Frequently Asked
Solar Questions

We’ve put together some common questions about solar energy that our clients usually have, along with answers to those questions. Make sure to give us a call if you still have questions!

About Solar Power

How does solar photovoltaic energy work?

Visit our Solar Overview page to learn more.

How do I know if solar power might be right for me?

A few key factors go a long way in determining whether solar power can save you money. You could be a great candidate for solar if:

  • You own your home, farm or business;
  • You have a roof that isn’t heavily shaded and is in good condition, or have land that isn’t shaded;
  • You use at least a moderate amount of electricity;
  • You have a good credit (this matters only if you prefer to finance your system);
  • You live in a province with solar incentives and rebates.

How much maintenance is required?

Very little or none – inverters may need replacing, which normally occurs after the 10-15 year warranty term. In dusty environments, periodic washing of the panels may help increase electricity production.

How long do solar systems last?

A good quality solar system can last more than 25 years.

What if there is a cloudy day?

Solar systems produce less electricity on cloudy days. The great majority of homes with solar still connect to the local electric grid, drawing power from the local grid when needed.

What if I’m not using electricity when the system is producing power?

In many Canadian provinces there is a policy called “Net Metering” which means the power utility credits a homeowner for solar energy that is not consumed by the home. Those net metering credits are used up when the home takes power from the utility.

What are the risks to getting solar power?

As with any investment, there are some risks, though a well-installed system will make most risks extremely rare. Risks include solar systems catching fire, installations leading to roof leaks, theft, and hail damage and/or wind damage to the solar system itself.

Fast-growing trees can shade solar installations, reducing production over time. Utilities can change how much they charge their customers for electricity, changing the savings from solar. Policies that are beneficial to solar installations may change (e.g., Net Metering).

Solar Power and Your Home

What if I want to buy a high power consumption device in the future, such as a swimming pool or EV? Can I oversize my system?

In most cases you can upsize your system.

Why are some parts of the roof sunnier than others?

Roof orientation matters. In Canada, north-facing roof faces get less sun than south-facing roofs. Shading also plays a big role, whether from trees, chimneys, or nearby buildings.

What makes a roof good for solar?

The best solar roofs have large areas with South or Southwest exposure, little shade, and a roof in good condition. However East and West exposure can work depending upon roof pitch and shading.

What if I own a multifamily home?

Depending on your homeowner’s association, you may still be able to get solar for your residence. It’s not uncommon for Homeowner / Condo Associations to install a solar electric system on the roof of the building and allow all members to receive the benefits of solar power. Learn more about community solar.

What if my roof is really old?

If your roof needs to be replaced, it may make sense to replace the roof and install solar at the same time. Some providers offer a service to remove and replace a solar installation if you get a new roof in the future.

What if it snows on solar panels?

In climates warm enough to melt the snow, you can just wait until the snow melts. If you need to clear the panels, there are tools that can help.

What if I rent an apartment or rent my home?

Most solar solutions are geared toward homeowners, but there are some options for renters. For example, some utilities offer green energy options, and in some provinces community solar programs allow people to buy solar power from remote solar installations. Learn more about community solar.

Solar Process

How will I know how well my solar installation is performing?

Sunroof Solar offers a fee based quarterly monitoring solution, viewable through the Internet, a mobile App, and/or an in-home display.

What permits and approvals are required?

Most Canadian municipalities require permits in order to install solar, and that may also require an inspection of the installation itself. Sunroof Solar handles permitting and arranging the inspection.

Utilities also must approve the system to make sure it’s connected to the grid in an electrically safe and compliant manner.

Great for the Bottom Line,

Great for the Planet.

Try our solar estimator to see how much you could save with solar. Sunroof Solar can also provide you with a detailed solar site assessment and price quote. Let us help you invest in your energy future.