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

  • Last Updated:
  • Aug 16th, 2017 6:57 pm
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Apr 21, 2004
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Asked my neighbor how much it cost and she looked surprised. I think she had contracted her roof/panels to Grasshopper or a similar vendor. Hopefully she doesn't get into any issues down the road.
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Aug 31, 2015
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Scarborough, ON
Mike15 wrote:
May 15th, 2017 5:31 pm
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.
I know that and the variable usage, transmission, etc costs add up to about $0.05/kWh. But it is still unlikely that your average cost will be $0.22/kWh as the all-in cost during peak is about $0.23/kWh. So that is assuming that a very high percentage of your usage is at peak. Mine skews totally off-peak but I have an EV that gets charged overnight that makes my usage non-typical.
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Nov 24, 2013
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Kingston, ON
wayner9 wrote:
May 23rd, 2017 12:02 pm
I know that and the variable usage, transmission, etc costs add up to about $0.05/kWh. But it is still unlikely that your average cost will be $0.22/kWh as the all-in cost during peak is about $0.23/kWh. So that is assuming that a very high percentage of your usage is at peak. Mine skews totally off-peak but I have an EV that gets charged overnight that makes my usage non-typical.
Looks like the province actually lowered peak starting May 1, so that'll change the math now. Before though, peak at $0.18 + that ~$0.05 variable delivery ~= $0.23... plus HST = $0.26. Mid was ~$0.205 by the same metric, and Off was ~$0.155. It would take a >50% peak mix to get to a $0.22/kWh average, true, but it's possible.

To you point though, marketing is marketing.

These new rates are killing ROI on a net metering system... we're down to 7.7/11.3/15.7 now from 8.7/13.2/18.0. At least you MicroFIT guys are no worse for the wear.
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Mike15 wrote:
May 23rd, 2017 12:32 pm
These new rates are killing ROI on a net metering system... we're down to 7.7/11.3/15.7 now from 8.7/13.2/18.0. At least you MicroFIT guys are no worse for the wear.
It looks like you are looking at TOU rates to do your ROI calcs for net metering. Unfortunately Net Metering isn't quite as "net" as one would think. If you get a net metering setup:
  • you are switched back to tiered pricing (which can work out to be more expensive if you use most of your power in off-peak periods)
  • you are credited at the first tier rate (even if you use enough electricity to pay second tier pricing)
  • you aren't credited for HST/GST on your production.
Please see the Net Metering thread for further discussion
Jr. Member
Aug 31, 2015
125 posts
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Scarborough, ON
@JWL - I knew that you couldn't do TOU under Net Metering but you only get the lower tier price? Wow - that makes it a horrible proposition. And for the HST issue - so does that mean that if you have production that offsets $100 worth of electricity that you still have to pay the HST of $13 and then you get credited back $100 for your generation? That totally sucks.
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wayner9 wrote:
May 23rd, 2017 1:26 pm
@JWL - I knew that you couldn't do TOU under Net Metering but you only get the lower tier price? Wow - that makes it a horrible proposition. And for the HST issue - so does that mean that if you have production that offsets $100 worth of electricity that you still have to pay the HST of $13 and then you get credited back $100 for your generation? That totally sucks.
Yes, Yes and Yes it does.
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Oct 26, 2003
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JWL wrote:
May 23rd, 2017 1:58 pm
Yes, Yes and Yes it does.
that's true here in manitoba as well, makes no sense, i think tax should be applied to net usage, not with this ridiculous calculation method
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Oct 26, 2003
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Mike15 wrote:
May 23rd, 2017 12:32 pm
Looks like the province actually lowered peak starting May 1, so that'll change the math now. Before though, peak at $0.18 + that ~$0.05 variable delivery ~= $0.23... plus HST = $0.26. Mid was ~$0.205 by the same metric, and Off was ~$0.155. It would take a >50% peak mix to get to a $0.22/kWh average, true, but it's possible.

To you point though, marketing is marketing.

These new rates are killing ROI on a net metering system... we're down to 7.7/11.3/15.7 now from 8.7/13.2/18.0. At least you MicroFIT guys are no worse for the wear.
smells like a scam
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li_jianrfd wrote:
May 12th, 2017 3:31 pm
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.
use conductor rated for rodent, those have wire mesh, sounds like they want to replace all the cables to prevent further issue
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Jr. Member
Aug 31, 2015
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Scarborough, ON
JWL wrote:
May 23rd, 2017 1:58 pm
Yes, Yes and Yes it does.
Well then net metering makes no sense. Is there any way you can hook up a system so that you draw your own generated power first and only draw on the grid if required? That would likely make a lot more financial sense, especially since you could still be on TOU and not be paying HST. Then the power you are generating is worth over $0.25/kWh. The only downside is that you don't get paid if your production is greater than your consumption.
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Jun 27, 2010
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Mississauga
wayner9 wrote:
May 24th, 2017 7:47 am
Well then net metering makes no sense. Is there any way you can hook up a system so that you draw your own generated power first and only draw on the grid if required? That would likely make a lot more financial sense, especially since you could still be on TOU and not be paying HST. Then the power you are generating is worth over $0.25/kWh. The only downside is that you don't get paid if your production is greater than your consumption.
I looked into that some time back. I know Fronius has an hybrid inverter, which can redirect the power generated (not sure if a % can be configured) to an internal battery, eg Tesla Powerwall. So your own consumption would drain the battery first before pulling from the grid.
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Nov 24, 2013
3962 posts
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Kingston, ON
wayner9 wrote:
May 24th, 2017 7:47 am
Well then net metering makes no sense. Is there any way you can hook up a system so that you draw your own generated power first and only draw on the grid if required? That would likely make a lot more financial sense, especially since you could still be on TOU and not be paying HST. Then the power you are generating is worth over $0.25/kWh. The only downside is that you don't get paid if your production is greater than your consumption.
This is where the provincial government has managed to mess this up royally. They've incentivized go-big-or-go-home 10kW MicroFIT projects (because it's not easy to, say, start with 5kW and expand gradually) with complex approval and setup process to sell back to the grid more than the house consumes. Grid reliance (and cost to maintain it) is still there. Anyone who can't front the MicroFIT capital and wants to start small, expand later, and just offset their consumption, doesn't have an easy entry, as the economics of Net Metering as described above just don't work.

The province should want a decentralized power grid, use what you generate, store it until you need it, rather than paying a premium for MicroFIT generators feeding the main grid. The grid doesn't actually need more capacity; it's delivery cost (line maintenance) that needs to be controlled.
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Aug 31, 2015
125 posts
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Scarborough, ON
I wish you could have done more than 10kW of panels in microFIT as I have the room on my south facing roof and the larger your install the more economic it is as many of the costs are relatively fixed regardless of size.

Is it really practical to start small and grow your install? Do you really save that much as are you going to buy a 10kW inverter when you only have a 3kW system installed?
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Nov 24, 2013
3962 posts
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Kingston, ON
wayner9 wrote:
May 24th, 2017 11:09 am
I wish you could have done more than 10kW of panels in microFIT as I have the room on my south facing roof and the larger your install the more economic it is as many of the costs are relatively fixed regardless of size.

Is it really practical to start small and grow your install? Do you really save that much as are you going to buy a 10kW inverter when you only have a 3kW system installed?
Certainly doesn't make sense the way it's currently structured, just trying to envision a setup where it could (subsidize panels, storage, rather than the Feed-in-Tariff?).
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wayner9 wrote:
May 24th, 2017 11:09 am
I wish you could have done more than 10kW of panels in microFIT as I have the room on my south facing roof and the larger your install the more economic it is as many of the costs are relatively fixed regardless of size.

Is it really practical to start small and grow your install? Do you really save that much as are you going to buy a 10kW inverter when you only have a 3kW system installed?
no, it is always cheaper to do it in one go, multi-phase project always complicates things and adds to costs
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