There are about a million different reasons to go solar – you might love cutting-edge technology, you might be invested in a greener future, and/or you might want to live off the grid. One of the reasons that a lot of people don’t consider, largely because of the upfront cost of solar, is that it can actually save you money. Take a look at Saskatchewan’s Solar Rebate Program, known as net metering, for a perfect example of this.
Net metering is really straightforward – you use your solar panels to generate energy for yourself, then you sell excess energy back to the utility, in this case, SaskPower. Net metering is kind of the killer app of solar energy programs because it allows you to use the utility as a battery, in a proverbial sense. What do we mean by that?
Well, in the summertime, you’ll probably be away from your home much more often. Your electronics won’t be running as much because you’ll be outside more and there’s ample daylight throughout most of the day so you won’t need to switch the lights on as early. What’s more, the sun is shining through most of the day, which means your panels will be generating a lot more energy than they would otherwise. All of this energy generation means you’ll usually generate more than enough energy for yourself, and can sell the excess to the utility.
Generating enough energy for yourself means you won’t need to pay SaskPower for energy they’re providing – the energy you sell to them will be credited. That means you’ll have an incredibly low monthly energy bill. You’ll still have to pay the basic monthly charge, but that may be it. The credits you store up can then be used later on in the year.
That’s perfect, because in the wintertime you use a lot more electricity; you’ll be homebound much more often, and you’ll have to have the lights on earlier – all while your solar panels generate less electricity. That’s why we compare the program to a battery – you’ve essentially banked the energy that you generated in the summertime by selling to the utility and you can reap the rewards of your summer credits during the winter!. SaskPower improved the whole process in 2018, so it’s relatively easy to do – you can bank your credits for years, and they offer very long-term contracts for buying your power.
Saskatchewan is actually one of the best provinces to use solar panels in because there’s a lot of sunshine every year – minimal cloud cover is a good thing. Look for solar companies in Regina who will figure out how much capacity you need based on your average power bill. They will then give you installation options that will work for your needs. Roof installation is often best in urban spaces. Great solar panels will last you for years and years – the investment is wonderful if you plan on staying in your space for a long time because the energy discount will pay for the panels over time.