Everything You Need to Know About Residential Solar Panels

Everything You Need to Know About Residential Solar Panels

Whether it’s a fad or due to a genuine growing awareness of environmental issues, eco-friendly renovations are popular. Have you considered installing solar panels onto your home?

If the answer is yes, you should do your research before embarking on such a project. These panels do indeed present a series of advantages, but also some drawbacks. Plus, there are all kinds of myths out there. 

Truly Environmentally Friendly?

Also called a photovoltaic system, solar panels offer definite benefits. Of course, there is the fact that the energy generated by this equipment is less damaging for the climate than heating oil or natural gas. One weakness, however, is that Quebec’s hydroelectricity is ten times less polluting than solar power.

Their Two Main Advantages

Photovoltaic systems offer the most benefits to cottages or isolated residences, located some distance from the national power grid. They can, moreover, be a useful backup source of electricity in the event of an outage at any time of the year, even on bitterly cold winter days!

For All Types of Properties?

To harness the greatest amount of sunlight throughout the day, the roof should preferably be oriented toward the south, or at least toward the east or west. Tall trees, vents or chimneys should shade the panels as little as possible. Ideally, the photovoltaic system is installed flat and where it can easily capture the sun’s rays. The residence’s geographical location must equally be considered. There are fewer hours of daylight at higher latitudes.

New More Discreet Models

Some people don’t like the look of rooftop solar installations. If you also find them unattractive, you may be pleasantly surprised by the latest photovoltaic systems. Today’s panels are available in a wide range of shapes, colours, and textures. There are even some solar tiles that mimic the appearance of ordinary roofing.

It would even seem that Tesla is looking to get a slice of the pie. The multinational corporation has acquired SolarCity to produce photovoltaic roof tiles for the commercial and residential markets. With Tesla’s designers at the helm, it’s a safe bet that these systems will be quite eye-catching.

The Initial Cost and Future Savings

In Canada, a house usually requires between five and ten kilowatts in solar panels. For a typical residence, therefore, a homeowner should expect to pay around $15,000 to have a system put in. Historically, the bigger the system, the lower the price per watt. This means that for a larger property, the cost can fall to under $3/W. A homeowner could thus anticipate a return on their investment within 15 to 20 years of installation. The snag is that solar panels have a 30-year lifespan.

Is It Worth It?

Until recently, the answer was always “no.” Given Canada’s size and easy access to abundant natural resources—freshwater, wood or even coal—coupled with the high price of solar panels, this was simply not a very appealing option for private individuals.

Nevertheless, the installation costs have gown down so much in recent years that it is now very much worthwhile to have a system integrated to one’s own home. Not to mention that this type of energy helps fight climate change.


If you are interested in having solar panels installed, look for a qualified contractor and talk to people who have already adopted solar power.

RE/MAX Québec

By RE/MAX Québec

By RE/MAX Québec

A leader in the real estate industry since 1982, the RE/MAX network brings together the most efficient brokers.