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Solar Photovoltaic Cells for the Kingston Home FAQ

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This page will contain a list of questions and answers related to installing PV on a home in Kingston, ON.

The Questions are grouped into the following categories:

  • Technological
  • Financial
  • Administrative
  • General
  • Feed in Tariff (FIT) FAQs


Technological FAQs

What type of solar panel is best?

Emily, Amir, Matt, Steven

Does the efficiency of the Solar Panel decrease over time?

Matt, Steven, Amir

Does Kingston have enough solar energy for solar panels to be feasible? What about Winter?

Amir, Lindsay, Ha

Are solar panels environmentally friendly?

Renee, Colin (LCA etc)

Can they be recycled?

Renee, Colin

Are solar panels safe (health, environment etc?)

Renee, Colin

Are there certified installers and retailers in Kingston?

Several retailers and installers can be found at SWITCH.

These include:

  1. Downunder Solar and Electrical
  2. Eco Alternative Energy
  3. Quantum Renewable Energy Inc.
  4. Renewable Energy of Plum Hollow Inc.

Where can I find out about renewable energy dealers, sales, installation and equipment?

What is the warrantee on Solar Panels?


What do the terms on-grid, grid-connected, grid-tied and off-grid mean?

On-grid, grid-connected or grid-tied means connected to the utility electrical grid. Off-grid refers to systems that are not connected to the utility electrical grid. An off-grid system must be custom designed by a solar power expert. [1]

How hard is it to get connected to the grid?

Lindsay, Amy

What if bird droppings fall on my panel?

Amir, Ha

What if a projectile or object hits my panels (roof top or ground mounted)?

Amir, Ha

What does "energy conversion efficiency" mean?

Amir, Emily

Will my system work on cloudy days?

Amir, Emily

Why is shade a problem?

Amir, Emily, Lindsay

What happens if there is a power outage?

Colin, Renee

What are the disadvantages to using solar energy?

Steven, Matt

Can the modules withstand high winds and hail?

Emily, Amir

How long will my solar power system last?

Kadra, Steven, Matt

Can I be totally independent from the utility?

Amy, Lindsay

How can I tell a water heating panel from a solar electric module?

Lindsay, Amy

Can I add reflectors or mirrors around the solar panels to increase the power they generate?

Financial FAQs

What is the Feed in Tariff (FIT) and how does it affect me?


How can I get a site investigation and financial feasibility study done on my house?

Kadra, Emily

Does it cost me to apply for the FIT?

Kadra, Emily

Will Solar Panels affect the property value of my house?

Kadra, Emily

Can I sell my panels to the manufacturer or other users second hand?

Emily, Kadra, Amir

Are Solar panels too expensive to install to give me back a reasonable return?

Do you really think solar and renewable energies are a good investment?

Kadra, Amir, Emily

How do I get financing?


What maintenance does the system require? How much does the maintenance cost?

Kadra, Amir

Will Insurance companies cover my panels?


Is the FIT better than the RESOP ?

Lindsay, Emily

The FIT is an improved program, geared towards increasing the amount of residential PV

Are government incentives available to reduce the price?

Kadra, Emily

Are there discounts or other ways to reduce the cost of my system?


Kadra09 18:52, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

Administrative FAQs

Do I need approval from my homeowners’ association?

Some homeowners’ associations have rules regarding the installation of anything on your roof or grounds. If you belong to a homeowners’ association, consult your covenants for details.

If I rent a home or apartment, can I still get a system?


Do I need permission from the local utility to connect my solar system to the grid?

Lindsay, Amy

What if I need a new roof or am building a new house?

Lindsay, Kadra, Emily

General FAQs

What happens if I move/ sell my house?


Does investing in Solar PV and other renewables help the economy and the environment?

Renee, Colin

What support groups or resources exist in Kingston?

Amy, Lindsay (can you add others?)

  2. Utilities Kingston

Can I install it myself?

Amy, Amir

Feed in Tariff FAQs

More answers to FAQs regarding the FIT can be found at “Online Q&A”, OPA FIT

How long does it take to get a FIT contract?

Kadra, Matt

What are the requirments to getting a contract?

What income is generated by having solar panels?

Is the revenue generated from the solar panels taxable?

  • Yes. The electricity sold to the OPA is taxable.
  • Exemptions may be possible under the Assessment Act for certain types of property

Is the FIT indexed for inflation?

  • The contract price is increased 20% relative to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for Solar PVs, once in operation for the life of the contract.

What if technology changes or the FIT is reviewed?

  • New costs or changes in technology do not affect existing contracts. Reviews only affect new contracts.

When do contracts begin?

  • The OPA contracts will be offered almost automatically to the proponent upon connection to the grid after an application process.

What if I sell my home? Is the contract transferrable to the new homeowner?

  • The OPA contract can be assigned to the new homeowner upon the sale of the home. The new homeowner would be receive payment for the remainder of the contract payment term.


Kadra09 20:49, 5 June 2009 (UTC)