“Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.” -Warren Buffett

Our solar experience!

I've had a number of requests to share about our solar system and experience with "going solar".  We installed in June 2019 but weren't fully operational from a metering perspective until July.  We live in what is likely our "forever" home.  Which means we have no plans to leave, and life would have to take a very unexpected turn for that to happen.  So we've invested heavily in making it our dream house.  We installed our pool in 2018, tore down and built a new shed, have brought in fill, ripped down a wall, and so on.  We are making it ours.


Solar was no exception.  Here in Nova Scotia our biggest bill (outside of property tax) is power.  We don't have natural gas or oil, we go through our propane tank every 5ish years so that cost is minimal.  When looking at where we can reduce moving forward electricity costs is the logical area to tackle.  We already did the quick wins with installing heat pumps (house was only heated with electric baseboard when we moved in), an ETS unit to gain time of day pricing, and re-insulating the roof.  So all that was left was the bigger price tag items...

Efficiency Nova Scotia had a program in place when we got our system to allow for $10,000 in grant funding for certain types of solar systems (Solar PV).  We weighed the costs, talked to various providers and went ahead with the quote we felt best fit our needs.

We have 40 panels, 330 w each, making our system a 13.2kw system.  We are high users of electric, given our pool, hot tub, 2 adults who work from home exclusively and children in the house.  We do reduce where we can, but we will likely continue to be high users of electricity.  We chose to have a grid-tied system for now, so if the grid loses power, we do as well.  Batteries are expensive, require storage and much larger costs for replacement and so on.  We can add them later if we decide to but in the short term we decided they weren't necessary for us.

We have 8 months now of data on our system and have generated approximately $1,300 in electricity (*see note) which is a great savings for us, and about equal to what we paid in the same period.  This is estimated just based on billing periods not aligning exactly.  Over time we'll have more accurate numbers.  We also are coming into the highest solar producing months so likely will still achieve the 65-75% savings that the system should provide. 

*Note: This figure is not entirely accurate.  We're only able to put in a single figure in for the rate in our solar app, but we actually have 3 rates due to Time of Day pricing.  We generate the majority of our solar during peak so that is the rate we used.  The watts are the most accurate way to assess actual production.   

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