Your Average Solar Install
Solar is booming and people have a lot of interest about how solar may work for them. Here’s how to size a system for the average household in Regina.
Southern Sask is one of the sunniest places in all of Canada.
Peak Sun hours is an important variable the solar industry uses to judge how much solar energy a certain area gets. This is the amount of hours a solar panel is expected to receive ideal conditions.
In Regina, we receive an average of 1360 hours of Peak Sun hours per year.
Utility costs are sometimes hard to measure in solid numbers. Rural and urban areas can differ. Provinces have different methods of production and supply. This chart displays the average utility costs throughout Canada.
The average electrical cost per year in Regina is $1355.52.
If you get on the Net Metering program and have 100% of your power covered by your panel production, you still need to pay the base charge on your SaskPower bills.
This base charge is for infrastructure and maintaining the power grid. Currently this Base Fee is $22.79. There is also a surcharge and tax which equals about 15%.
SaskPower is currently selling power at 14.2 cents per kilowatt hour to residential homes.
With a yearly bill of $1355.52, divide by 12 to get $112.96 a month.
Subtract the surcharges and taxes—112.96 - 15%
98.23 minus base charge of 22.79 = 75.43
75.43 is the charge for the amount of kilowatt hours used.
To find the monthly kw hours, divide by .1422 (14.22 cents per kWh)
and finally you get 531 kWh a month for the average household.
Now, let’s start sizing our system: 531 kW times 12 = 6360 kWh a year.
One panel in Regina gets 1360 hours of production a year. If we use 300 watt panels it will produce 408 kW a year. Our system needs 6360 kWh a year so let’s divide by 408 kWh. We would need at least 15.588 panels. Since we can’t have half a panel, let’s increase our system to 16 - 300 watt panels. Due to shading from trees in the yard, chances are we are losing a few panels throughout the day. It depends from house to house. Let’s assume we need to add 2 more panels to compensate for this. This system would be 18- 300 watt panels or 5400 watts.
The average install rates for solar in Regina are around $3 a watt. We can calculate this system would roughly cost $16,200 up front.
Since we are currently paying $112.96 a month or $84.46 without the base charge, this adds up to $844.60 the first year. SaskPower is planning to increase rates 5% a year in the future. If we extrapolate this over the long term, our system will pay for itself within 16 years. After that time, power will be free.
Price Per Watt
The price per watt is everything in this industry. If this same system was $2.50 a watt, it would cost $13,500 and pay for itself in 12 years. That’s why shopping around to get good quotes is such in important step.
The Wascana Solar Co-op is helping people receive 10% - 15% off their installs and is striving to find the best price per watt for our members. If you would like to become a member, contact email@example.com.