How much does it cost to install solar panels in BC?

How much do solar panels cost is probably the number one question our potential clients ask us on a daily basis. From permitting (in some areas) to project installation, engineering, materials such as the panels themselves, and labor, adding home solar panels will typically cost between $9,000 to $18,000. The total investment required for your solar energy system will be entirely dependant on your own personal situation and home, like the square footage, how much energy you want to offset with solar (can be up to 100%, or in some cases, more), and the quality of the equipment we select together (we only install top tier brands, but we have some premium options available such as sleek black solar panels).

How does solar panel energy work in BC?

The third most common question we get from potential clients is don’t you need batteries to go with the solar energy system? The answer to that is no, batteries are not required when installing solar panels. The vast majority of solar power systems in BC are tied to the grid. This means that the system feeds directly into the existing power grid infrastructure and does not require batteries. Any excess power generation is stored as a credit on your BC Hydro bill and is then automatically used when there is a demand for power coming from your home.  This process is called net-metering and it’s how most people operate their solar energy systems. Having said that, a fair number of people still want battery backup power for their home, and we can certainly help with that as well. We are a Certified Tesla Powerwall Installer as well, and we can help you with your backup power needs as well. See more info on Powerwall here: Tesla Powerwall.

Return and payback period of solar in BC

Probably the second most common question we get here at Shift Energy Group, is what will the payback, or return be on my investment in solar power? The answer to this will typically depend on how many kilowatts your system is, how much energy you consume, and how good is your specific house for accommodating solar panels. For example, is your roof facing in the south direction for maximum sun exposure? Do you have trees blocking the sun throughout the day?

Our typical home solar installation client will see financial returns of somewhere in the 5-10% range. When compared to other safe investment alternatives, this is an attractive number for most people. As far as the payback period goes, there are different ways to look at it. Some people look at it as the intangible payback can be instantaneous, with the increase in home asset value. Studies have shown that installing a solar system on your home can increase the value of the home by around $3 per watt of solar installed, which normally equates to at least the cost of the system. That’s “on paper” money and it’s not realized unless there’s a sale, we get that, so we normally don’t preach the asset increase too much, but it is a factor that should be considered. The direct financial payback period is usually somewhere around 10 to 15 years if you don’t take the increased asset value into consideration. The good news is, this number can come down to as low as around 5 to 10 years with the new government rebates available (more on that later). Wouldn’t you rather own your power eventually, than have to pay BC Hydro forever?  We would.

Our solar panel installation service areas

Our solar panel installation service area includes all locations, From the Southern tip to the Northern tip of Vancouver Island, and the entire lower mainalnd. If you don’t see your specific location listed here, reach out to us, chances are we service there too.

  • Vancouver
  • Victoria
  • Nanaimo
  • Courtenay/Comox
  • Cowichan Valley
  • Chilliwack
  • Abbotsford
  • Surrey
  • Vancouver Island
  • Lower Mainland

Are there rebates available for solar in BC?

Greener Homes Grant
In June of 2021, the Canadian Federal government announced that they will now pay homeowners up to $5,000 to make their homes more energy-efficient. This includes solar panel installations in BC. This rebate also covers up to $600 of a home energy audit, which will be the required first step to qualifying for this grant. This is a super exciting incentive available for people looking to go solar and makes the financial return and cost of going solar that much more attractive!
Contribute to a cleaner future
Net metering
When you have a grid-tied solar system, you will receive a credit from BC Hydro when you generate more energy than you use with your solar power system. This isn't really a solar rebate that's available, but rather a perk or benefit people who add solar to their home can take advantage of.
PST exemption
If you are planning on investing in solar panel installation in BC, you will be eligible to receive a provincial sales tax exemption on your solar energy system equipment.

Is solar power the right choice for you?

People in BC install solar panels for a wide array of reasons. Some are financially motivated, some want backup power sources, some want to have more control of the energy production, others are environmentally focused, and some people just think it’s a really cool technology. Whatever your reason for installing solar panels in BC, we at Shift are here to help you make the right decision for yourself. Our solar sales staff are more consultants than anything else. We’re not here to sell you something you don’t want, we are just here to consult with you, answer questions, and help you make the right decision for you and your family. If you think solar energy is the right thing for you, or you are unsure if it, please feel free to give us a shout and we’ll walk you through the pros and cons, system production, and options for your specific property, whether that be a residential property or a commercial property. We install solar panels throughout BC.