Solar Panels Winter

Do Solar Panels Work in the Winter?

Solar Panels WinterIt’s a common myth that solar panels don’t work well in the winter. In fact, solar panels operate more efficiently in the cold. As solar panels get hotter, they produce less power from the same amount of sunlight. The white of the snow also reflects light and can help with performance.

Of course, the further north you go the shorter the days are in the winter. This means that depending on where you are located your solar array could produce between 10% to 25% less energy. However, this difference will be made up in the summer when the days longer than at the equator. Fortunately, Calgary is among the places in Canada that experiences the most sunshine. This means that despite a loss of energy production in the winter, Calgarians get to maximize their output.

What About the Snow?

Solar panels that are covered in snow will not produce energy. However, sunlight will penetrate snow up to a few inches and will warm the panel and help melt the snow. Also, since northern solar arrays need to be pitched to optimally produce, the angle well help the snow slide off. The ideal fixed pitch in Calgary is 51°.

The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) conducted a study to determine the impact of snowfall on solar panels. It showed that at a 53° pitch (ideal fixed pitch for Edmonton) the performance was only impacted by 3.02% during winter months and overall by 1.65% over the first 3 years of the study. This means the impact of snowfall on solar panels is minimal.

LED Saves Money

5 Reasons to Switch to LED Lighting

LED Saves Money
LED Lighting Saves

1. Up to 90% Energy Savings

90% more efficient compared to incandescent bulbs. Between 60% to 75% lower energy consumption compared to typical lights found in businesses.

2. Can Last 20 Years or More, Virtually Maintenance Free

Quality LED lights can have a lifespan of 50,000 hours or more. No bulbs and ballasts to change.

3. Excellent Colour Consistency

LED fixtures provide even and reliable light colour. LEDs offer a high Color Rendering Index (CRI) and come in a variety of Correlated Color Temperatures (CCT).

4. Environmentally Friendly

LED’s contain no mercury or other hazardous substances.

5. Government Rebates

Businesses and organizations who convert to LED lighting may be eligible for rebates with Energy Efficiency Alberta.

Save by Converting to LED Lighting:

A business that converts 118 fixtures to LED can:

  • Save $59,911.10 over 5 years.
  • Save $6,772.96 on electricity per year.
  • Save $5,209.26 on maintenance per year.                                  
  • Receive a rebate of $3,301.00.
  • See a Return On Investment in 1.5 years.

*Savings and rebates are estimates, contact Origin Electrical for a complete quotation.

Is Your Business Using Energy Efficiency Alberta Rebates?

Among the energy efficiency incentives the Alberta government introduced last summer are rebates for businesses to upgrade their lighting to new energy efficient LED bulbs and fixtures. Despite the programs popularity most businesses haven’t taken advantage of the rebates.

Below I’ve listed some common fixtures found in many businesses. I’ve also outlined some information that shows why every business should take advantage of this program!

Converting to LED lighting isn’t just about energy savings. It’s also an investment. A typical small retail store with 20 recessed fixtures can save $2000 or more on their energy bill, in bulb replacement and maintenance over 10 years

Origin can apply for pre-approval and handle the entire application from start to finish on your business’ behalf free of charge. Saving money is easy. Contact us and we can put together an upgrade plan that is right for you.

Alberta Announces Solar Rebate Program

Good news for Albertans interested in solar energy. This past Wednesday the provincial government rolled out a new rebate program. Albertans will now get reimbursed for a portion of the cost of installing solar panels on their home or business.

Installations will be rebated at a rate of $0.75 per watt. Homeowners will be able to recover up to the lessor of $10,000 or 30% of the cost. Businesses will be able to recover up to the lessor of $500,000 or 25% of the cost.

A typical residential solar installation would be 4000 watts, which would offset about 80% of the power usage of a typicality residential consumer. A 4000 watt install would cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $13,000. In this case, the rebate would amount to $3000 bringing the total cost of the installation down to $10,000.

It is a good time to invest in solar infrastructure. Visit www.efficiencyalberta.ca for everything you need to know.