Personal Finance

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

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 13th, 2017 6:05 pm
Jr. Member
Nov 29, 2011
161 posts
34 upvotes
Toronto
wayner9 wrote:
Sep 17th, 2017 12:44 pm
You've jinxed us - there will be no more sun in September!Smiling Face With Open Mouth
The worst day for me this month was 30kwh......If the remaining 13 days produced 30kwh each, I would be better than last sept and the previous one.
Newbie
Oct 30, 2016
11 posts
Ok, I have taken the plunge. I have contracted a company to do our microFit installation and they have submitted our application. If all goes well we should have our solar panels up and running by December.
A question for those who have had solar panels installed on your residential roof: How much are you paying to insure it? I had a brief conversation with someone at our insurance company and they quoted me what I felt was an astronomical amount (approximately $237 per year), which equates to about a 25% jump in our premiums). Is this the norm or was the person I was speaking with misinformed (which is what I suspect)?
Deal Expert
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Apr 21, 2004
41604 posts
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For TDMM, they just asked me for solar panel value and said it wouldn't affect my premium. This was in early 2016.

But then I was told to expect some increase unrelated to the solar panel when I called in months later but was given a one time discount.
Last edited by alanbrenton on Sep 21st, 2017 7:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
[OP]
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Nov 18, 2005
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Kingston
derpster63 wrote:
Sep 21st, 2017 7:22 am
Ok, I have taken the plunge. I have contracted a company to do our microFit installation and they have submitted our application. If all goes well we should have our solar panels up and running by December.
A question for those who have had solar panels installed on your residential roof: How much are you paying to insure it? I had a brief conversation with someone at our insurance company and they quoted me what I felt was an astronomical amount (approximately $237 per year), which equates to about a 25% jump in our premiums). Is this the norm or was the person I was speaking with misinformed (which is what I suspect)?
Different insurance companies seem to have different approaches. Mine just increased the insured value of my home by the cost of the panels. Others seem to add more (not sure why). Call again and see if you get a "better" answer from someone else (althought they may have documented the quote on your file).
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Sep 10, 2003
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Hamilton
JWL wrote:
Sep 21st, 2017 7:51 am
Different insurance companies seem to have different approaches. Mine just increased the insured value of my home by the cost of the panels. Others seem to add more (not sure why). Call again and see if you get a "better" answer from someone else (althought they may have documented the quote on your file).
Like JwL said... different insurance companies, different approaches. We were with Aviva and they treated it like a business and we paid over 600$ increase for the first couple years, then switched to Intact and now a small mutual group insurance who maybe were 100$ or so increase. You can write off the increased insurance as a business expense, FYI
Member
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Nov 3, 2008
200 posts
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National Capital Reg…
I pay under 50/year. Shop around.

Also, get clear what is being insured.
1) value of system only
2) value of system + business interruption insurance

2nd one would always be more expensive, and some insurance companies would like to push this as default option.
Member
Jan 15, 2007
445 posts
32 upvotes
Hello all,

I researched Microfit a couple of years ago, but lost sight of it but now its back on my radar. I have had two quotes for 10kw systems, both around $27k +tax. It appears to be a reasonably safe investment -- only real risk, that I can see, is interest rates (will likely use HELOC). Putting it all into a HELOC, I am generating around $100/month positive cashflow, with my rough calculations -- need to confirm interest rates.

One concern I have...Our roof is about 15 years old. It is by no means a new roof--it has no signs of wear--I don't expect to need to replace this for another say 15 years or so. From what I understand, under the "free" program, they will remove them and put them back on when the roof is replaced. However, if I pay for the panels up front, I would have to pay for this. Any idea how much this would cost?

Also, anyone know of any banks/lenders that offer any green incentives or rebates for financing solar equipment? I believe TD used to have a green mortgage which provided a cash back incentive, but I don't think that exists anymore.

Thanks!
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Nov 18, 2005
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Kingston
Skirby01 wrote:
Sep 22nd, 2017 10:15 pm
I researched Microfit a couple of years ago, but lost sight of it but now its back on my radar. I have had two quotes for 10kw systems, both around $27k +tax. It appears to be a reasonably safe investment -- only real risk, that I can see, is interest rates (will likely use HELOC). Putting it all into a HELOC, I am generating around $100/month positive cashflow, with my rough calculations -- need to confirm interest rates.
The main risk is illiquidity. If you sell your home in the next 20 years you may not receive full or even any value from the buyer for the panels. Whether you pay up front or use a HELOC you'll have paid for the panels (once you pay off the HELOC) and could experience a net loss on the investment. Interest rate risk should be relatively minor.
Skirby01 wrote:
Sep 22nd, 2017 10:15 pm
One concern I have...Our roof is about 15 years old. It is by no means a new roof--it has no signs of wear--I don't expect to need to replace this for another say 15 years or so. From what I understand, under the "free" program, they will remove them and put them back on when the roof is replaced. However, if I pay for the panels up front, I would have to pay for this. Any idea how much this would cost?
Getting 30 years out of a roof would be exceptional. Consider replacing the section that the solar panels would be on. You can claim the cost as a capital cost to be deducted against solar panel income and even the HST on the roof repair. But if you did the whole roof you can't claim it all.

Don't even consider the "free program".
It is FAR from free and is not legal under the terms of the microFIT contracts. They are a lease where you are leasing-to-own the panels and the microFIT revenues are used to make the lease payments (this is not allowed under the terms of the microFIT agreements but they do it anyways as there is no risk to the "free panel" companies, just the homeowner). If any maintenance is required these costs are ADDED TO THE LEASE (plus interest of course) so that the microFIT revenues are used up longer than originally projected to pay off the lease. So maintenance to remove the panels (or anything else) is not in any sense free, you just don't have to pay for it up front. Instead you pay later with interest.
Member
Jan 15, 2007
445 posts
32 upvotes
The company I am looking at said they would remove and reinstall the panels up to two times in the event that the roof needs repaired/replaced, so I suppose that resolves that concern as long as its in the contract. And yes, I certainly would not do the free program!
Newbie
Sep 20, 2015
34 posts
19 upvotes
Ottawa, ON
Skirby01 wrote:
Sep 24th, 2017 10:31 pm
The company I am looking at said they would remove and reinstall the panels up to two times in the event that the roof needs repaired/replaced, so I suppose that resolves that concern as long as its in the contract. And yes, I certainly would not do the free program!
Reality is these companies include the reinstall cost in their price. It is also possible the said company may not be in business when reinstall is needed. It is better to get good price now and worry about finding a contractor when reinstall needed in the future. You can easily find 10Kwh system priced around ~22000.00 + HST (You get back HST)
just my 2 cents.
Jr. Member
Nov 29, 2011
161 posts
34 upvotes
Toronto
Well today I passed last september and the previous one. Maybe the future is looking good considering every month this year was lower than 2016 and 2015.
Member
Jan 15, 2007
445 posts
32 upvotes
Hmm interesting. And is there much difference in product quality between companies?? Every company says their products are the best.... and yes I am worried about companies not being in business down the line.
Jr. Member
Aug 31, 2015
142 posts
28 upvotes
Scarborough, ON
Anyone else here have microFIT with Toronto Hydro. I realized that I haven't received a cheque in a while. I logged into my online Toronto Hydro account and the last "bill" that it shows is data June 26. I wonder if they are having problems? Anyone else having issues?
Jr. Member
Nov 29, 2011
161 posts
34 upvotes
Toronto
wayner9 wrote:
Sep 25th, 2017 8:36 pm
Anyone else here have microFIT with Toronto Hydro. I realized that I haven't received a cheque in a while. I logged into my online Toronto Hydro account and the last "bill" that it shows is data June 26. I wonder if they are having problems? Anyone else having issues?
There is something going on but Ive been too busy to check and see what Im owed. The last time I got a statement and later a cheque was in August for June and July. I think they might be paying every 2 months but I haven't heard anything. Im waiting for the next cheque and statement to see what the hell they are doing. If it comes in early October and its for August and Sept then we will know. Im not at home right now so I can't check and see when exactly they paid me. I will let you know later on in the month or early Oct.
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Nov 18, 2005
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OttawaGuy2 wrote:
Sep 25th, 2017 9:41 am
Reality is these companies include the reinstall cost in their price. It is also possible the said company may not be in business when reinstall is needed. It is better to get good price now and worry about finding a contractor when reinstall needed in the future. You can easily find 10Kwh system priced around ~22000.00 + HST (You get back HST)
just my 2 cents.
Could you provide some details on which Ottawa companies are offering 10kwh systems for $22,000+HST? Thanks

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