Personal Finance

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

  • Last Updated:
  • Jun 20th, 2017 4:19 pm
Sr. Member
May 5, 2007
552 posts
59 upvotes
North York
Since for tiered pricing it's a blended rate it's around 9-10 cents which is actually not that bad. And the rate rises after 900kwh and I only use about 500kwh.

After basent apartment is completed I'm expectingiy will be 700-800, still less than 900kwh for tiered rate for Net metering.

So theoretically I shouldn't be worried for tiered pricing when they time comes.

Also Wynn is lowering rates for next 4 years so Microfit will be even more profitable for this time period until it makes sense to go Net metering.

I know I posted 10kwh for about $30k, but I also got. Quote for 6kwh for about $20k which might make more sense sense I'm not using my electricity. Plus microfit rate us 31 cents vs 29 cents for 10kwh system.

Also I got the quote at Lowes rep at store. They partnered with Solar Brokers who own 30% of the market. Plus I feel a bit safer with 25yr warranty though Lowes as they should be around vs some pop up solar companies.

One question is that I require a roof in about 5 years or so. I've heard that you can write off roof cost (about $10k) if you have existing solar, is this true ?
Newbie
Nov 21, 2010
9 posts
2 upvotes
Pickering
I just finished a 10kw install in Toronto.

Found a great person to work worth and everything went quite smoothly. I got it up just in time for June - thankfully we're getting some sun this month. Didn't miss much this spring it appears.

I've put my info up at here.

I chose net metering over microfit.

My main motivation was to just have my own power - I'm tired of being at the whim of politics for an otherwise simple commodity.

It is not a great investment, but on the other hand, it's low risk and pays better than a GIC.

My way of looking at it is this: if you pay $200/month for power, you need to earn $300 if you're in a mid tax bracket. That's $3600 that could go into an RSP (if you don't have the cash, you deduct the HELOC interest charge on the loan). Add to that the added benefit of reducing the wear and tear on a large section of your roof, and you have a decent long term somewhat fixed investment.

Electricity is an expense you cannot reduce much or eliminate. You may as well attempt to pay yourself if you have the roof. All homeowners in the GTA should have the money, based on the massive run-up of the value of your real estate.

I do wish the Ontario government would offer some sort of tax break for those that install net meter solar systems. Instead of supplying the system with microfit (which is ending), why not replace it with a system that encourages self-sustenance of power?

If anyone wants a referral to a very good installer, please PM me here and I will set you up. I paid in the $30K range for 10kw. While this may seem high, I bought what I was told the best panels (280w) and don't mind paying for quality (what I perceive as) service. You either pay now or pay later for quality workmanship.

Here's a pic of my western roof.
[OP]
Deal Guru
User avatar
Nov 18, 2005
10273 posts
1811 upvotes
Kingston
gladman wrote:
Jun 19th, 2017 5:29 am
My main motivation was to just have my own power - I'm tired of being at the whim of politics for an otherwise simple commodity.
Congratulations on going solar! It would be great if you could add your experiences to the Net Metering thread.
gladman wrote:
Jun 19th, 2017 5:29 am
It is not a great investment, but on the other hand, it's low risk and pays better than a GIC. My way of looking at it is this: if you pay $200/month for power, you need to earn $300 if you're in a mid tax bracket. That's $3600 that could go into an RSP (if you don't have the cash, you deduct the HELOC interest charge on the loan). Add to that the added benefit of reducing the wear and tear on a large section of your roof, and you have a decent long term somewhat fixed investment.
I hestitate to provide a counterpoint as you are committed to your choice and it was primarily for non-financial reasons, but I do so to provide info to others considering net metering:
  • In terms of investment it does have significant "illiquidity" risk. Unlike a stock or GIC you can't (easily) sell this investment and if you sell your house there is a lot of uncertainty on how much you'd get back.
  • People who go the microFIT route get back the HST on their purchase which would be around $3,500.
  • Going with microFIT provides a greater return for 20 years, about double initially but that would decline as hydro rates rise (eventually you could switch to net metering, although there is a cost to do so).
  • On a $200/month hydro bill, net metering would likely provide a benefit of around $175-160/month. You'd still pay about $25-40/month since part of the bill is fixed delivery charge and when you use more than you generate (probably mostly in the winter) you don't get credit for the HST (you pay HST on the net use and don't get it back when you have generate a net credit).
  • If you don't use about 11,000+kwh hours per year you'll be generating more than you use and not receive any compensation for the excess.
Sr. Member
May 5, 2007
552 posts
59 upvotes
North York
I've actually decided against getting Solar altogether. The return on investment just doesn't make sense and you're locked in for what seems like forever.

Plus I have a roof to replace in a few years and the cost to take off the panels and replace again is about $3000!

Plus what most companies don't tell you unless you ask the right questions is that it costs 700-$1000 to switch to Net metering down the Road. For me, that's added $4000 costs on top of a $34k installation cost which makes the pushes the payback from 11 years to 13-14 years which is way too long be locked in for.

I will wait it out after I get my new Roof in a few years and maybe there will be an incentive program like EV cars that comes or the payback is half of what it is now for Net Metering.

Thanks to everyone who provided insight and helped me come to this decision.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 14, 2012
1206 posts
262 upvotes
Woodbridge
afshaikh wrote:
Jun 19th, 2017 10:50 pm
I've actually decided against getting Solar altogether. The return on investment just doesn't make sense and you're locked in for what seems like forever.

Plus I have a roof to replace in a few years and the cost to take off the panels and replace again is about $3000!

Plus what most companies don't tell you unless you ask the right questions is that it costs 700-$1000 to switch to Net metering down the Road. For me, that's added $4000 costs on top of a $34k installation cost which makes the pushes the payback from 11 years to 13-14 years which is way too long be locked in for.

I will wait it out after I get my new Roof in a few years and maybe there will be an incentive program like EV cars that comes or the payback is half of what it is now for Net Metering.

Thanks to everyone who provided insight and helped me come to this decision.
I had to as well, keep in mind you can write off portion of roof covered by panels for the new roof installation (CRA rejected at first as I put 100% lol).

Shop around on price, 34K is very expensive at current pricing.
Newbie
Mar 11, 2010
80 posts
2 upvotes
Mississauga
Johnny0c wrote:
Jun 20th, 2017 11:32 am
I had to as well, keep in mind you can write off portion of roof covered by panels for the new roof installation (CRA rejected at first as I put 100% lol).

Shop around on price, 34K is very expensive at current pricing.
Second it. 34K is way too much.

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