The microFIT program is for renewable energy projects of 10 kilowatts or less. It is designed to be of interest to homeowners and farmers as well as institutions, such as schools and places of worship but If you own rental properties it could work out for you as well.

Watch the videos. Read the content and make an informed decision. The window of opportunity is closing fast. The IESO will accept applications under the microFIT Program up to and including Thursday, December 28, 2017, or until the 50 MW procurement target is reached.

The time to act is now.

There’s an old saying most people today subscribe to and I think it is standing directly in the way of progress. The saying is this: “If an offer seems too good to be true then it probably is.” And if you are a subscriber nine times out of ten you would be right. But there is the odd time you will miss an extremely good opportunity. This may be one of them. Don’t make the mistake of  overlooking this as a potential stream of income. It may seem to be to good to be true but renting out the roof of your rental unit could be your best move yet.

Here’s what to do next.

Contact your local solar installer and let them know you would like to have your roof assessed to see what the potential electrical output would be. Find out if your roof qualifies for guaranteed funding through the program.

microFIT Program Update – July 12, 2017

This is to advise that 2017 is the last year that the IESO will accept applications for the microFIT Program. The IESO will accept applications under the microFIT Program up to and including Thursday, December 28, 2017, or until the 50 MW procurement target is reached. Read full news article.   en français

Beginning in 2009 the Ontario Power Authority (now the IESO) has been overseeing the microFIT program. A program in which the government allows eligible participants to develop a small or “micro” renewable electricity generation project.   This program is an opportunity that allows groups or individuals to benefit from generating their own clean energy. The efforts of the Ontario government is to increase the renewable energy footprint in the province.  As a participant in this program, you will be paid a guaranteed price over a 20-year term for all the electricity you produce and deliver to the province’s electricity grid.

The number of solar projects in Ontario is growing more and more each day. The people of Ontario have been benefiting from the incredible earning potential of renewable energy on their property. In this time of skyrocketing electricity costs, and unprecedented environmental issues, Ontario’s microFIT program is here to provide financial relief and aid in the important conservation of our planet with the added benefit of reducing our dependence on the existing system.

For the government of Ontario the development of  a network of independent power providers was a solution to a big problem. It was becoming next to impossible for their existing system to meet the demand of a growing population.

They needed an innovative solution and they needed it to come from a source of clean energy. Solar energy is everywhere. The challenge is collecting and converting it to electrical energy that can be fed back into the grid.

The solution is to install solar cells on homes and businesses to collect the free energy, meter it and feed it right into the grid. The  Ontario Power Authority (now the IESO) would pay the independent provider a premium for the power to encourage participation and cover the cost of the solar cells and their installation. The premium paid has been as much as 60 cents per KWH.

Now the problem was, where would the money come from to purchase the solar cells and have them installed. The fact that the government guaranteed to purchase the power produced for the next 20 years at a fixed price gave the lenders the security they needed to make the loans. Home owners and small business owners could borrow 100%  of the funds needed for the solar panel installation and pay the loan off with the income generated.

The solar provider estimates the energy that will be produced from your installation by looking at the size and orientation of the potential install.  They help with the paperwork to have the install government approved and hook you up with a lender. The lender provides a loan based on the information they provide. The cash flow from the installation pays the loan.

Over time the loan is paid off and the installation continues to produce. All things being equal you will be making money for years to come but the next question should be answered first.

So what Is the Lifespan of a Solar Panel?

Well, over a long period of timesolar panels do wear out in the sense that they become less efficient at converting solar energy into usable electricity. The panel structure itself (frame, glazing, etc.) should not wear out, barring manufacturer defects. The problem lies in degradation of the solar cells within.

Photovoltaic (PV) modules typically come with 20 year warranties that guarantee that the panels will produce at least 80% of the rated power after 20 years of use. The general rule of thumb is that panels will degrade by about 1% each year.

Install Solar Panels: How Can You Benefit?

  • Receive money by selling electricity back to the grid – install a microFIT or FIT solar panels system and benefit from Ontario’s Government Incentives for 20 years!
  • Reduce your utility bill by 50-100% – install a Net-Metering Solar panels system and receive utility credits for your energy production
  • Increase value of your property– expect $3500 added to the resale value of your house for every $1000 investment in your solar panels system (according to some researches)
  • Stop paying your hydro by going Off-Grid. This way you will be producing your own electricity at the point where it is being consumed, and will eliminate expensive transmission and distribution charges.
  • Go Green! – Help combat air pollution. By installing solar panels and generating electricity you will help to phase out coal-fired power plants in Ontario. Rooftop solar together with the other forms of energy generation will eventually eliminate Ontario’s need to invest heavily in new power plants, costly transmission lines and other forms of electricity infrastructure.

Becoming a renewable energy generator can be a long process and there is very little time left to qualify. Mistakes made at certain stages of the microFIT process can set the construction of your renewable energy facility back weeks or even months. To get the process started, a microFIT application will have to be submitted to the IESO.  For this to be done a registration must be completed before a microFIT application can be filled out and submitted to the IESO.

What to ask your solar installer

sun energyIt’s important to know what to ask and to understand the answers given. A professional company will perform your site assessment, shading analysis, provide you with a solar modules layout, quote and financial analysis of your solar investment but you may want to hire a project manager to make sure you have the best possible installation for your location.

Here are some of the questions I would ask a solar panel provider in order to make sure that happened:

  • Do you have experience installing solar panel systems in Ontario? How many systems have you installed in Ontario?
  • Can you provide a list of past customers who would be willing to provide references?
  • Are your installers qualified to install the project? Do they meet all necessary safety regulations, licensing and certification requirements?
  • Are you registered with the Better Business Bureau?
  • Do you provide warranties on your labour and products?
  • Do you have general liability insurance to cover property damage or injury?
  • Do you have any pending or active legal judgements against your company?
  • Will you assess my property to ensure that the system is installed at an optimal location? For example, will you ensure that my solar panel system is not in a shaded area?
  • Will you order all the required equipment for the project? What is the full cost of the total installation?
  • Is there any fees that are not included on the quote?
  • What are the ongoing operating and maintenance costs I can expect and who will be responsible for them?
  • Will you arrange for all necessary approvals and permits? This includes:
    • Building Permit(s)
    • Offer to Connect from the Local Distribution Company (LDC)
    • Authorization to Connect from the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA)
    • Renewable Energy Approval, if required.
  • Will you work with my Local Distribution Company to arrange for connection to the grid? This includes:
    • preparing the connection configuration diagrams
    • arranging for payment of the connection costs
    • helping prepare the connection agreement with the local distribution company
    • arranging for installation and testing of the meter.
  • Will you help me prepare my microFIT Program application?