Personal Finance

ONT ONLY - microFIT solar panel program: 10-14% return for 20 yrs * FAT LADY HAS SUNG

  • Last Updated:
  • Apr 22nd, 2017 10:00 pm
Member
Apr 6, 2008
280 posts
43 upvotes
54Kw for me but my system is only a 9.6kw. Best day since fall for me as well.
Jr. Member
Nov 29, 2011
134 posts
28 upvotes
Toronto
slotscanada wrote:
Mar 16th, 2017 7:27 pm
How many kWh did you produce? Mine just outside of Hamilton was still covered in snow half the day.
Most 10kw systems made give or take a few kwh around 60 yesterday.
Newbie
Mar 15, 2017
3 posts
Hi, new to the forum here, Ive been looking for information about the tax return implications and what everyone has been doing.

I did find the post here that detailed what JWL does but I was still a little confused. So maybe someone could help

Im on my second year, have already gotten my HST return. I just need help calculating the CCA part.

I know I use the class 43.2 but from here on out, I'm totally lost.

and does anyone write off the interest on the loan they used to purchase the panels( how do you do it)

Thanks again
Newbie
Jul 27, 2016
15 posts
1 upvote
Hi, also new here but I've been contemplating the idea of solar for about a year and a half now. Since this is the last year for microfit I got the swift kick in my rear and went to get a quote for a 6kw system, which came in at just under $21k (HST not incl). To me this seems a bit steep? I had it in my mind from somewhere that the 10kw systems were going for around $25k.

I understand that fixed install costs (permits, hydro, engineer, etc) run at around $5k. The panels (21x CS6K-M 280) should be around $6k, and lastly the inverters (21x Enphase M215) at about $4k?

So if my numbers aren't too far off (I got them from random solar sites on a Google search), it looks like I'm being charged almost $6k for installation and racking? Surely I've missed something? Because that seems really high to me.

Thanks in advance for any insight!
Deal Addict
Nov 24, 2013
3600 posts
804 upvotes
Kingston, ON
divx wrote:
Mar 17th, 2017 1:45 pm
there are tax implication for this? why? can you write off the cost?
MicroFITers are operating a 'business' that's supplying the Ontario grid with electricity. The income from the panels is taxable, so you damn well want to write off the expenses associated with them (capital cost of panels, etc.).

http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/bsnss/thrtp ... ng.html#a1
[OP]
Deal Guru
User avatar
Nov 18, 2005
10254 posts
1802 upvotes
Kingston
bpars911 wrote:
Mar 17th, 2017 11:31 am
Hi, new to the forum here, Ive been looking for information about the tax return implications and what everyone has been doing.
I did find the post here that detailed what JWL does but I was still a little confused. So maybe someone could help
Im on my second year, have already gotten my HST return. I just need help calculating the CCA part.
I know I use the class 43.2 but from here on out, I'm totally lost.
and does anyone write off the interest on the loan they used to purchase the panels( how do you do it)
Thanks again
Concept of CCA is to expense a portion of the upfront cost of the system over a period of time. Longer description HERE.
For this equipment you can expense up to 50% of your Undepreciated CCA, BUT you can't create a loss in your business so there is a maximum you can claim each year.
And in the first year you can only claim up to half of the usual amount.

So if my system cost $30,000 (excluding HST) and I make NET $6,000 of income (revenue after expenses).

First year
My "normal" CCA claim would be $30,000 x 50% = $15,000. But I can only claim half in the first year so half of $15,000 is $7,500.
BUT I can't create a loss so I can only claim $6,000 of CCA.
My remaining undepreciated CCA (UCCA) is $30,000 - $6,000 = $24,000

Second year
My "normal" CCA claim would be $24,000 x 50% = $12,000.
BUT I can't create a loss so I can only claim $6,000 of CCA.
My remaining undepreciated CCA (UCCA) is $24,000 - $6,000 = $18,000

Third year
My "normal" CCA claim would be $18,000 x 50% = $9,000.
BUT I can't create a loss so I can only claim $6,000 of CCA.
My remaining undepreciated CCA (UCCA) is $18,000 - $6,000 = $12,000

Fourth year
My "normal" CCA claim would be $12,000 x 50% = $6,000.
BUT I can't create a loss so I can only claim $6,000 of CCA.
My remaining undepreciated CCA (UCCA) is $12,000 - $6,000 = $6,000

Fifth year
My "normal" CCA claim would be $6,000 x 50% = $3,000.
My remaining undepreciated CCA (UCCA) is $6,000 - $3,000 = $3,000

Got it?
Jr. Member
Aug 31, 2015
103 posts
19 upvotes
Scarborough, ON
And if you are paying interest on your panels, or any other expenses, then you can also deduct that. It will mean that you have to use less CCA each year so that your CCA will last longer - in the example above you will have exhausted all of the CCA in the sixth year. If you were also paying $1000/yr in interest on a loan to buy the panels then you would deduct that each year before the CCA.
[OP]
Deal Guru
User avatar
Nov 18, 2005
10254 posts
1802 upvotes
Kingston
wayner9 wrote:
Mar 22nd, 2017 1:01 pm
It will mean that you have to use less CCA each year so that your CCA will last longer - in the example above you will have exhausted all of the CCA in the sixth year.
True that if your expenses are higher the CCA will be pushed out more.
But it won't expire in the 6th year. It will continue to be used at 50% of the previous balance so in the example the deductible amount will be $1,500, then $750, then $375, then $187.50, etc
Since newer microFIT contracts pay at a lower rate, the CCA deduction will be spread out over a longer period of time.
Newbie
Jan 29, 2017
6 posts
2 upvotes
recently got a quote in Ottawa, price seems high, just wondering what others think?

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[OP]
Deal Guru
User avatar
Nov 18, 2005
10254 posts
1802 upvotes
Kingston
jshebib2 wrote:
Mar 31st, 2017 3:14 pm
recently got a quote in Ottawa, price seems high, just wondering what others think?
Definitely higher than what RFDers in Toronto are seeing, but that is Toronto.
Note that the LDC connection charge is extra. Have they given you an expected amount for that?
Best bet is to get multiple quotes.
Do you have microFIT approval already?
Newbie
Jan 29, 2017
6 posts
2 upvotes
JWL wrote:
Mar 31st, 2017 3:23 pm
Definitely higher than what RFDers in Toronto are seeing, but that is Toronto.
Note that the LDC connection charge is extra. Have they given you an expected amount for that?
Best bet is to get multiple quotes.
Do you have microFIT approval already?
Noted that LDC connection charge is extra - I guess I will have to research that some more, as I don't know how much Ottawa Hydro charges.

I haven't met with the company "Polaron solartech" that gave me the quote, it was offered to me at the local home show and they just googled my home to do a guesstimate of the viability of a solar project.

Agreed, I need to get more quotes if I want to compare and better understand.

Nope, no microFIT approval, I assumed that comes later.
[OP]
Deal Guru
User avatar
Nov 18, 2005
10254 posts
1802 upvotes
Kingston
jshebib2 wrote:
Mar 31st, 2017 3:31 pm
Noted that LDC connection charge is extra - I guess I will have to research that some more, as I don't know how much Ottawa Hydro charges.

I haven't met with the company "Polaron solartech" that gave me the quote, it was offered to me at the local home show and they just googled my home to do a guesstimate of the viability of a solar project.

Agreed, I need to get more quotes if I want to compare and better understand.

Nope, no microFIT approval, I assumed that comes later.
A home show back in 2013 is how I got started on my microFIT system!

Have a read of the first post. I'd suggest starting your microFIT application first. Only costs a few $ and you'll find out if your local hydro will allow you to connect a microFIT system to your grid. You also avoid a vendor starting an application for you and feeling beholden to them. I've left some instructions on how to fill in different parts of the application. You can make changes to the details later.

I also noted that quote includes micro-inverters. That's what i have but it is more expensive than string inverters which may be as good as and cheaper in some scenarios.
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