Personal Finance

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

  • Last Updated:
  • Oct 19th, 2017 10:27 am
Deal Fanatic
Apr 20, 2011
7281 posts
2296 upvotes
ON
You're locked in in the sense you're paying $30k for hardware and have to go the full 20 years to cash out.
If you end the contract and want to walk away, you're not getting that 30k back by reselling the hardware.
Of course you can cancel the contract and walk away at any time in the first few years, at a loss. By year 7-10 you're just breaking even and that's the minimum you should be dedicated to staying in for.
[OP]
Deal Guru
User avatar
Nov 18, 2005
10354 posts
1856 upvotes
Kingston
aqnd wrote:
May 11th, 2017 6:28 pm
It's not that it's bad, it's just not as good as it once was for the time period you're locked in. It could still very well be a good opportunity for some.
wayner9 wrote:
May 11th, 2017 6:40 pm
You aren't locked in to anything - that isn't the issue. You get a guaranteed rate for twenty years but you can opt out at any time. The subsidy isn't as good as it used to be so the economics don't work as well as they used to.
I'm guessing that aqnd is saying that you have to own the panels and house for a long period in order to get any sort of a good return. If you spend $30K on your panels and earn $3,500 a year, it is year 9 before you're even cash flow positive (which ignores the time-value of money). If you sell your house and don't believe you received anything for the panels then you can easily lose money. It has major illiquidity risk. So to get the return you hope for, in a manner of speaking, you are "locked in" to the 20 year period you contracted for.

EDIT: Looks like I guessed right on what aqnd meant but took too long to type my response before aqnd responded themselves.

You are 100% correct that you can opt out of the microFIT contract at any time, but it is unlikely it is wise to for most, if not all, of the contract. But time will tell.
Newbie
May 22, 2009
47 posts
10 upvotes
Etobicoke
I have a squirrel problem with the solar panel. I had contractor came in and took a look few weeks ago. They did cleanup the squirrel nest and inform me some of the solar panels and cable were damaged by the squirrel.
Fast forward, I got price quote for repairing the damage and installing the rodent protection. It's almost 5K! The fun part is he wouldn't tell me how many panels were damaged.
What do you guys think about the quote? Is it reasonable? He's talking about replace the panels, repair the cable, etc.
Is there any other good contractor?
Thanks for the help.
Jr. Member
Aug 31, 2015
137 posts
28 upvotes
Scarborough, ON
If you always use more power than you generate does it make sense just to use solar panels to supplement your usage from the grid and not go on net metering or microFIT? That likely makes more economic sense since you will be offsetting peak power which is at a premium, or at least you will on weekdays, and you won't have to go on tiered rates rather than TOU rates.
Jr. Member
Nov 29, 2011
160 posts
34 upvotes
Toronto
MoreDealz wrote:
May 6th, 2017 12:20 am
Hey folks, just looking for opinion, based on full cost to install panels. Including permits, hydro connection, etc. Including tax, what's an acceptable cost per watt. The best I have been able to find is $3.11per watt. 9.35kw system. We recieve the taxes back which is a bonus. This drops the price of panels down to $2.75 per watt.

Also, is there any benefit to paying off the panels in full? Or is it better to borrow from the bank and make monthly payments with interest? If I go with a home equity line of credit can I claim the interest? Is a personal line of credit better? ... Thanks!
It is still worth it but only if you get a decent price. The price you got is crap. You can get a 10kw system for 25gs or less all in which means you will pay it off in 6 years or so. You can always opt out before the 20 years. Not a good thing to opt out before your system is paid off and possibly a year after or the CRA might want back the HST you got back from them when you bought it. If I was to move for whatever reason at whatever time in the contract, I would probably take the system with me and re-shingle the house for the new owners. Then I would still have my system to net meter or go off grid with at my new home one day. The re-shingle wouldn't cost that much because you would only have to do the sides of the roof that the panels were on.
Newbie
User avatar
Nov 29, 2015
46 posts
19 upvotes
Bradford, ON
Frankdee, I would love to know where. I haven't found a single company who could beat the price I got.
Jr. Member
Oct 24, 2006
134 posts
5 upvotes
I have to redo the roof anyone have any idea how much it cost to remove and reinstall. Any recommendation as well.
Jr. Member
Aug 31, 2015
137 posts
28 upvotes
Scarborough, ON
Frankdee wrote:
May 13th, 2017 11:00 pm
A net metering system is 19,000 plus tax on average and then down the page its say 22,000 plus tax on average for a Micro fit system.
Why the difference? Applications, licensing and a second meter?
Jr. Member
Aug 31, 2015
137 posts
28 upvotes
Scarborough, ON
supersaveguy77 wrote:
May 13th, 2017 8:50 pm
This company in Ottawa is quoting 19,000 installed for 10kw system https://www.execonconstruction.com/solar-panel
On that page they say: "20 Year solar generated electricty average cost=12 cents a kWh VS 22 cents a kWh average cost in 2016. ROI between 10-12%". The 22 cents seems high to me - I believe that is the peak price. Off peak was about 13 cents. A large majority of my usage in off-peak so my average price would have been more like 16 cents which will kill the ROI.
Deal Addict
Nov 24, 2013
4101 posts
1119 upvotes
Kingston, ON
wayner9 wrote:
May 15th, 2017 4:47 pm
On that page they say: "20 Year solar generated electricty average cost=12 cents a kWh VS 22 cents a kWh average cost in 2016. ROI between 10-12%". The 22 cents seems high to me - I believe that is the peak price. Off peak was about 13 cents. A large majority of my usage in off-peak so my average price would have been more like 16 cents which will kill the ROI.
Variable cost per kWh isn't just the nominal rate. There's variable delivery charge too, and though they're phasing it out it'll still be there for a few years yet. Also, since that's in the net metering section, it's fair to compare amounts including HST.
Newbie
Nov 11, 2015
30 posts
10 upvotes
Brampton, ON
wayner9 wrote:
May 15th, 2017 4:42 pm
Why the difference? Applications, licensing and a second meter?
I called a guy in windsor as the cost of materials had gone down significantly but prices haven't. In Windsor I was told that $6000 goes to the engineering certificate and the approval from the utility company. Such nonsense, but likely true considering all Windsor companies have consistent prices.

There is a drastic difference in prices from city to city, and this is likely due to individual energy companies dragging their heels. In Windsor this amounts to a cost of about $28000 right now.

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