Frequently Asked Questions
Brightworks is committed to answering all of your questions and providing you with the most current industry knowledge available. Below are some of the most popular questions that our customers have about their solar systems. If you can’t find your question or answer here, don’t hesitate to contact us.
How much energy will my solar system produce?
The amount of energy produced is based on several factors, such as the size of the system and the amount of sunlight it is exposed to. On average a 10 kW solar system produces 12,000 kilowatt-hours annually. To put it in perspective, according to Stats Canada, the average Canadian household uses about 11,000 kWh of electricity per year. See how much you could make here.
How long will my system last?
Each system is designed to last well over 25 years and all of our systems come backed with a 20 year warranty.
Can I have both a MicroFIT system and a Net-Metering system?
Absolutely. We have seen many instances where a MicroFIT system is installed for investment purposes, and complimented by a Net-Metering system to reduce hydro costs. It’s truly awesome when these two programs are utilized together.
Will the rate on my MicroFIT Contract ever go down?
No, all MicroFIT Contracts are for a fixed-price, for 20 years.
What if hydro rates rise and Net-Metering becomes more attractive, can I cancel my MicroFIT Contract?
Yes, there are provisions in the MicroFIT Contract where you can cancel it. At that time, you can switch over to Net-Metering.
How do solar panels affect the resale value of my home?
Studies have shown that a solar array increases the value of a property. The MicroFIT Contract follows the host property, not the individual or owner of the Contract. When you sell your home, the purchaser assumes ownership and control of the MicroFIT Contract and all of the benefits therein. Keep in mind that you can factor in a premium on the sale price of a home if there is a revenue stream associated with it!
Can my roof handle the weight of a solar array?
In almost all cases, no structural modifications are required to apply rooftop solar. Our team of Professional Structural Engineers assess the integrity of your roof and perform comprehensive calculations accounting for wind and snow loads to ensure your roof can withstand the additional weight of the solar array.
What if I need new shingles on my roof?
Putting on a new roof is a great idea before applying solar. Obviously, if a system needs to be disassembled to re-roof, it is what it is. Keep in mind that solar actually helps protect your roof from the elements. Further, we can provide financing for your new roof and your solar system. No money out of your pocket. Let the solar pay off your new roof!
Does the solar system affect the warranty on my roof?
No, not at all. We check with roofing manufacturers prior to installation to ensure they will continue to honour their manufacturing warranty.
What about snow loads?
Snow definitely plays a large role in the performance of the solar system, and this is typically factored into system performance and predictions. However, there are elements working to your advantage to catalyze snow melting, such as:
- Panel tilt angle
- Our premium inverters continue to perform, even in harsh Canadian conditions
- Solar panels act as a rear window defroster when electrical current flows through them
What are the tax implications for a MicroFIT installation? Do I need to report the income?
Yes, there are tax implications under the MicroFIT program. You will need to report the income generated through your solar asset. However, there are also eligible tax deductions, such as insurance, maintenance, etc.
Do I need insurance on my solar system?
Yes, it’s always a good idea to insure your solar asset. Typically, this is covered under your home insurance policy. Insurance costs are typically around $100/year for a 10kW system. This cost is entirely tax deductible.
Will my MicroFIT or Net-Metering system function if the grid goes down?
Unfortunately, when the grid goes down, so does the solar system. However, there are ways to equip systems with battery backup systems, hybrid inverters or back-up generators to can protect from grid outages.