Novo-Solar-Solutions-Solar-Panel-Installation-Payback-Time February 3rd, 2017

Solar panels are becoming more affordable each year as the cost per watt drops as the technology improves. Increasing BC Hydro rates, set to increase 5% annually for the foreseeable future, also make solar panels a smart investment. And Grid Parity in BC was reached back in the spring of 2015.

What is Grid Parity?

When an alternative energy source can generate power at a cost level that is less than or equal to the price of purchasing electricity from the BC Hydro power grid, we call this Grid Parity.

How long will it take to pay off a Solar Panel investment?

There are 2 ways to look at how a solar panel system pays for itself over the lifetime of the panels.

When you purchase your solar panels and have them installed by Novo Solar Solutions, you are essentially buying 30+ years of electricity upfront. Since BC Hydro rates are not static, but always increasing, the cost of being on the grid goes up.

In 2017, the estimated payback for a solar panel installation is 9-14 years. Solar panels have a 30+ year working life. So let’s look at a 5kW solar panel system installed on a home in the Lower Mainland of BC.

With an initial investment of $15,000 to install the system and 5% increases to electricity rates, your payback would take 13.6 years. This would be equivalent to investing cash at the rate of 8.1% for 30 years. And you investment is reducing your reliance on a utility for your power and being subject to rate increases.

Another angle to look at how solar pays for itself is to compare electricity costs now to what they might be in the near future. If your house in Vancouver has a 5kW solar panel system, it would produce 170MWh over the next 30 years. With $15,000 invested, you would be paying 8.8 cents per kWh. These prices are below the cost of hydro today and in 5 years would be half of what BC Hydro charges.

Solar Panel Installation Payback Time

The chart above shows how 5kW system payback with 5% per year increases with BC Hydro. ROI=8.1% at current cost of $3/watt in Vancouver. Source of data: HESPV

Net Metering

As a BC Hydro net metering customer, when you generate more electricity than you use, you receive a credit to your account that is applied against your future electricity use. This also helps with your payback time and ensuring your investment pays off.

Learn more about Net Metering with Solar Panels.

There has never been a better time to make your investment in solar panels in Vancouver.

If you would like to learn more about Residential Solar Electricity in Canada, read HES PV’s White Paper.


Contact Mark at Novo Solar Solutions to speak about your Solar Panel Installation