Solar Energy

Frequently Asked Questions on Solar Setup For Home (Installation, Maintenance, and Costs)

Solar energy has never been more accessible or beneficial. Homeowners can tap into a clean, affordable, and renewable energy source right in their own backyard. The possibilities are endless, whether you’re considering installing solar panels or joining a community solar panel installation project. 


According to the CanREA (Canadian Renewable Energy Association), Canada has seen a remarkable 11.2% growth in solar energy storage capacity as of 2023. This showcases the country’s commitment to sustainable energy solutions to minimize greenhouse gas emissions and carbon footprint.


With the increasing interest in solar systems among residential and commercial customers, it’s crucial to have reliable information. Besides having a trustworthy ‘solar installation near me,’ understanding the essential facts about the solar power system is key. 


Let’s address various FAQs about solar panel installation, maintenance, and costs to ensure you feel secure and confident in your switch to solar energy.

Solar Energy Statistics 

Here are some notable facts from CanREA’s ‘By the Numbers’ Report

  • Across Canada, there are 206 significant solar energy projects actively generating power nationwide.
  • In 2020, Canada secured the 22nd position globally for its installed solar energy capacity, per the latest data from IRENA Renewable Electricity Capacity and Generation Statistics, 2021.
  • Approximately 48,000 solar energy installations are in operation across Canada.
  • In 2022, wind and solar energy collectively met 7.24% of Canada’s electricity demand, showcasing a significant contribution to the nation’s power supply.

Solar Storage Growth 

According to the recent new release of CanREA, the renewable energy industry expanded with 2.3 GW of new installed capacity, which includes:

  • Nearly 360 MW of utility-scale solar
  • 86 MW of on-site solar
  • 140 MW / 190 MWh of energy storage

Canada’s total installed capacity now exceeds 21.9 GW, including 20.4 GW of solar, 1.2 GW of on-site solar, and 356 MW / 539 MWh of energy storage nationwide.

Notable Regional Breakdown 

RegionEnergy Storage Capacity
Alberta 2.2 GW, with additions including 329 MW of utility-scale solar, 24 MW of on-site solar, and 130 MW of energy storage
Saskatchewan660 MW, including 31 MW of solar and 0.4 MW / 0.7 MWh of energy storage
OntarioExceeding 7.5 GW, nearly 2 GW from solar, and more than 100 MW from storage
British Columbia746 MW, includng 2 MW from solar and 2 MW from storage.

Solar Panel Installation FAQs

Is Installing Solar Panels Worth It?

If you want to install solar panels, it’s worth it if you aim for the following:

  • Complete energy independence or living off the grid
  • Reduce energy costs (from net metering)
  • Intend to stay in your Vancouver home for an extended period
  • Believe that short-term energy savings and increased home value will recover your investment

Solar could prove to be a wise choice and a viable option to maximize your energy consumption while reducing electricity costs.

What’s the Lifespan of Solar Panels?

Solar panels can work for 25 to 30 years (or even longer). Although their efficiency may decrease over time, solar panel manufacturers offer warranties for a specified number of years. The longevity of solar panels depends on factors including:

  • Solar panel quality
  • Manufacturing and installation process
  • Maintenance and repairs
  • Snow or ice
  • Amount of sunlight

What are the Major Benefits of a Solar Panel System?


Solar panels are affordable, especially for residential solar panel installations, thanks to the extended federal residential solar tax credit. This tax credit enables taxpayers to claim a 30% tax credit on the expense of solar systems.

Maintain Power During Grid Outages

Solar-plus-storage systems allow you to have electricity regardless of weather or time without relying on the BC Hydro’s grid. Going off-grid with a solar power system is also possible, but a big investment in battery storage is needed.

Boosts the Value of a Typical Home

Research from Berkeley National Laboratory shows that solar photovoltaic panels are seen as upgrades. Homebuyers have been willing to pay more for homes with solar arrays. While the impact of third-party-owned solar PV systems is generally neutral, prepaid leases can sometimes add value.

Suitable for Various Climates

Even in winter, there’s still enough sunlight to produce solar energy. The BC Sustainable Energy Association ensures solar PV systems endure various weather conditions.

How Much Electricity Can a Vancouver Solar PV System Produce in BC?

A typical residential solar PV system in Vancouver, BC, is 7 kW, with 16 solar panels. This setup generates 7,700 kWh of energy annually. Household energy usage varies, but the average is around 10,000 kWh per year. 

Solar Power System Maintenance FAQs

Does a Solar Power System Require Maintenance?

While Vancouver solar power systems need occasional upkeep, like solar panel cleaning and equipment checks, they demand less maintenance compared to other power systems. Many solar panels are engineered to be self-cleaning, which reduces the need for manual intervention.

Does a Solar Panel Installation Prone to Corrosion?

A solar panel system may encounter corrosion, but it’s usually not a significant concern. Most solar panels are crafted from sturdy materials that resist corrosion, while the rest of the solar energy system is often installed within a protective enclosure done by professional installation services.

What Maintenance Do My Solar Batteries Need?

Battery maintenance depends on the type you have.

  • Lead-acid batteries, for instance, need regular upkeep, such as checking electrolyte levels and cleaning terminals.
  • Lithium-ion batteries often need minimal maintenance.

Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines or recommendations by your solar panel installers for specific maintenance instructions.

How to Clean A Solar Panel System?

  • Use solar panel cleaning kits with biodegradable soap, wiper, and brush
  • Mix soap with water in a bucket and gently wipe panels
  • Avoid abrasive sponges or harsh soaps to prevent scratching
  • Clean panels when moist or wet for easier dirt removal
  • Regular cleaning reduces maintenance calls and ensures optimal sunlight absorption
  • Use long-handled wiper for ground cleaning; take safety precautions when cleaning from the roof

While you can do this yourself, it’s advisable to have certified installers or maintenance services clean the solar panel system to prevent damage. 

FAQs About the Costs of Solar Panel Installations

How much does the solar roof cost in Vancouver, British Columbia?

As of May 2024, in Vancouver, the average cost of solar panels is $2.77 per watt. With a 30% federal solar tax credit, a typical 6 kW solar system would cost around $11,633. According to the Solar Reviews report, below is the estimated price for a residential solar system based on size.

System Size Average Cost/Watt Average System Cost (After tax credit)
10 kW$2.65$18, 542
9 kW$2.67$16, 839
8 kW$2.77$15, 521
7 kW$2.75$13, 454
6 kW$.277$11, 633

What are the Costs of Solar Panels By Type?

When budgeting for a solar panel installation, you’ll encounter three types of panels. Each type varies in price, so consider the differences before making your choice.

Solar Panel TypeSystem Cost – 6 kW (Materials Only)Per Watt Cost 
Monocrystalline Solar Panels$6,000–$9,000$1.00–$1.50
Polycrystalline Solar Panels$5,400–$6,000$0.90–$1.50
Thin-Film Solar Panels$3,000–$9,000$0.50–$1.5

How Much Can You Save With Installed Solar Panels?

A solar installation of sixteen 300-watt photovoltaic solar panels, totaling 4.8 kW in installed capacity, can generate around 5,760 kWh annually under ideal conditions. This could save you approximately $564 on your yearly energy bills.

What Is The Cost Of Grid-Tied Solar Systems?

The cost of a grid-connected solar panel system varies based on factors like system size, property location, and panel type. A small 2 kW power system can range from $4,000 to $6,000, while a larger 5 kW system may cost upwards of $7,000 or more for commercial systems. 


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Start Making Your Home Energy Efficient

Switching to clean energy offers cost savings and environmental benefits. With Canada’s increasing renewable energy capacity, this is the best time for homeowners to consider solar panel installation. While understanding the basics about solar installation, maintenance, and costs, seeking professional help from certified installers like MAG Solar gives more insights on your power needs, installation requirements, and other accompanying services to achieve a more sustainable future

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Clean Energy Investment Tax Credit: A 30% refundable tax credit on investment capital costs until 2034.
  • Agriculture Clean Technology Program: The Adoption Stream offers non-repayable contributions (up to 50% of $2M) to support Canadian farmers and processors in adopting clean technology to reduce carbon emissions.
  • Canada Greener Homes Grant: Encourages homeowners to make energy-efficient updates. Grants available up to $5,000 for solar panels. 
  • Canada Greener Homes Loan: Interest-free financing in addition to the Canada Greener Homes Grant, offering up to $40,000 with a 10-year interest-free repayment term.
  • Smart Renewables and Electrification Pathways Program: Provides financial aid to eligible renewable energy and grid modernization projects during construction.

While many roof types work, asphalt shingles are the most popular. They’re strong and durable and can support panels’ weight well. Certified installers find these roof types easy to install solar systems, making them ideal for hands-on homeowners in Vancouver, BC. The crucial factor for any roof is having ample sunlight for optimal production.

According to a Metro Vancouver solar guide, municipalities mandate an electrical permit, and most also require a building permit for safety protocols. Additional requirements may include drawings and an engineer’s structural report. Some municipalities may also request a development permit or variance.

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