solar panels

Hi. guys , I’m thinking of installing some solar panels on my roof to help save energy , does anyone have any tips, tricks or advice that they could pass along to help me out a little in my energy saving conquest.

Fred, I think these two links will help you get started, and I would not forget to PM Kento Shepard on this topic.

Watch this Nachi TV video, very good information on the subject.

Photovoltaic Systems Inspection (Episode 9)

Hope this helps a little.

Marcel :):smiley:

Do a thorough economic analysis of what your costs and savings will be. Remember, these are salesmen and will embellish their results or say in a low breath “up to so many $$$ savings per year”…yep!! maybe 1 installed system got those savings!!!

Down here a recognized world class manufacturer (supposedly Canada’s largest) of solar hot water systems sells to the public directly and installs a 2 panel sysem for about $6,000 (a simple installation). Wth good water management and use of sunny days,you can get about 60-65% of your hot water (average family of 4 with no hot water abusers) from the sytem locally.

Here the yearly costs for hot water (stand alone tanks) for the above family are:
-----------------------Savings---------Simple Payback Years

At the Spring Home Show, I approached the the company’s booth in the separate green section of the show and asked the booth attendant about the savings and let them ramble on. I then repeated my own take on the system and got a surprised “Who are you?”.

After a bit of discussion about my energy background, I learned that the salesman was the younger brother of the inventor/owner of the company (whom I know from university). This is a side/retirement business for the owner who is now a full professor (Phd.) in engineering at Dalhousie University. I was this gent’s lab instructor in “Theory of Electricity and Magnetism” at Mount Allison pre-engineering. I mentioned this to the brother and within a few minutes…I was offered a free system which I refused!! can’t be bought…(a least not that cheaply!!!)

People in my neighbourhood know I worked and still do a lot in energy consulting. To put a system on my roof would be an endorsement of the system. Others may rush out and install systems that had long paybacks and not see the savings they expected.

Be careful not to jump at systems/gadgets/etc that promise the sky!!

PS: The #'s can get better depending on the grants/rebates available in your area.

Not to mention the expense of removing the system when shingles need to be replaced.

Might be functional for a pool but that’s about it IMHO

Thanks guys that gives me a lot to think about.


Wasn’t trying to discourage you from putting in a solar system. I think they’re great in the long run…but that’s it, it’s a long payback in many cases. I think there should be a better rebate for installing them. Just trying to help with the economics of the system in case you were expecting a big bang for the buck immediately.

Some people with a truly green philosophy will install them even knowing the long payback. They’re just happy for reducing fossil fuel use.

Here are a couple links that might help for a cheaper system or …build your own:

Hi fodette,

Before you install any solar system, you should get a quote from several companies. You should check out this page first:

I have solar. I brought my system about 6 years ago. I also worj for the utility working on the powerlines. From my own experience it was the best thing i ever did to my house. I was paying 240 bucks a month and it went down to about 10. So i highly recommend solar. But dont lease. All the customers i talk to hate there leasing. Therea alot of red tape. If your going to do it take a loan or pay cash.