scale solar manufacturing to Ontario, the average cost of a solar panel here has dropped by approximately 70% in three years,” says Kevin Best of Owen Sound-based SunFish Solar. “So a solar installation big enough to cover an entire year’s worth of hydro bills now takes roughly ten years to amortize, not 30.”

Part of the cost of installation can of course be written off as a capital expense, and after ten years power is effectively free. A solar array that fits on a large barn roof can easily cover an annual hydro bill of $50,000 or more. The same thing is true for a manufacturing facility’s flat roof. In both cases, after approximately ten years the investment is fully paid for and hydro becomes free thereafter—an important point, considering that hydro rates have more than doubled in the past ten years.

A shift from microFIT to Net Metering

For several years, farm and business owners have been installing solar systems under the Ontario Power Authority’s microFIT program. While microFIT is still a good investment—it effectively enables the sale of power to the grid at a guaranteed rate—Net Metering is poised to gain ground quickly on microFIT for two reasons: tighter controls and a reduced price for microFIT power, and a drop in the cost of solar panels.

Ontario’s Green Energy Act: http://www.ene.gov.on.ca/environment/en/legislation/green_energy_act/index.htm

About SunFish Solar
Based in Owen Sound, Ontario, SunFish Solar designs, manufactures and installs top-of-the-line Net Metering, FIT, microFIT and off-grid solar systems across south & central Ontario. Company partners have developed unique systems and components that outperform competing systems on solar generation capability, durability and price. For more information, visit http://www.sunfishsolar.ca.

For specific media inquiries, please contact: Carl Michener, Outwrite Communications 416 476 7484.

To reach SunFish Solar, please contact Kevin Best, Partner: kevin(at)sunfishsolar(dot)ca 519 372 6431.

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Kevin Best, Partner

Carl Michener
Outwrite Communications
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