Personal Finance

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

  • Last Updated:
  • Aug 19th, 2017 12:37 am
[OP]
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Nov 18, 2005
10319 posts
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Kingston
dolfan1980 wrote:
Aug 4th, 2017 7:04 pm
Long time reader, first time poster.

Had a rep from Quadra Solar to my door today in Ottawa and put me onto researching the microFIT program. Their pitch is $30,000 line of credit they've arranged with RBC at 3.35%, install 40 panels, equipment, ongoing maintenance @ approx $27,000 and then government program locked in for 20 years at 28 c/kWh. Is this similar to other deals folks in Ottawa have been seeing? I'm getting more information next week, but want to know the right questions to ask.

Overall this thread is very interesting.
I'd find out about the particulars of the equipment they are proposing. Suggest you get some other quotes and get references for all of them.

I did some quick calcs and in rough terms your best case scenario is:
Use all the microFIT income to pay off the line of credit. This will take about 10 years.
Then you are looking at an average after tax income of about $1,700 per year for years 11-20. Obviously $1,700 received 10-20 years from now is worth a lot less than $1,700 now.

If you sell the house any time before the line of credit is paid off, there is not evidence that you'd get anything for the panels and you'd have to pay off the balance of the line of credit. So if you sell your house in the next 10 years you could well be looking at a loss, and if you don't a modest gain.
Member
Apr 27, 2014
222 posts
63 upvotes
Mississauga, ON
dolfan1980 wrote:
Aug 4th, 2017 7:04 pm
Long time reader, first time poster.

Had a rep from Quadra Solar to my door today in Ottawa and put me onto researching the microFIT program. Their pitch is $30,000 line of credit they've arranged with RBC at 3.35%, install 40 panels, equipment, ongoing maintenance @ approx $27,000 and then government program locked in for 20 years at 28 c/kWh. Is this similar to other deals folks in Ottawa have been seeing? I'm getting more information next week, but want to know the right questions to ask.

Overall this thread is very interesting.
I'm not sure about Ottawa but for GTA that price would be a bit on the high side - most quotes here are right around 25k and finding financing through a bank is easy to arrange yourself as they love government backed contracts.
Newbie
Aug 3, 2017
2 posts
Thanks for the input, I received the detailed quote today, $23,600 plus HST for 10.03 Kw. 34 295 W panels. I'm not sure I can do better than the 3.45% financing, but I suspect this is a variable rate.

All told, this is probably a decent overall return on the investment particularly if it outlasts 20 years, but a lot of risk that the company isn't around to maintain it which can come at significant cost to me.

Not likely something I'll pursue, but happy to share more details with anyone who is interested.
Sr. Member
Jul 16, 2012
902 posts
Kingston, Ontario
Execon Construction and solar in Ottawa quoted me $23,000+HST for 30x 330Watt panels with the Microfit program.
Solar Canada brokers (Through Lowes) quoted me 30x 330watt panels with the MicroFIT program as well for $30,959 + HST
Lowes said they use Hanwell panels (I don't know much about panel quality) and Execon did not respond to me yet on what they use.
Execon is supposed to come this week to provide a more detailed assessment/quote.
I called Isolara, JAZZ solar solutions and Ottawa solar for quotes but haven't heard anything back.
Our biggest question on our end is how long we will remain at our current home which may be a deal breaker.
I'll probably apply for the microFIT program myself just to lock in the deal but maybe wait a few months/years to see if something better comes out before purchasing panels.
[OP]
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Nov 18, 2005
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markkas wrote:
Aug 8th, 2017 8:29 pm
Execon Construction and solar in Ottawa quoted me $23,000+HST for 30x 330Watt panels with the Microfit program.

Our biggest question on our end is how long we will remain at our current home which may be a deal breaker.
I'll probably apply for the microFIT program myself just to lock in the deal but maybe wait a few months/years to see if something better comes out before purchasing panels.
At that sort of cost the ROI over 20 years is in the 14-15% range which is a lot more interesting.
Good call on getting your microFIT application in.
Newbie
Sep 20, 2015
15 posts
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Ottawa, ON
Applicant declaration is little confusing, at least to me, especially when two people (husband/wife) are on the title/PARCEL Register. Here are my questions:
1) Do we need to fill two declaration forms? One for main applicant and other for co-applicant.
2) If yes to above, confusing part is filling up filling up the declaration form for the co-applicant. It is interpretation of applicant as co-applicant which seems very confusing to me.
Can anyone please, who has sorted this out already, help here?
Newbie
Oct 30, 2016
9 posts
Hi All,
I've been reading through this thread for a little while now as I am seriously considering getting on board with the MicroFit program. I have contacted two different companies (Solar Dynamics and Ultimate Solar) and received one quote so far should and should receive another next week. Ideally I would like to have a third quote. Can anyone recommend an outfit that would service the London ON area?
Newbie
Aug 1, 2006
37 posts
8 upvotes
I can highly recommend Solar Dynamics
derpster63 wrote:
Aug 10th, 2017 7:13 pm
Hi All,
I've been reading through this thread for a little while now as I am seriously considering getting on board with the MicroFit program. I have contacted two different companies (Solar Dynamics and Ultimate Solar) and received one quote so far should and should receive another next week. Ideally I would like to have a third quote. Can anyone recommend an outfit that would service the London ON area?
Newbie
Oct 30, 2016
9 posts
Bull Dog wrote:
Aug 12th, 2017 10:18 am
I can highly recommend Solar Dynamics
While I appreciate the seconding of Solar Dynamics, I was hoping to get a third quote.
Newbie
Oct 30, 2016
9 posts
JWL wrote:
Aug 12th, 2017 3:44 pm
Try Arcadian Projects in Kitchener. They've traveled to Toronto for others so I expect London would be no problem.
Much obliged. Thanks!
Deal Addict
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Jan 14, 2012
1220 posts
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Woodbridge
Paul from Solar Dynamics was great, can definitely vouch for them, ended up going with solsmart in the end (due to pricing) but either would do a great install.
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Sep 10, 2003
1403 posts
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Hamilton
Having troubles the last couple days with my Fronius inverter, shuts down around 11am or noon and errors 212 which sounds like ac voltage is too high. Installer says it's the hydro companies problem with too much electricity on the line. Wondering if it's actually the inverter? Anyways, see how it goes. Anyone else here by chance with any similar problem?
Newbie
Aug 1, 2006
37 posts
8 upvotes
Last time I phoned them, I was told Paul left. Liked that guy, sorry that he's gone.
Some insurance news- just got new home insurance with TD Meloche and was told that solar panels are no additional charge, won't even appear on your insurance policy as an appendix, since they're so mainstream now.
Johnny0c wrote:
Aug 13th, 2017 9:48 am
Paul from Solar Dynamics was great, can definitely vouch for them, ended up going with solsmart in the end (due to pricing) but either would do a great install.
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Apr 21, 2004
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slotscanada wrote:
Aug 13th, 2017 6:12 pm
Having troubles the last couple days with my Fronius inverter, shuts down around 11am or noon and errors 212 which sounds like ac voltage is too high. Installer says it's the hydro companies problem with too much electricity on the line. Wondering if it's actually the inverter? Anyways, see how it goes. Anyone else here by chance with any similar problem?

Is it ARC detect? If so, I had those before until a kind gentleman over at Fronius suggested I update the firmware on the inverter (USB stick to USB port)

I think there's also updates to firmware via the Fronius website when you are logged into your inverter directly (192.168.1.*).

So far, I have not experienced the ARC detect failure for months now.


This is dated from November 2016.

In order to clear these codes, press the enter button a few times until you see "Wait Master Ready", then it will start up. I would also recommend performing a software update to be sure it was not an issue with the software on the inverter. If it happens again after the update, I would recommend contacting your installer to see about checking the array for possible arcs. Below are some links that will help you.
If you have to purchase a USB stick, it has to be 8Gb or smaller and formatted using FAT32 in Windows. When you download the file just open or unzip it and copy the froXXXXX.upd file to the USB stick.

Here is the link for the main software update page, save this in your browser as the other links will change as new software updates and instructions come out: http://www.fronius.com/cps/rde/xchg/SID ... _11091.htm

Here is the current software update file: http://www.fronius.com/cps/rde/xbcr/SID ... apshot.zip

Here is a link to instructions for the software update in pdf format: http://www.fronius.com/cps/rde/xbcr/SID ... apshot.pdf

Here is a link to a video tutorial on the software update: http://www.fronius.com/cps/rde/xbcr/SID ... apshot.mp4

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