Why Go Solar?

Affordable

An 80% decrease in the price of solar modules within the last decade makes solar energy generation more affordable and feasible than ever.

Unlimited Clean Energy

Solar energy generation saves you money by providing sustainable and reliable energy at an affordable up-front cost. As time goes on your system pays itself off and starts generating energy and money that you wouldn’t have had before.

Positively Impact the Environment

Solar energy uses 98% less carbon emissions than if you used natural gas or coal powered electricity from the grid. It helps mitigate negative environmental changes to the planet so that future generations are able to enjoy it as much as you do.

A Changing Energy Landscape in Alberta

Both the Federal and Provincial government has mandated a phase-out of coal powered electricity generation by 2030 as well as an aggressive carbon tax. These environmental policies create a great opportunity to adopt a solar energy solution now. This helps you avoid becoming a victim to the impending increases in electricity prices resulting  from these new policies. Generating your own electricity and minimizing your utility bill will start to become more and more valuable. Why not take advantage today?

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How Solar Works

Solar Electric Grid Direct

Solar cells are composed of two sheets of silicon, compressed together that absorb photons (light) from the sun. When light is absorbed onto the module’s surface, an electric field is produced that generates direct current (DC) and power.  This current is transmitted to an inverter, which converts the DC current into alternate current (AC), and is then fed into your electric panel. From there, electricity can be used to supply power directly to electrical fixtures and equipment, and if not needed, can be sold back to the electric utility.

Solar Modules

Sunlight -> Electricity

Power Inverter

Converts DC electricity into AC electricity

Mounting System

Secures Modules to Roof

Solar Heating System

Solar Heating works on the principle of heat transfer. Solar vacuum tubes are exposed to the sun and contain a hollow copper heat pipe that is inserted into a vacuum. The inside of the pipe contains a small amount of water, and will boil at very low temperatures, due to the effects of the vacuum. The hot vapour rises, and the heat from the vapour is transferred to the manifold in contact with it. From there, the hot liquid in the manifold is transferred to a water storage tank or heat exchanger, which can be used for domestic hot water or building heating applications.

Solar Vacuum Tubes

The sun heats the water in the tubes

Storage Tank

Stores the heated water for use

Heat exchanger

Transfers heat from the solar piping to the domestic hot water

Frequently asked Questions

How does a solar PV system work?

A grid-tied solar PV system is connected to your main electrical distribution panel inside your house. This panel is hooked up to your meter outside your house, which then is connected to the utility grid. During the day your system produces electricity and feeds it through your distribution panel to your house. Any electricity not used is fed through your meter and into the grid and your utility provider gives you credits for the electricity you feed back into the grid. These credits are then used when your system is not generating electricity such as at night and on cloudy days. 

What if I want to be "off the grid"?

If you want to be grid independent, you need to install batteries to store your excess electricity because you are no longer able to sell it to the grid. Batteries are fairly expensive, increase the cost of a system drastically and also require quite a bit of maintenance and upkeep to keep them running properly and efficiently. Therefore we strongly suggest grid-connected systems when possible, as they are the most economical and simple option for a solar PV system. A grid-tied solar PV system also provides flexibility and ease of mind as it allows you to offset your electricity while still having the option to buy electricity from the grid when needed.

How much maintenance is required?

Solar PV systems require little to no maintenance throughout their lifetimes. Excluding the option to remove snow off of the panels during the winter, nothing needs to be done to the system. Our systems come with the ability for owners to view the energy their system is producing in real-time and see performance reports and statistics. We also have access to these reports and are notified if a system or module is not functioning at 100%. If this happens, we troubleshoot the problem for you as part of our workmanship guarantee and ensure every panel in your system is working, as it should be.

Will I be able to eliminate my transmission and distribution charges?

Yes, with the proper size of solar PV system, your electricity bill can truly be zero. Transmission charges are based on the amount of electricity you buy from your utility provider. Distribution charges work in the same way in addition to a fixed charge that is billed per day. Since both of these charges are dependent on the amount of electricity that is purchased from the grid, they can both be reduced if you are generating your own electricity instead of purchasing it. Credits obtained from selling excess electricity onto the grid ultimately work to displace transmission and distribution fees (including the fixed daily charges) that are charged in addition to electricity used at night or on dark days.

How affordable is solar energy? Does it make financial sense?

Solar modules have had an 80% decrease in pricing in the past decade and have improved in efficiency and performance by as much as 80% since 2005. It’s more affordable and feasible than ever to own your own sustainable energy for a fixed up-front price so you don’t have to rent it at increasing rates from your utility provider. With the provincial solar PV incentive program, a system pays itself off in 4 to 7 years, after which it provides significant savings and positive financial returns.

What about snow? How much of an issue is it?

Snow does affect the solar energy output produced by the system but still works at lower efficiencies depending on how much snow covers the modules. It’s definitely an obstacle; however, as the days in our winter months are substantially shorter than summer, the majority of the energy produced on an annual basis is in the spring to fall months. The credits you receive during these months easily make up for the worst days of winter (days of heavy snow and darkness). We do sell an extendable squeegee/brush that is specialized for removing snow off solar panels for customers keen on maximizing their panels’ output. Although it’s not the most glamorous process, it is easy and it gets the job done even on the highest of roofs.

Do the numbers truly line up for the payback period?

Electricity prices in Alberta are currently at a 20-year low point and are going to increase drastically and steadily throughout the next decade. This is due to highly unsustainable electricity prices when it comes to the economics within the energy market as well as Federal and Provincial government climate change initiatives. 43% of Alberta’s electricity comes from coal-powered electricity generation plants- it’s extremely cheap and also very emissions intensive. These coal plants are being completely phased out of Alberta by 2030, which will have a huge impact on both short-term and long-term electricity prices. A carbon tax also contributes to rising electricity forecasts although this is obviously a very controversial subject and gets complex due to politics and macroeconomic factors. Our perspective at Enova is that the carbon tax is here to stay regardless of who is in power federally or provincially due to global pressures to mitigate climate change and the responsibility Canada and it’s provinces have in contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Ultimately, electricity prices will be rising drastically in the coming years, which shortens the payoff period of solar energy systems.

Are there wires or any electrical components visible on my roof?

Most of the time, no wiring is seen or exposed. The wire is fished through the attic or into the building and down to your distribution panel. This means your system is installed in the most non-intrusive and aesthetically pleasing way possible. The only part of the system that is seen is the solar modules that are mounted in a low profile and aesthetically pleasing way on your roof.

How long does a solar energy system last?

Solar energy generation systems have no moving parts, which means they require no maintenance or service over their lifetime. Systems run steadily for over 30+ years.

What kind of warranty is included?

All solar modules used in our systems have a 12 year manufacturers warranty which can be extended and include a 25 year performance guarantee. This means that every solar PV system we install is covered for any hail damage or any malfunction that might occur over the first 12 years of the system’s life. Furthermore, the modules are guaranteed to be operating at no less than 80% efficiency 25 years from the day the system was installed. All inverters used in our systems also have a 12 year manufacturers warranty as well. Additionally, Enova Energy provides a 6 year warranty on all workmanship done on the installation of our systems.

What incentives or rebates are available to Albertans?

The provincial government of Alberta has announced a solar PV incentive program that is targeted to be ready for application processing on June 1st, 2017. The program provides an approximate 30% rebate to homeowners and residential houses that get a solar energy system installed. A 25% rebate will also be available to businesses that choose to adopt solar energy. Part of our process is to provide you with a complete turnkey and hands-off experience, which means we handle all the paperwork and application processes in obtaining the incentives and rebates available to our customers.