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  • Ontario’s microFIT Campaign Makes Home Solar Affordable

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It’s not a question that photovoltaic (PV) solar panels can have an amazing effect on reducing our overall carbon footprints. Not only is harnessing the natural power of the sun an amazing source of energy for heating and powering your home, recent technological developments are making solar outfitting a cost effective solution for homes willing to take the extra step to go green. And beyond just the energy savings, there’s money to be made in environmentally friendly eco-homes with PV solar systems.

Currently, PV solar systems are remarkably durable, far more so than they were twenty years ago. A solar system installed in a home today can outfit a home with 80% peak power needs for up to 25 years, more than paying off the cost of installation in less than 10 years.

The cost of outfitting your home with green solar energy can be anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000 depending on the build of your home, so the particular costs can vary. And, with electricity so cheap in Canada, there can be a question of how much you’re actually able to save when you install a solar system.

And that’s where Ontario stands unique among the provinces. With the new microFIT program, introduced in 2009, there’s a framework in Ontario’s energy industry to give homeowners a chance to make quite a bit of money by going green.

MicroFIT is Ontario Power Authority’s effort to increase the prevalence and profitability of renewable energy initiatives for homeowners and businesses by offering payments for excess energy generated in this manner. Essentially any energy that you generate via green solar panel technology is sold off to Ontario’s energy grid and you get the difference.

This model does exist in other provinces in one form or another. New Brunswick, for example, offers 8 center per kilowatt, which can produce some modest gains. Under microFIT, however, you can expect somewhere in the range of 80 cents per kilowatt, and the Ontario Power Authority is able to guarantee these rates for up to 20 years, which can really add up.

With the potential for Ontario homeowners to make back their investment when they install solar systems in their home. As energy storage and collection is reaching very high levels of efficiency as cost lowers, this presents a really unique opportunity for Ontario homeowners to take the green initiative on as a personal venture, rather than waiting for politics to start the process of lessening our dependence on fossil fuels.

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