Solar Programs

Why has the Feed-In-Tariff program been introduced?

The Ontario government aims to contribute to a greener and more environmentally friendly future. Solar energy is one the most feasible ways to generate clean energy for residential and commercial use. Although solar electricity is still expensive for governments to replace conventional fossil sources, growing the industry will eventually lower the cost and polluting energy sources will not be an option anymore.

What is the difference between MicroFIT and FIT Program?

The MicroFIT Program is a subdivision of the FIT Program intended for small-scale renewable energy projects, such as residential solar photovoltaic (PV). The two programs have different eligibility criteria, administrative processes and guidelines. MicroFIT Projects may have a generating capacity of 10 kW or less while FIT projects may have capacities of more than 10 kW.

Who is eligible to apply?

Any individual or business can benefit from the program and have a solar system installed on their property after acquiring the necessary permits. However, it is important to consider that sunlight exposure would be maximised with a south facing roof slope. Also, a minimum of 2 kilowatts of solar panels are recommended to generate a reasonable rate of return which would need 200 square feet of space.

How are MicroFIT payments calculated?

The payments will be calculated based on the total electricity produced by the system (kWh) multiplied by the MicroFIT contract price. It should be noted that the participants will be billed separately for their regular electricity consumption, their generator account fees, and any account fees associated with their local distribution company.

Can I use the electricity produced for MicroFIT program to power my house?

According to your MicroFIT contract, all the electricity produced by the system should be sent to the grid and is paid for at a subsidized rate.

Is there a penalty if I terminate my MicroFIT contract?

You can terminate your contract after obtaining IESO consent and there will be no fees or penalties. The payments from the MicroFIT contract will be stopped and you will be disconnected from the grid. A contract will also be automatically terminated if your connection agreement with your local distribution company is terminated.

What options will I have when my MicroFIT contract expires?

When your contract expires after 20 years, you may decide to continue selling the electricity at the market rate or use the electricity yourself by installing a battery system to offset your hydro bill.

Will the system be turned off during a utility power outage?

A residential solar power system will be turned off temporarily by the utility company until the grid comes back online. If the system keeps on generating electricity, it may become a safety hazards to utility workers that may be fixing electric lines or cables.

Apadana Solar Work

How does solar work?

How do solar panels work?

Solar panels convert the energy of light into direct current (DC) electricity through photovoltaic effect. The DC current needs to be then converted to alternating current (AC) electricity by a power inverter in order to be usable for residential electricity consumption.

What is the structure of a solar PV panel?

Photovoltaic (PV) cells are the building units of solar panels. The main element used in making solar PV cells is crystalline silicon, a common element in Earth's crust but other materials may be used too. In a typical flat-plate panel, silicon cells are covered by an encapsulant material. This plate of cells will then be placed between a sheet of glass or plastic and backed by metal, glass, or plastic to support the structure. The panel will then be secured in a metal frame.

What is the difference between solar photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal (or hot water)?

The system converting sunlight into electricity using semiconductor effect is called a solar photovoltaic system. Solar thermal systems (solar hot water) use sunlight to heat water or a space.

 Choosing a company

How do I know which installer to select?

As the first step, make sure to get a few proposals from different installers to compare your options.
Some of the questions you may want to ask the installers would be:

  • What products and services they offer and why?
  • Will my roof be strong enough for the increased load?
  • If the company is licenced?
  • Are there any warranties on the parts?
  • What additional costs may occur due to unique aspects of the property?
  • Will it be possible to monitoring the system performance?
Apadana Solar FAQ

Solar systems

How much Maintenance is required for a solar electric system?

Essentially none. Solar panels have no moving parts; therefore nothing tends to wear out. The PV cells and panels are covered in durable plastic or glass shields and are generally cleaned by rain.

Do solar panels work in the winter?

Solar panels operate with light which can be plentiful during the winter days especially in Ontario. Although winter brings fewer hours of daylight, the performance of PV cells improves in lower temperatures like any other electronics.

Is there enough sunlight in Canada for solar energy to work?

Yes, Canada receives on average about 3 to 5 kWh of sun energy per square meter per day. This amount is enough to make solar energy a feasible source to produce electricity. Solar system and my property What types of roof are appropriate for solar panel installation? Asphalt shingles, Metal, Flat, and Commercial inverted. The roof can be either sloped or flat.

Solar system and my property

What types of roof are appropriate for solar panel installation?

Asphalt shingles, Metal, Flat, and Commercial inverted. The roof can be either sloped or flat.

Is there a minimum required area to install a solar system?

Although any roof needs to be assessed by a professional consultant before making a decision, a minimum of 400 square foot of unobstructed roof space is recommended. This will be enough for a 3kW system.

How will a solar panel system affect the roof?

Panels will not damage your roof. A properly installed system can actually protect your roof from UV rays, rain and snow in winter and keep your house cooler during summer by blocking the sun’s heat. We use a customized flashing system with every install to ensure the roof is protected and to prevent leaks.

Do solar systems make any noise or cause visual interferences?

No. All the equipment used on the roof is completely silent. As far as visual aesthetics and besides having panels on the roof, your solar system is almost invisible as the inverter will be installed near your utility meter and nothing else is exposed.

What if the roof needs to be re-shingled later?

To avoid the need to re-shingle later, a complete roof analysis is essential prior to installing the system. However, if changing the shingles becomes necessary in future, the panels and racking must be removed to allow roofers to re-shingle. The labour costs for completing this process are generally insignificant.

How do the systems attach to my roof?

We recommend Kinetic racking systems. These solar panel mounting systems have roof attachments that firmly secure the panels while being completely waterproof.

Will the roof be strong enough to support the weight of panels?

An array of solar panels weighs around three pounds per square foot. Most of the buildings can support this amount of excess load on their roof. However, each case must be evaluated by licensed structural engineers to ensure the stability of the building.

Can high wind detach the panels?

A proper design proposal must be wind tested to Ontario Building Code standards. The design and strategic placement of the panels must be carefully drafted to ensure the stability of the panels.

Solar system financials

Is financing available?

Our company does not offer any financing. We are also strongly against leasing your roof contrary to many solar companies, because it will compromise your house ownership and will complicate selling your house in future. However, you can always consult your bank for any available home improvement loans. Some of the banks currently offering such loans are BMO and TD.

What is the return on investment?

The return will depend on the system size, efficiency and configuration, in addition to the incentive rate offered in your contract with IESO. Depending on these criteria and your system output, you could gain a return of 3 to 7 percent on your investment in the first year. This a very reasonable rate compared to many other guaranteed investment options with no risk.

Apadana Solar Choosing Company