Frequently Asked Questions
There is a lot of information on the Internet and in the media about Solar technology that may be a little confusing and overwhelming. We would like to make it easier for consumers to understand the technology and different products that are available on the market today.
We've compiled a list of questions and answers that may help you choose the right product for your home, and to set your short term and long term goals.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. We are just a phone call away!
What is the Solar PV Lease-to-own program?We at SALT Inc. understand that everyone’s financial situation and goals are different. Solar power systems are still relatively expensive and not everyone can afford or is willing to put up a lamp sum for future benefits. That is why we started offering our unique 20-year Solar PV Lease-to-own program to our customers. Under this program, not only SALT Inc. will install a solar power system at your house at absolutely no cost for you, but we will also guarantee a fixed monthly income for you for 20 years! In addition, we will take care of the system maintenance and repairs for 20 years (or as long as you continue leasing the system), so that you don’t have to worry about anything! What makes us unique is that SALT Inc. is the only company in Ontario that offers a no-penalty flexible payout option. With this option, you can pre-pay a portion of the full system cost within the first 5 years of the lease and enjoy the full benefit of the Ontario’s micro-FIT program. This is like taking a year-long test drive before deciding to buy a car!
Why don’t I have to pay a thing?The reason why you do not have to pay a thing under our Lease-to-own program is that the Ontario Government has committed to pay a guaranteed rate (currently at 38.4 cents per kWh for rooftop solar PV systems under micro-FIT program) for the energy that the solar system on your roof will produce over 20 years. Thus, if you can’t afford a solar system or do not want to invest your money into a solar system, our company is prepared to finance the complete project for you and share with you the financial reward.
What happens if I want to buy a solar system instead of opting for the free program?If you want to pre-pay the full cost of a solar system installation and own the system from day one, we give you that option as well. Our 10 kW Solar PV systems yield around 12% ROI (Return on Investment) over 20 years or around $4,700 a year at the current micro-FIT rate (assuming unobstructed South-facing roof). Obviously, you are the best person to decide what works for you – however, 90% of our customers prefer not to pay a cent.
How long do the solar panels last?We at SALT Inc. work hard to ensure that our customers receive the most advanced technology available on the market at the time of installation, both in terms of performance output and reliability. We use only superior quality components (solar panels and inverters) from industry’s leading manufacturers that are known for their continuous innovation, rigorous quality control and adherence to strict international quality standards. The solar panels that we use all come with a 25 year manufacturer's performance warranty. The estimated life of a solar panel is between 30 and 40+ years. Thus, after 20 years when you own the solar panels out right you should still receive an estimated $40,000 to $80,000 of financial benefits from the solar panels on a 10kW system.
Yes, the sun is that powerful!
Who insures the solar panels?Our chosen solar panels manufacturers offer a comprehensive product and performance warranty that is backed by a 25-year, non-cancellable insurance policy issued by A.M. Best rated, investment grade insurance underwriters. This means that the solar panels will still be insured even in the unlikely event that the manufacturer goes out of business.
What happens if my roof gets damaged after the solar panels installation?Should any damage be done to your house because of the solar panels or because of the solar panel installation, all damages are covered under our liability insurance.
What happens if I sell my home?If you sell your home, the solar power system and its benefits will transfer to the new homeowner. Thus, the new homeowner would then start receiving the monthly amounts paid, as well as they will own the system out right at the end of the 20-year contract. There is no charge for either the buyer or the seller for the transfer to the new owner. Regardless whether you lease the solar power system from us (under SALT Inc.’s Solar PV Lease-to-own program) or whether you invested your own money into it, the system is very valuable as it will provide benefits to the home owners even beyond the 20-year micro-FIT contract. SALT Inc. can help you and your agent determine the added value that your solar power system gives to your home when you sell it.
Why not all roofs qualify?Unfortunately, there is not enough solar exposure at certain angles and on certain roofs facing certain directions to warrant the costs of installing solar panels there. Shading from trees or any nearby buildings also affect the solar energy generation. As part of your property assessment, we determine if your roof gets enough sunlight to make the investment worthwhile.
I don’t own my house - is there any way I can help Ontario go green with solar?If you would like to see more solar panels go up, you can help us by spreading the word to those you know who own a house in Ontario. For any referral that installs a solar system with us, we will pay you up to $500 in referral fee and a million thanks for helping make Ontario a greener place.
What are other factors that might not get my roof accepted into the micro-FIT program?The IESO (Independent Electricity System Operator) and your Local Distribution Company (LDC) will only approve so many micro-FIT contracts per transformer. Usually, a transformer can service between 4 and 8 homes. If one or two homes on your transformer have already been approved by the IESO, it is unlikely that the IESO will approve our proposal – as the IESO does not want to overload a transformer with potentially unused energy that they would be paying 38.4 cents per kWh for. Thus, it is smart to apply for the micro-FIT program as soon as possible to avoid having your application rejected by the IESO due to homes around you already being approved by the program. In addition, the IESO will only approve 50MW’s of solar panel micro-FIT contracts per year.
How do I ensure we are paid our share of the profit from this program?We are not in the business of making false claims. As such, we provide you with a login name and password to an independent Solar Monitoring Portal so you can track the exact number of kW hours your system produces and match that with our payments back to you based on the size of your system.
Will my house value go up or down after I install a solar system on the roof?Your house value will certainly go up! According to real-estate statistics in California, homes with solar power systems are selling faster and are being sold for more money. Here in Ontario such statistics are not being collected and few people are aware of it. As more people will learn about the benefits of clean solar energy, the “California effect” will happen here as well.
This is another reason for taking advantage of our free solar installation program. The new solar systems we install will immediately add between $40,000 and $90,000 to the value of your house, depending on the size and layout of your roof. Please see examples of actual systems below.
Another thing to keep in mind - being connected to the grid, you will be able to take advantage of the Net-Metering program after the micro-FIT contract ends. Under the Net-Metering program, for every kilowatt-hour you produce you will get the equal amount of electricity for free. In other words, your solar power system will continue adding value to your home even after 20 years. This alone will make your home more valuable to a potential purchaser as your home’s electricity bill will be offset by the energy your home produces – making it an asset to the homebuyer.
How am I paid for power I generate?If you lease a solar power system from us, then we will deposit a guaranteed monthly amount directly to your bank account. If you purchased your system or paid out the full lease amount, then you will be paid directly by your current Local Distribution Company (LDC) for all electricity generated by your solar power system, corresponding with your existing electricity billing cycle dates.
What happens once my micro-FIT contract expires?Solar panels are built to last. Despite the fact that the contract will end after 20 years, your solar power system will continue producing energy for years beyond that expiration. Your options at that time depend on the situation in Ontario. Options may include continuing to sell the electricity to the grid (under a Net-Metering program), or connecting the system to your home so you can directly use the electricity it generates and save hundreds if not thousands of dollars off your energy bill.
Solar panels are more expensive then I thought; can we get a cheaper system?SALT inc. has a best price policy that insures the client gets the best value for their investments. A solar system is an investment with a very high return and SALT Inc. selects the best technology on the market to ensure safe and long term return on investment. Of course, if you cannot afford to pay the full amount, our flexible Lease-to-own plan gives you an option to invest a portion of the cost and still enjoy a high return on your investment.
How can I afford the investment?If you would like to own a solar power system from day one and are looking for ways to finance it, SALT Inc. can help you obtain a loan or a line of credit to cover the cost of the system. We partner with major Canadian banks and private investment companies that offer competitive interest rates on solar system loans, depending on your credit score and the amount of equity in your home. One of the most attractive benefits of this investment is that it pays itself without affecting the home owner's cash-flow or budget. The money generated by solar power system can be applied towards paying the line of credit in a short period of time or paying your home mortgage faster!
My roof needs to be changed, how will solar panels affect the lifespan of my roof?If your roof has old shingles (over 10-15 years), we recommend replacing them before the solar panels are installed. Most of our clients in this situation would use the money generated by the solar system to finance the cost of the roof repair (or any other home renovation cost for that matter). This is another benefit of having a solar power system installed at your home. Despite many buyers’ concerns, solar panels actually protect your roofing material from damage, therefore increasing its longevity.
How are the solar panels attached? Will they be drilling any holes in my roof?We do make holes in the roof when mounting a flush roof mount system and in some flat roof scenario. However, we make sure that the all holes are covered with our water-tight flashing system that is carefully sealed to prevent any leakage. This is no different than installing roof vents.
Will this affect my property tax?None of our customers reported any increase in their property tax as a result of solar panels installation.
Will this affect my home insurance?Most insurance companies do not increase home insurance premiums when solar panels are installed, because they should already be covered along with other home content, such as electronics, jewelry, etc. But we suggest checking with your home insurance provider if this is the case in your situation. Some companies may require a certificate of electrical inspection (ESA) or other information about the system, which we will happily provide to our customers.
The greatest benefit of all is clean energy!