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New Home in Toronto - Using $500 Hydro per Month - Solar Panels Netmetering?

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[OP]
Newbie
Jul 30, 2012
19 posts
50 upvotes
NORTH YORK

New Home in Toronto - Using $500 Hydro per Month - Solar Panels Netmetering?

Hi everyone - I'm trying to figure out if it makes sense to purchase solar panels and put them on my roof. It's a flat roof with direct views of the sun, so should generate well.

I'm using between $350 and $500 of electricity per month. How do I calculate how big of a solar panel system I will need and estimate it's cost? If I can pay $0 in electricity per year, I'm thinking it will be worthwhile to cough up the funds for solar panels.

Last month my Toronto Hydro bill says I used 3400 kWh.

Can anyone help me with the math etc.? No experience with solor panels or netmetering.

Thanks in advance.
29 replies
Deal Addict
Jul 22, 2009
1911 posts
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Brampton
tuffcalc wrote: Hi everyone - I'm trying to figure out if it makes sense to purchase solar panels and put them on my roof. It's a flat roof with direct views of the sun, so should generate well.

I'm using between $350 and $500 of electricity per month. How do I calculate how big of a solar panel system I will need and estimate it's cost? If I can pay $0 in electricity per year, I'm thinking it will be worthwhile to cough up the funds for solar panels.

Last month my Toronto Hydro bill says I used 3400 kWh.

Can anyone help me with the math etc.? No experience with solor panels or netmetering.

Thanks in advance.
Wow that's crazy what do you have a grow-op my bill is only $70
Deal Addict
Jan 12, 2017
1637 posts
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3400kWh/30 days/8 hrs of sunlight a day(avg, less in winter) = ~14kW of generating capacity to net about 0.

Does net metering zero or monthly or can you keep a running 'credit'?
tuffcalc wrote: Hi everyone - I'm trying to figure out if it makes sense to purchase solar panels and put them on my roof. It's a flat roof with direct views of the sun, so should generate well.

I'm using between $350 and $500 of electricity per month. How do I calculate how big of a solar panel system I will need and estimate it's cost? If I can pay $0 in electricity per year, I'm thinking it will be worthwhile to cough up the funds for solar panels.

Last month my Toronto Hydro bill says I used 3400 kWh.

Can anyone help me with the math etc.? No experience with solor panels or netmetering.

Thanks in advance.
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Jul 17, 2008
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How on earth you consume 3400 kwh? In the summer too.

I barely do 400 in the summer, more in the winter since I have baseboard heaters. I only have a bungalow, but still, unless you have a 10 room palace.
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Oct 26, 2003
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Messerschmitt wrote: How on earth you consume 3400 kwh? In the summer too.
I barely do 400 in the summer, more in the winter since I have baseboard heaters. I only have a bungalow, but still, unless you have a 10 room palace.
grow up takes a lot of power
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Deal Addict
Dec 7, 2011
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Whitehorse
What kind of mansion do you entertain? Do you heat a pool and sauna?

If not, uou should get an energy assessment done urgently to see where your electricity goes.
[OP]
Newbie
Jul 30, 2012
19 posts
50 upvotes
NORTH YORK
The grow-op comments are helpful. It's obviously a big home with pool, two HVAC systems + ERVs, infloor heating, home automation, 3 Tesla chargers, etc.

Does anyone have any experience with Solar Panels? I would like to net meter. Some references on a good installer etc. would be great.
Deal Addict
Aug 1, 2006
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Toronto
tuffcalc wrote: The grow-op comments are helpful. It's obviously a big home with pool, two HVAC systems + ERVs, infloor heating, home automation, 3 Tesla chargers, etc.

Does anyone have any experience with Solar Panels? I would like to net meter. Some references on a good installer etc. would be great.
If you read through the huge Microfit thread, Microfit thread you'll see people commenting on the different companies people used. Solar Dynamics and Solsmart were the two most popular at the time. Maybe @JWL has some new insights ?

There's also a thread on net metering, but I havent read that.

Net metering thread
Deal Guru
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Nov 18, 2005
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Kingston
Bull Dog wrote: If you read through the huge Microfit thread, Microfit thread you'll see people commenting on the different companies people used. Solar Dynamics and Solsmart were the two most popular at the time. Maybe @JWL has some new insights ?

There's also a thread on net metering, but I havent read that.

Net metering thread
Thanks for referring OP to the Net Metering thread. Short story is Net metering does not provide a good return on investment and to get to even an OK return you need to be in the house for 20 years.

I agree with @sokolov, getting an energy assessment/audit would give you the best bang for the buck.
Deal Expert
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Oct 26, 2003
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JWL wrote: Thanks for referring OP to the Net Metering thread. Short story is Net metering does not provide a good return on investment and to get to even an OK return you need to be in the house for 20 years.

I agree with @sokolov, getting an energy assessment/audit would give you the best bang for the buck.
I can confirm, I do solar panel design in Winnipeg and I inform the owner they should not be expecting a ROI under 20 years. If they still want to proceed, it is for been "green", and not for economical savings.
WTB amazon gc @90%
[OP]
Newbie
Jul 30, 2012
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NORTH YORK
sokolov wrote: What kind of mansion do you entertain? Do you heat a pool and sauna?

If not, uou should get an energy assessment done urgently to see where your electricity goes.
I built the house myself - it's already very efficient for what it is (e.g., super insulated, etc. etc.) ... it's just big and has a lot of "stuff" in it. I know where all the electricity goes. I just figured I could offset that cost with solar panels. I'm also looking at 3 Tesla Powerwalls so I can shift all my usage off-peak.
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Nov 24, 2013
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Kingston, ON
tuffcalc wrote: I built the house myself - it's already very efficient for what it is (e.g., super insulated, etc. etc.) ... it's just big and has a lot of "stuff" in it. I know where all the electricity goes. I just figured I could offset that cost with solar panels. I'm also looking at 3 Tesla Powerwalls so I can shift all my usage off-peak.
There is no off-peak this year, and even when there is shifting usage off-peak will never make up for $30K in PowerWalls. Put that $$$ into panels if you feel the need to green up and at least get some bill savings.

36,000kWh a year (assuming similar usage in winter) is a lot of usage to make up for with panels, of course. You missed the timing on MicroFIT by a couple years, but I think even Net Metering has a system rating limit. 10kW of panels (unless they’ll let you have more) is maybe 12,000kWh/yr if you’re optimally oriented?
Deal Addict
Jul 23, 2007
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The guy in Ontario who writes the blog at passivecanadianincome.ca installed solar panels in January 2018, and even though he's happy with his system, he said in January 2019 that it generated just under 9000 kwh of power for that year.
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Apr 5, 2013
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keenland
tuffcalc wrote: I built the house myself - it's already very efficient for what it is (e.g., super insulated, etc. etc.) ... it's just big and has a lot of "stuff" in it. I know where all the electricity goes. I just figured I could offset that cost with solar panels. I'm also looking at 3 Tesla Powerwalls so I can shift all my usage off-peak.
sounds like you are paying on par to play with all those luxuries...didnt you know?..it cost money to feed luxuries and ball
Sr. Member
Nov 22, 2017
933 posts
685 upvotes
Nevermind solar, you need a nuclear reactor!

Jokes aside, I'm an engineer as well and can confirm ROI on solar panels is generally on a 20 year timeline. Meaning that its not really worth it for most people especially when you factor in maintenance. Unless of course you want to go green for the environment but that's an ethical choice and not an economical one. Same thing can be argued for your Tesla they cost so much that the fuel savings from running on electricity does not necessarily make it the most economical choice.
[OP]
Newbie
Jul 30, 2012
19 posts
50 upvotes
NORTH YORK
Extrahard wrote: Nevermind solar, you need a nuclear reactor!

Jokes aside, I'm an engineer as well and can confirm ROI on solar panels is generally on a 20 year timeline. Meaning that its not really worth it for most people especially when you factor in maintenance. Unless of course you want to go green for the environment but that's an ethical choice and not an economical one. Same thing can be argued for your Tesla they cost so much that the fuel savings from running on electricity does not necessarily make it the most economical choice.
Thanks for that info. City of Toronto has a progrram (SolarTO) where they provide a design and some suggested contractors. Will see what comes out of that. I might just do it anyway for the environmental benefits.
[OP]
Newbie
Jul 30, 2012
19 posts
50 upvotes
NORTH YORK
cardguy wrote: sounds like you are paying on par to play with all those luxuries...didnt you know?..it cost money to feed luxuries and ball
Thanks. That was a very informativen response ... but if you look at my post I'm not complaining about the cost. I'm wanting to offset the cost with solar panels. You know, do good by the environment and get an ROI at the same time.
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May 8, 2009
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Going to the Moon
OP, I hope you're paying your electricity bill with CTFS :twisted:
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[OP]
Newbie
Jul 30, 2012
19 posts
50 upvotes
NORTH YORK
To update this thread - I've found a contractor and will be installing a 9.9kW system on my roof. I will be swtiched over to tiered rates byToronto Hydro under the NetMetering program and receive 1to1 credit for any power I generate (well, my solar system will feed my homes energy requirements first, and the excess will go out to the grid for a 1to1 credit).

The economics are certainly not the same as the Microfit days, but my payback is still around 10 to 12 years. Good enough for me and my green tooth... and will be a pretty neat thing to see installed.

I'll be using Enphase microinverters and QCell panels.
Member
Mar 23, 2017
434 posts
565 upvotes
Toronto
tuffcalc wrote: Good enough for me and my green tooth... and will be a pretty neat thing to see installed.
Not trying to be a dick but no amount of solar is going to offset the environment impact of a new built luxury home, 3 Tesla's and a swimming pool.

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