How to Right-Size
Your Solar Power

Get the right-size solar power
system for your situation

Start saving money with your own limitless source of renewable energy

If you’re getting ready to make the investment in solar and start saving money with your own limitless source of renewable energy, one of the first tasks is determining the right-size solar power system for your situation.

There are several factors to consider when right-sizing your solar power system, but the first step is to determine your annual energy requirements. Once you know what your requirements are, we can start to look at the space you have available and determine the number and size of solar panels necessary to meet your needs. Finally, we can use that information to calculate how much cash you’ll save, along with your projected return-on-investment and pay-back period for your solar investment.

Let’s go through an example step-by-step and you’ll see for yourself how to make the calculations.

Solar Panel

How to Determine Your Annual Energy Requirements

The first step to right-sizing your solar power system is to determine your annual energy requirements. You’ll want to gather your past 12 months of utility bills to get a sense of how much money you’re paying for electricity throughout the year and exactly how much energy you’re consuming. Remember that electricity usage tends to fluctuate throughout the year and your bill will depend heavily on your choice of how you heat your home in the winter and keep it cool in the summer.

The rate that you pay for electricity will depend on your provider:

  •   SaskPower charges $0.14228 per kWh for residential customers

  • Skatoon Light & Power charges $0.1565 per kWh for residential customers

  • Swift Current Light & Power charges $0.15651 per kWh for residential customers

Add up the total from your last 12 utility bills – let’s imagine you get a total of $1500 – your total annual spend.

Now, determine who your provider is and divide your total annual spend by their electricity rate.

If your provider was SaskPower, you would do ($1500)/($0.14228/kWh) = 10,542 kWh.

This number, 10,542 kWh, is your total annual electricity consumption.

Under Saskatchewan’s net metering program, solar energy producers can power their homes using solar energy and feed any excess energy into the power grid for a credit against their electricity bill. If the amount of energy that you supply to the grid is greater than the amount of energy that you get from your provider on a yearly basis, you’ll end up paying $0 for electricity.

Go Net – Zero and Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

With climate concerns on the rise, we could all stand to live a little bit greener. Reducing your carbon footprint is all about adopting a lifestyle that limits your negative impacts on our environment. For homeowners, that can mean investing in energy-efficient upgrades like new windows and doors that trap heat in the winter or choosing energy-efficient appliances that use less electricity each year.

Solar power generation is an environmentally friendly, carbon-neutral and cost-effective solution for homeowners in Saskatchewan. Our solar power systems can power your home without contributing to air pollution or releasing harmful gases into the atmosphere that cause illness and damage the environment.

With the right technology and design, you can turn your home into a net-zero home that is extremely energy-efficient, costs less to heat and cool and that captures enough solar energy to power itself.

  • The quantity of energy you need to produce annually.

  • The power of each solar panel measured in Watts.

  • The size of each solar panel measured in metres squared.

  • The production ratio (efficiency) of the system.

Let’s go back to our annual electricity consumption of 10,542 kWh.

Let’s assume that we’re using 250W solar panels with a production ratio of around 1.4. This means that a 250W solar panel would produce 350kWh of energy in a year.

The 250W solar panels used for residential installations are typically 1.65m2 in surface area.

We can divide our annual electricity consumption by the total energy production per panel to determine the total number of panels that we would need: (10,542kWh/350kWh) = 30.12. It makes sense to round up to 31 panels in this case, just to make sure you’re generating enough energy.

With 31 panels in your solar array, you would need just over 51 square meters of space to fit all the panels onto your rooftop (assuming 1.65m2 per panel).

How to Determine your Potential Savings, ROI and Pay-back Period

Here’s where it gets interesting: it’s easy to calculate your return-on-investment for your solar power system now that you know how much power you’ll be generating.

Average cost of a solar system

In Saskatchewan, the average cost of a solar system is around $3.00 per Watt* of power, though this varies based on the specific requirements of each installation. The system that we described above has thirty-one 250W solar panels, for a total power of 7,750 Watts and an average installation cost of $23,250

One-time rebate on new solar installations

The government of Saskatchewan offers a one-time rebate of $0.61/W on new solar installations, so this system would qualify you for a government rebate of $4,727, bringing the total cost down to just around $18,500.

Pay zero dollars annually for electricity

Now that you’ve got your solar power system fully installed and operational, you’ll be paying zero dollars annually for electricity instead of the $1500 you were paying before. That works out to an annualized return-on-investment of just over 8% - is there any other investment you can think of that guarantees long term returns of 8% per year? You would recoup your initial investment after around 12 years, but it could be sooner if electricity rates increase (as they tend to do over time).

*Disclaimer: These prices do not accurately reflect Go Solar Sask’s day-to-day pricing estimates.

Benefits of Your New Solar Power System

The best part is that your new solar power system becomes an asset that increases the value of your home and provides you with long-term energy security. For each day that the sun rises in Saskatchewan, you’ll have free access to all the energy needed to power your home.

Are You Ready to Go Solar?

Ready to right-size a solar power system for your unique circumstances and budget? Try your own calculations and see for yourself why more and more of your neighbours are choosing to Go Solar - or get in touch and we’ll help you with a thorough needs assessment. You can also visit our core pages to learn more about what we have to offer:

  • Agricultural Install

    Agricultural Solar Panel Installation

  • Commercial Install

    Commercial Solar Panel Installation

  • 16.9kW System - Regina Saskatchewan

    Residential Solar Panel Installation

  • Off Grid Solar 1

    Off-Grid and Pre-ready Solar Kits

  • 16.425kw-solar-panel-system

    New Build Solar Panel Installation

Need Answers or Advice About Solar Power Generation?

We’re the Solar Power experts in your community. Drop us a line - we’d love to help.

    Need Answers or Advice About Solar Power Generation?

    We’re the Solar Power experts in your community. Drop us a line - we’d love to help.

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