This system is unobtrusively mounted on the roof of a scenic home by the Saint John River, in a clearing that allows the sun to reach the panels at all points throughout the day. The system, which was installed in August of 2016, features 6 solar panels for a total capacity of 2.84kW, and the owner says he is interested in expanding his system. To prepare for this, he purchased an inverter that can handle up to 6kW capacity – more than double the current capacity. To keep track of the system’s electricity generation the owner uses the NB Power net metering program, as well as Enphase MyEnlighten software, which can track the productivity of individual panels. Fundy Solar, of whom the owner only has positive things to say, installed the system.
Prior to installation of the solar panels, the owner purchased an air-to-air heat pump to save on heating & cooling costs for the home. He reports that immediately following installation, he saw savings of 25% on his heating bills. As long as the temperature is about -5°C, it can heat the entire house on its own. For temperatures down to -12°C, the heat pump runs in conjunction with a wood-burning stove. Any colder and the heat pump is turned off and the house is run solely on wood, as the owner states it is no longer efficient to use the heat pump. The electric heaters within the home are almost never used. The total cost of the heat pump was about $4000.
The owner acknowledges the long payback period of the solar photovoltaic system, which is partially due to the fact that the system was sized to accommodate a future expansion. The owner estimates he will save $375 – $500 each year on electricity costs, depending on how much sun there is. The owner believes that even though he may not see the return on investment for the system in his lifetime, it was an important choice to make because it’s a step towards a better, cleaner planet.