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Want to see what actual systems are producing?Check out real-time production data from systems in Nova Scotia
This page shows how we calculate savings for a solar system in Nova Scotia ♥Assumptions: Graphs are based on a 9.75 kW system (30 * LG325 watt panels paired with Enphase iQ7 micro inverters) priced at $24,300 (installation cost included but not including HST, an escalation rate of 3.6% annually, a rebate amount of $/watt DC totaling $9,750 and a panel degradation rate of 0.5% annually. Azimuth 180 degrees + 25 degree slope with losses of 12.7% spread over several factors such as shading, soiling, snow, DC to AC ratio etc... Production estimates taken from the NREL's PV Watts API (National Renewable Energy Lab).
To get the exact payback period you would need to multiply the kWh production for each year in the system's lifespan (25 - 35 years) factoring in the 0.5% degradation rate by the corresponding year's utility rate factoring in a linear increase in the value of power (we use 3.6%). Once you have a value for each year for the next 25 years take the sum and divide it by the number of years. This will give you the average value of power produced for the system's lifespan. Divide the net cost of the system by that figure to get your payback period in years.
We calculated the total savings over 25 years for this system and got $66,349.99, averaging $2,653.99 per year.Net Cost With Rebate (Including HST): $16,732.50 | Payback period = 6.3 years | Net Cost Without Rebate (Including HST): $27,945.00 | 10.5 years
In other words, how much power will I have left to buy from my utility company?
To figure this out we take the estimated yearly kWh production of your solar system and divide it by your total yearly kWh usage. The result is an offset percentage, i.e. how much of your total electricity consumption that will be met by your solar system. This graph shows an offset of 78% because the system is estimated to produce 11,839.54 kWhs each year and the home owner spends an average of $200 per month on electricity. $200 per month is 15,000 kWhs per year.
11839 / 15000 = 78%.
- NSP’s rate will increase by 3.6% yearly,
- Your solar panels will degrade at a linear rate of 0.5% yearly,
- For graphs and calculations a 30 panel (9.75 kW) micro inverter system with a 180 degree azimuth and 25 degree slope was used (HRM, NS)
- Historically, provincial power rates have increased by an average of 3.6% annually,
- 3% annual increase is conservative and matches inflation,
- Industry analysts anticipate the rate to be $0.25/kWh by 2030.
Estimating the rate escalation isn’t easy. We can only go with our best predictions.
Currently NS residents receive a rebate of 66.6% of the HST that they pay for their power. That means that they are paying 5% HST instead of 15%. When you are replacing power that you would normally purchase from the utility company with green power that you have produced yourself you need to factor this in. Not only do you not pay for the kWhs that your system produces, you also don’t pay tax on it. So you can add 5% to all projected earnings based on: rate multiplied by kWhs produced (this has not been factored into our graphs and calculations). So is a dollar saved a dollar earned? With a solar system, not quite. When your system produces $1 worth of electricity, you have saved yourself from having to spend that dollar, meaning you've earned a dollar - tax free. In the real world you have to make more than a dollar to earn a dollar, sometimes significantly more. Food for thought.