How to use SaskPower incentives to get solar for basically nothing…seriously

Smart folks across Saskatchewan are figuring out how to use two SaskPower programs to get solar on their homes and businesses at no long-term cost.

SaskPower wants you to get solar – it takes pressure off their system and helps them get closer to their goal of producing power from 50% renewables by 2030.

So they are encouraging you to get solar with two main programs. And when you combine those two programs, your system ends up costing you…well…nothing.

Here’s how to do it:

1. Use SaskPower’s 20% system cost rebate to more than pay for your financing cost

SaskPower, Saskatoon Light & Power and City of Swift Current electricity customers are all eligible to receive a one-time rebate, equivalent to 20% of costs on a solar power system.

That’s the deal. So say you don’t have the cash for a system so you need to finance one (that’s most people). No problem.

That 20% rebate means on a system that costs $12,000, for example, you’ll get $2400 back!

That more than pays for any financing costs.

And don’t worry, friendly TruGreen Energy staff will help you with financing options and we do all the boring paperwork to ensure you get that 20% rebate.

But this incentive is only available until November 30, 2018 so you need to act quickly.

Boom! Financing costs covered. But, of course, you’ll want to pay off that loan. Proceed to step 2.

2. Use massive savings in your power bill to consistently pay off the loan via SaskPower’s Net Metering Program

Most of our clients see their power bills cut in half or eliminated all together, consistently.

That’s because TruGreen Energy is a SaskPower Energy Efficiency Partner and our systems are tied to the grid using SaskPower’s Net Metering Program.

When your system produces more power than you consume (typical from April-September), it goes back into the SaskPower grid and you get credit for that!

So in the winter months when power production is lower, you can use those credits to keep that bill very low.

Let’s say your power bill is roughly $130 per month right now, but after installing solar that bill is more like $30. Why not use that $100 saved each month to pay off the loan?

That’s $1200 each year in loan payments and over 10 years your $12,000 system is paid fully from cash saved on your power bill. That’s pretty cool.

And then after that, you get your power for very cheap or free while everyone else is taking rate hikes.

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All in all, you get a system that pays for itself with the following benefits:

  1. Becoming immune to power rate hikes
  2. Cutting your power bill in half or eliminating it altogether
  3. Increasing the value of your home
  4. Going green. Emissions = ZERO

It’s no wonder so many people are now getting solar.

More questions? Check out our Top 10 Solar Questions blog.

OR GIVE US A CALL AT 1- 833-TGSOLAR OR 1-833-847-6527.

– Your friends at TruGreen Energy

Top 10 Most Common Solar Questions that are Snow Problem to Answer

Hey Saskatchewan! Got questions on solar? We’ve got you covered.

Solar is a proven technology that is rapidly expanding across the globe. In many European countries, integrating solar systems with new builds and retrofitting is the norm.

That’s because solar power is cheaper to produce than other forms of energy, has ZERO emissions and it works.

Now, for Saskatchewan and Canada, it has never been easier and more attractive to add solar to your home, business, farm or municipal building.

You can own a system for $0 down, there are generous rebates from government and you can cut your power bill in half or eliminate it altogether.

 

 

 

 

Of course, how this all works comes with some questions. So, let’s dive in.

QUESTION 1: WILL SOLAR PANELS WORK IN COOL AND SNOWY CLIMATES?

Short answer: Yup.

In fact, Regina is ranked as the #1 location in all of Canada and #6 in the world for solar potential – beating out places like Sydney, Australia.

The reason for that is solar panels convert light, not heat, into energy. Too much heat can actually reduce output efficiency by 10-25% depending on the installation and temperatures.

So, places like Saskatchewan, that have cooler temperatures and lead the world in sunny days, are among the top spots on earth for solar.

Solar panels also work well in ambient light, and produce sufficient energy on overcast days.

As for snow, solar panels will not produce power if covered in heavy snow. However, most panels are tilted at an angle and snow will slide off the slippery surface on its own accord.

What ends up happening is you over produce power in the spring, summer and fall which builds up credits with SaskPower from selling back to the grid (known as the Net Metering Program) that you can spend in the winter months when efficiency is lower.

QUESTION 2: DO SOLAR PANELS REQUIRE MAINTENANCE?

Solar panels have no moving parts and do not require regular maintenance. We do recommend that you hose off the panels once a year or so, but rain (or snow) will often take care of that job for you. So, thanks mother nature!

Of course, if any large debris falls onto the panels it is recommended that you remove it.

As an added bonus, TruGreen solar systems come with monitoring software that allows you to monitor your panel production and check for drops in efficiency on your computer or mobile device – and that’s pretty neat.

QUESTION 3: SOLAR WILL GET MORE EFFICIENT, SO SHOULD I WAIT?

Any piece of technology that we use today will always have little improvements made as time passes.

However, solar is already very efficient. Our panels produce power at less than what SaskPower is charging today and most of our clients cut their power bills cut in half or completely eliminate them altogether.

Your SaskPower bill has gone up 12% in less than two years with more hikes expected.

Getting solar now means you lock in your power costs at a lower rate for decades to come.

QUESTION 4: WILL I STORE THE EXCESS ENERGY I GENERATE IN BATTERIES?

Nearly all-modern solar panel systems are grid tied, which means they’re connected to the conventional electricity grid.

SaskPower pays for electricity pushed back in the grid through their Net Metering Program, so there really isn’t a need to store power in batteries.

Batteries can still an option for those who really want them, but they are expensive and most clients choose to go without them.

QUESTION 5:  WILL SOLAR PANELS CAUSE MY ROOF TO LEAK, DETERIORATE, OR COLLAPSE?

Solar panels actually protect and preserve the portion of the roof they cover.  They are not attached directly to the roof itself, but rather on a mounted railing system. The sealants used to fill any gaps are the same used to seal commercial flat roofs and come with a 25-year warranty.

Solar Panels have an added benefit in serving as a layer of insulation to your roof, decreasing heat loss in the winter and keeping your house cooler in the summer.

If there is ever a problem with the roof that needs to be repaired, panels can easily be removed. Also, if your roof already leaks or needs to be replaced, it makes sense to take care of those roof repairs first before installing solar panels.

QUESTION 6: AREN’T SOLAR PANELS STILL EXPENSIVE / WILL THEY EVER PAY FOR THEMSELVES?

Perhaps one of the most unfortunate misconceptions we come across is that solar power is only for the “rich” or for those “die-hard environmentalists”. But this simply isn’t true. Many households are now able to go solar for little or no money down. Our financing and payment options have all but eliminated the barrier to entry for solar based on upfront costs.

Solar also is one of the very few household purchases that will actually pay for itself over time, which typically takes 7-10 years.

Our friendly and helpful team at TruGreen Energy can help you figure out what that timeline is for you given your particular circumstances.

It is important to keep in mind that you don’t have to commit to buying enough solar panels to provide all your electrical power needs right from the start.

You can buy a smaller solar system that is sized to meet your current budget now, and then add on to it later.

QUESTION 7: WHEN THE POWER GOES OUT, WILL MY HOME IS STILL POWERED?

When the power goes out, grid-tied systems go out too. That’s because it’s not safe to be pushing electricity back out onto the wires while workers are trying to fix the problem, so your inverter (a box installed near your meter that turns DC electricity created by the panels into usable AC current) recognizes that the grid is out and shuts your system off.  Sorry team, but safety first!

QUESTION 8: WHAT IS THE AVERAGE LIFESPAN OF THE SOLAR PANELS?

Most panels come with a 25-year warranty, and depending on the panel, they will produce anywhere from 85-90% of their original full production after 25 years. The solar panels will certainly last longer than 25 years, but their production will slowly degrade over time.

QUESTION 9: DOES SASKPOWER CHARGE A FLAT FEE FOR REMAINING HOOKED UP TO THEIR SYSTEM?

For grid tied systems, SaskPower does still charge a basic connection fee. However, this connection fee is well worth it given the Net Metering Program in place, which allows you to over produce power in the spring, summer and fall and use those built up credits in the winter months.

QUESTION 10: WHAT ABOUT WILD WEATHER? CAN THE PANELS WITHSTAND A HAILSTORM?

That’s a great question and the short answer is yes! Solar panels are successfully used in climates much like ours all over the world.

We do recommend purchasing insurance for your solar system though, so that you are covered for situations like baseball size hail or other unforeseen situations like a tree falling and damaging the panels.

That’s all for now!

STILL HAVE QUESTIONS? GIVE US A CALL AT 1- 833-TGSOLAR OR 1-833-847-6527.

– Your friends at TruGreen Energy

Future Of Solar Feature Image

Saskatchewan’s best kept secret for decades now revealed: SOLAR

Regina is ranked as the #1 location in all of Canada and #6 in the world for solar potential, according to Natural Resources Canada’s 2007 mapping study.

Regina might get the glory in this study, beating out places like Sydney, Australia for solar potential, but all of Saskatchewan is a top-ranked destination for solar.

This may come as a surprise, but solar panels actually work better in cooler climates and Saskatchewan has more hours of sunshine than almost anywhere else. So nice work Saskatchewan!

That means if you have never considered using solar for your home, farm or business, you should.

Why you might ask?

1. Solar technology has never been easier or cheaper to install

In fact, 2/3 of our payment options require $0 money down.

<<<<<<<GET A FREE QUOTE>>>>>>>

 

2. Generous rebates from government (LIMITED TIME OFFER)

If you live in Saskatchewan and apply for net metering before November 30, 2018, you are eligible for a 20% rebate from SaskPower, Saskatoon Light & Power or the City of Swift Current.

The not-so-fine print: rebates are up to $20,000 on eligible costs of a solar power system.

3. Reducing your carbon footprint

Emissions are ZERO. That’s a good number.

4. Save serious money on your power bill as power rates continue climbing

Most of our clients cut their power bills cut in half or completely eliminate them altogether.

That’s because our panels produce power 2-4 cents per KW/H cheaper than SaskPower. So no matter what solar model you select, your bill will go down. That’s good news when you usually just hear about your power bill going up.

CLEANER. CHEAPER. POWER.

Solar is a great option for any community, municipality, business, not-for-profit or homeowner looking to reduce and stabilize their power bills for the foreseeable future.

We know you will have questions, and our friendly staff is here to help.

Ready to learn more?
Get a free quote.

You can also call us at 1- 833-TGSOLAR or 1-833-847-6527.

– Your friends at TruGreen Energy

Lumsden goes solar at River Park Centre

At Lumsden’s River Park, people playing at the splash pad or tak- ing in a ball game will no longer be the only ones soaking up the sun. Newly installed solar panels on the River Park Centre roof will also be taking in the rays, helping to power the centre and reducing power costs for the town.

A 10 kW solar system has been in- stalled at the centre by Sunroof En- ergy Corp. Operation of the system began last week.

“It’s a lot of satisfaction, a lot of pride in our community, stepping up and being on the forefront of [renewable energy] for our community” said Lumsden Mayor Bryan Matheson. “I think it’s the wave of the future and we’re happy to have this happen in Lumsden.” The 10kW solar system is expected to generate around 15,000 kilowatt hours of renewable energy each year, approximately 54 per cent of the centre’s yearly electricity usage.

Solar panels were installed as part of Sunroof Energy’s Municipal Solar Energy Program. Through the pro- gram, Sunroof provides, installs and maintains the solar system, with the town simply purchasing the produced solar energy.

“[The Municipal Solar Energy Pro- gram] allows municipalities to put solar power on municipally owned buildings without having to come up with any capital,” said Al Simp- son, president of Sunroof Energy Corp. “So the citizens of Lumsden aren’t going to be asked to pay for this. All that’s really required, in this particular case, is the rec. centre solar system will produce solar en-ergy and whatever it produces, the town will pay for at a rate cheaper than they are paying now to Sask- Power.”

Savings in electrical expenses at the River Park Centre are expected to be approximately $21,000 over the lifetime of the solar system. “That’s not insignificant,” said Simpson.

The Sunroof Energy president was unable to disclose information about other municipalities participating in the program, but did say there has been an extreme amount of interest. “We’re excited about it,” he said. The president congratulated the town on having a vision for the future and going forward with a renewable energy system. Matheson explained the River Park Centre project is the first of many, with the town planning to introduce solar energy into other community buildings in the future.

Solar panels adorn the roof of the River Park Centre in Lumsden. The panels, installed by Sunroof Energy Corp., are expected to generate around 15,000-kilowatt hours of renewable energy each year, 54 per cent of the River Park Centre’s yearly electricity usage. The panels were turned on last week. Photo by Sarah MacMillan.

 

A Balanced Look at the Future Sources of Energy

Low prices for coal and gas are likely to persist, but will fail to prevent a fundamental transformation of the world electricity system over coming decades towards renewable sources such as wind and solar, and towards balancing options such as batteries.

The latest long-term forecast from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, entitled New Energy Outlook 2016, charts a significantly lower track for global coal, gas and oil prices than did the equivalent projection a year ago. Crucially, however, it also shows a steeper decline for wind and solar costs.

The forecast, covering the 2016-40 period, has mixed news on carbon emissions. Weaker GDP growth in China and a rebalancing of its economy will mean emissions there peak as early as 2025. However, rising coal-fired generation in India and other Asian emerging markets indicate that the global emissions figure in 2040 will still be some 700 megatonnes, or 5%, above 2015 levels.

Seb Henbest, head of Europe, Middle East and Africa for BNEF, and lead author of NEO 2016, commented: “Some $7.8 trillion will be invested globally in renewables between 2016 and 2040, two thirds of the investment in all power generating capacity, but it would require trillions more to bring world emissions onto a track compatible with the United Nations 2°C climate target.”

Here are 10 of the eye-catching findings from NEO 2016:

  • Coal and gas prices to stay low. Bloomberg New Energy Finance has reduced its long-term forecasts for coal and gas prices by 33% and 30% respectively, reflecting a projected supply glut for both commodities. This cuts the cost of generating power by burning coal or gas.
  • Wind and solar costs fall sharply. The levelized costs of generation per MWh for onshore wind will fall 41% by 2040, and solar photovoltaics by 60%, making these two technologies the cheapest ways of producing electricity in many countries during the 2020s and in most of the world in the 2030s.
  • Fossil fuel power attracts $2.1 trillion. Investment in coal and gas generation will continue, predominantly in emerging economies. Some $1.2 trillion will go into new coal-burning capacity, and $892 billion into new gas-fired plants.
    But renewables take lion’s share. Some $7.8 trillion will be invested in green power, with onshore and offshore wind attracting $3.1 trillion, utility-scale, rooftop and other small-scale solar $3.4 trillion, and hydro-electric $911 billion.
    The 2⁰C scenario would require much more money. On top of the $7.8 trillion, the world would need to invest another $5.3 trillion in zero-carbon power by 2040 to prevent CO2 in the atmosphere rising above the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s ‘safe’ limit of 450 parts per million.
  • Electric car boom supports electricity demand. EVs will add 2,701TWh, or 8%, to global electricity demand in 2040 – reflecting BNEF’s forecast that they will represent 35% of worldwide new light-duty vehicle sales in that year, equivalent to 41m cars, some 90 times the 2015 figure.

Small-scale battery storage, a $250bn market. The rise of EVs will drive down the cost of lithium-ion batteries, making them increasingly attractive to be deployed alongside residential and commercial solar systems. We expect total behind-the-meter energy storage to rise dramatically from around 400MWh in today to nearly 760GWh in 2040. We expect total behind-the-meter energy storage to rise dramatically from around 400MWh in today to nearly 760GWh in 2040.
China coal-fired generation will follow weaker trend than previously projected. Changes in the Chinese economy, and a move to renewables, mean that coal-fired generation there in 10 years’ time will be 1,000TWh, or 21% below, the figure predicted in BNEF in last year’s NEO.

That makes India the key to the future global emissions trend. Its electricity demand is forecast to grow 3.8 times between 2016 and 2040. Despite investing $611bn in renewables in the next 24 years, and $115 billion in nuclear, it will continue to rely heavily on coal power stations to meet rising demand. This is forecast to result in a trebling of its annual power sector emissions by 2040.

Renewables to dominate in Europe, to overtake gas in the US. Wind, solar, hydro and other renewable energy plants will generate 70% of Europe’s power in 2040, up from 32% in 2015. In the US, their share will jump from 14% in 2015 to 44% in 2040, as that from gas slips from 33% to 31%.

Jon Moore, chief executive of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, said: “The New Energy Outlook incorporates a significantly lower trajectory for coal and gas prices than the 2015 edition did a year ago but, strikingly, still shows rapid transition towards clean power over the next 25 years.”

Elena Giannakopoulou, senior energy economist on the NEO 2016 project, added: “One conclusion that may surprise is that our forecast shows no golden age for gas, except in North America. As a global generation source, gas will be overtaken by renewables in 2027. It will be 2037 before renewables overtake coal.”

solar-energy-regina

The outlook for coal is crucial for international ambitions on climate. The Paris conference last December saw 196 nations agree limit global warming to “well below” two degrees Centigrade, and to aim to reach “global peaking of emissions as soon as possible”. NEO 2016 indicates that, despite the global move towards renewables, power sector emissions will not peak for another 11 years.

NEO 2016 is based on a combination of the project pipeline in each country, current policies, plus modelled paths for future electricity demand, power system dynamics and technology costs. It does not assume any further policy measures post-2020, to speed up decarbonization. Some 65 specialist analysts worked on the forecast.

 

Solar Panel in Feild Sunroof Article

Solar Power Predicted to grow Six-fold as it becomes cheapest energy resource

The amount of electricity generated using solar panels stands to expand as much as sixfold by 2030 as the cost of production falls below competing natural gas and coal-fired plants, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency.

 

Solar plants using photovoltaic technology could account for 8 percent to 13 percent of global electricity produced in 2030, compared with 1.2 percent at the end of last year, the Abu Dhabi-based industry group said in a report Wednesday.

 

The average cost of electricity from a photovoltaic system is forecast to plunge as much as 59 percent by 2025, making solar the cheapest form of power generation “in an increasing number of cases,” it said.

 

Renewables are replacing nuclear energy and curbing electricity production from gas and coal in developed areas such as Europe and the U.S., according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. California’s PG&E Corp. is proposing to close two nuclear reactors as wind and solar costs decline. Even as supply gluts depress coal and gas prices, solar and wind technologies will be the cheapest ways to produce electricity in most parts of the world in the 2030s, New Energy Finance said in a report this month.

 

“The renewable energy transition is well underway, with solar playing a key role,” Irena Director General Adnan Amin said in a statement. “Cost reductions, in combination with other enabling factors, can create a dramatic expansion of solar power globally.”

 

Solar Growth

Bloomberg New Energy Finance also forecasts growth in solar photovoltaics, reaching 15 percent of total electricity output by 2040, according to Jenny Chase, head of solar analysis in Zurich. “Irena’s assumptions are reasonable,” she said. “Solar just gets so cheap under any reasonable scenario.”

 

The “most attractive” markets for solar panels up to 2020 are Brazil, Chile, Israel, Jordan, Mexico, the Philippines, Russia, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, according to Irena. Global capacity could reach 1,760 to 2,500 gigawatts in 2030, compared with 227 gigawatts at the end of 2015, it said.

 

Smart grids, or power networks capable of handling and distributing electricity from different sources, and new types of storage technologies will encourage further use of solar power, Irena said.

 

As of 2015, the average cost of electricity from a utility-scale solar photovoltaic system was 13 cents per kilowatt hour. That’s more than coal and gas-fired plants that averaged 5 cents to 10 cents per kilowatt hour, according to Irena. The average cost of building a solar-powered electricity utility could fall to 79 cents per watt in 2025 from $1.80 per watt last year, it said. Coal-fired power generation costs are about $3 per watt while gas plants cost $1 to $1.30 per watt, according to Irena.

 

The record for the world’s cheapest solar tariff was set in Dubai last month in an auction. MEED reported that a consortium including Masdar Abu Dhabi Future Energy Co. and Saudi Arabia’s Abdul Latif Jameel bid 2.99 cents per kilowatt-hour, 15 percent cheaper than the previous record.

See more at: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-06-22/solar-power-to-grow-sixfold-as-sun-becoming-cheapest-resource

Carbon Capture Station saskpower

Saskpower looks to Increase Rates 10.25%

Due to a growing demand, with 8,000 new customers last year alone, Saskpower is looking for a huge rate increase for all users. This rate increase is still to go in front of the rate review panel to make sure the process and numbers are done correctly. If it checks out, the rates will first increase beginning on July 1st, 2016. Then again on January 1st, 2017, each increase requested at 5% for a total of 10.25% increase due to increase compound. Though the review panel may not make recommendations until October, The Crown utility will ask cabinet — which has final say on utility rate changes — for an interim increase that comes into effect July 1, with the understanding this could be adjusted after the panel makes its decision.

 

This means the average saskpower customer will have to pay an additional $6 this year, as well as another $6 added to that for next year. Not only does this increase compensate for the growing customer base, but it is also needed to rebuild its electrical distribution system, much of which was constructed between 50 and 70 years ago. This year alone, it plans to do $990 million in capital spending.
 
NDP Crown Corporations critic, Carla Beck, says it isn’t just these reasons that Saskpower is charging more. She believes it is also due to the cost of the Boundary Dam 3 power plant upgrade and associated carbon capture project, plus “the smart-meter fiasco.”
 
In 2015, SaskPower rates rose by 3.0 per cent on Jan. 1 and another 2.0 per cent Sept. 1. Before that there were increases of 5.5 per cent (in 2014) and 5.0 per cent in 2013, with no increases in 2011 and 2012.
 
Saskpower president Mike Marsh added that SaskPower, with its heavy requirement for money for capital spending, hasn’t been required to pay a dividend to its shareholder, the provincial government “for a number of years.”
 
SaskPower work over the next few years will include a $245-million project to extend the life of the E.B. Campbell hydroelectric generating station near Nipawin, $260 million on transmission lines, including one from Pasqua to Swift Current; $509 million to connect new distribution customers, $108 million on increasing system reliability, new transmission lines to serve the Saskatoon area, underground cable maintenance and replacing old transformers, and work on inspecting and replacing some of the 1.1 million power poles in the province. Marsh also referred to improvements to handle renewable energy flowing into the system.
 
This spike in electrical bills are becoming a custom over the years, and with only a (possible) one year gap between the next scheduled increase, it is far from slowing down. This constant increase in bills is just another reason to convert to solar energy, so you are not forced to potentially pay for things such as a flawed meter situation.
 
Original article can be found HERE

Man installing solar panels in front of blue sky

Regina, SK Rated Top Major Canadian City for Potential Solar Energy

Saskatchewan is known for its unpredictable weather. One day it will be blizzarding, the next it could be sunny enough to get a sunburn. But one thing all residents are aware of is the hot Summer sun that hits southern Saskatchewan as if we were beneath a magnifying glass. It may not happen every day but it is a safe bet that if you were to plan an outdoor event in July, one day of the week will have potential to blur you with heat stroke.

When thinking of weather most people think of Regina as a bad weather city due to the harsh winters. But one great thing about Regina’s weather is the summer sun. As one might think, it has the greatest potential for solar panel’s!

According to Natural Resources Canada, a mapping study in 2007 discovered that  Regina, Sk had the potential of 1361 Yearly PV potential (kWh/kW), landing Regina 1st in Canada, and 6th on the list of major worldwide cities!  Falling just short to Mexico City, Los Angeles, New Delhi, Cape Town, and Cairo, Egypt who leads with 1635 kWh/kW. On the Local stage, we in the lead to Calgary, Winnipeg, and Edmonton!

Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 11.55.12 AM

Regina has more yearly solar potential than Sydney, Australia & even Rio de Janeiro, Brazil!

Having this sort of potential, it is Regina’s responsibility to take advantage of this opportunity by converting our energy uses to solar produced electricity. With the many easy ways to now do so, everyone who can afford this, should.