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  1. Julian Egelstaff permalink

    So sorry!! The e-mail system was broken with meant the form wasn’t working, and I wasn’t getting notified of any feedback messages. I’ll send you an e-mail in case you still want to chat. I hope your project went well!

  2. Julian Egelstaff permalink

    We have been fairly lucky, until 2017 when we lost six months production and had to have the panels taken down and put back up due to pigeons wreaking havoc with the wiring! :( That did cost more than a year’s profit. But there was no way around it. On the plus side, when you take a loss like that in a business, you can deduct it against your other taxable income. That’s about the only bright side.

    Inverter problems are the number one thing you will run into and you can expect to have one or two issues over time. We are experiencing an inverter issue at the moment actually. Unfortunately, with the microFIT program winding down for good it seems, there are less companies doing service. I will update my site with details of our most recent service situation once it’s complete.

  3. Julian Egelstaff permalink

    Thank you so much! I am so glad you found the site useful and it helped get more solar power into the world. :)

  4. Julian Egelstaff permalink

    Yes, the amounts have decreased over time, and the problem is now accepting any further applications at this time in fact. :(

  5. Julian Egelstaff permalink

    Yes, 2017 there was a huge problem, due to a pigeon infestation. We had to have the system removed, rewired, put back in place, and we had a “squirrel guard” put around it that should keep the pigeons out too! :(

  6. Julian Egelstaff permalink

    Thanks! You would need to contact a firm that does installations to get specific technical drawings, etc.

  7. Julian Egelstaff permalink

    Multiplying by 3 would give a rough idea. As for costs and financing…your mileage may vary, a lot! Run the numbers carefully and don’t expect to make a ton of money.

  8. Kelly permalink

    Cool house ! I am grade 7 student and I am interested in you house for a science project. I was trying to send a message from the email link above, but it didn’t work, I was wondering if some one could take a look at this or if you have another way for me to contact you.

  9. Steven permalink

    Any Maintenance cost. For example re roof how much to take the panels down put back up again?One of our customers had inverter problems and couldn’t find anyone to fix it because the solar company went out of business.We found an electrician that would do it but it cost her $3000. This all makes the pay back longer.Sound like you have been lucky so far.

  10. I installed my 6KW net metering solar system in Scarborough. I did it all by myself. Your website helped me a lot during my planning. I am still watching it on everyday basis and learning by comparing production of both systems. I will put mine on a website some time. Thanks a lot for your precious work and for sharing it.

  11. Adi permalink

    Hello, is the information up to date on this page in terms of how much a homeowner can receive for solar installations similar in size to the one you have described as yours? Because as I understand it, the more popular the program has become over time, the government has reduced the incentives to homeowners for microFIT.

  12. Hey Julian, thanks for the site, great info. Your 2017 results are not showing .. a problem with the system?

  13. Your website is interesting. It provided me lot of information, Thanks.
    I am thinking to have one system on my roof but I want to do it myself. Can anyone help me a regarding application, like a single line diagram, inverter description etc.

  14. Tim permalink

    I stumbled across your website as I look into the option of installing a solar array on my roof through the microFIT program as well (I’m located in Hamilton).

    As electrical units aren’t my forte I want to be sure of things before I work my numbers.

    Based on what I read, you have 18 panels at 175W/panel giving you a 3.15KW system correct? That being said, I received an engineered report for my house to provide a 9.765KW system to my roof.

    Based on the graphs you provide, I should be able to take your numbers and 3x them to get an idea of the amount of energy I could generate correct? I know that it wouldn’t be exact due to house orientation etc, but I wanted to try and verify this first.

    Right now, I’m in the position of trying to convince my wife of going through with this, especially considering the program will be stopped after this year (from what I’ve heard).

    She can’t really look past the price tag ($33k) and the fact that the report provided showed only a $2700 profit over 15 years if we financed it through Vantage NRG. My plan was to include it into our mortgage when it comes time to refinance in 4 years, that way we don’t have to pay them off over 15-20 years.

  15. Julian Egelstaff permalink

    Thanks! :)

    Our panels are titled around 30 degrees, which is a very good angle for our latitude, in terms of maximizing production on an annual basis, because it favours spring/summer production when there is the most sunlight.

  16. Julian Egelstaff permalink

    Thanks! :)

    MicroFIT is for 10kW systems and under. How much power you could generate depends on lots of things. See How much power can our system produce? and How much money do you make? for more details.

    If you’re considering a system, you need to check out the official FIT/MicroFIT website for all the latest actual info. Good luck!

  17. John permalink

    Wow! Actual data! I’ve spent many hours looking for actual data showing how much electricity solar panels produce in the real world. Thank you!

    Correct me if I’m wrong. It appears your average “multiplier” is around 3.3. By that I mean with all else being equal (and of course it never is), a person could expect to get around 330 watts/day from a 100 watt panel at your latitude and installed with the same degree of tilt to the sun as you have. Are your panels tilted at near the ideal amount?

    Again, thank you.

  18. Chris permalink

    How much of an installation can fit under MicroFIT versus FIT? We are pondering a rural property, and with a 2 acre open field, a solar farm is a possibility.

    Since our plan would be to retire to the property in about 20 years, the idea of having it passively generate income in the interim is appealing. Is there a per-square-foot calculator someplace that gives a feel for how large you can go before hitting the program limits?

    Thanks for your site – great job compiling a lot of information!

  19. Julian Egelstaff permalink

    I have not heard of any damage to panels due to the ice storm. Ours appear to be working normally. Now that the sun is back towards its peak position for the year, we are seeing similar maximum output on certain days to what we have seen in previous years.

    Solar panels are manufactured with well sealed casings and hardened glass faces, to withstand hail and other typical weather events. The ice storm just piled a lot of ice on things, but didn’t hit with force, so damage from the weather event itself would be unlikely. Severe hail would be the thing to fear the most.

    The added weight of the ice could potentially damage power lines or other things that would be weighed down by it. However in a system that is flush-mounted to the roof, there isn’t really anything that is susceptible to crushing failures like that. The worst would be if for some reason you had a line strung out in open air between your roof and the inverter. In our case, the line goes down the back of the house, so it’s not an issue.


  20. Sam permalink

    Wondering about any horror stories or even good stories regarding damage or no damage due to the ice storm this winter to solar panels ?

  21. Julian Egelstaff permalink

    Hello Maria,

    All the math on what you can expect to earn is on this page of the site:

    The amount you make depends on the size of your system.

    I don’t see why anyone would make a special financing arrangement with the installer, instead of just getting financing themselves through a personal line of credit or something like that. Why interfere with your own flexibility of how you handle the money?

    Another factor, and maybe this is why they’re suggesting financing through the installer…the amount you’re paid by microFIT is not uniform throughout the year, due to the seasons. So you have to be able to save extra income in the summer to pay the financing cost in the winter, assuming your financing costs are uniform throughout the year. But maybe the installer is building that into the deal in this case. No need to worry about averaging things yourself. They’ll just take a cut off the top.

    Maybe that’s a convenience for some people, but still, I wouldn’t consider it worth muddying the waters.

    At the end of the day, the real issue with any financing arrangement is the interest rate. That’s almost the only thing that counts.


  22. Maria permalink

    Good afternoon,

    Thank you for setting up this informative website.

    I am hoping to get an insight for an Ontario based solar installation company that specialize in working with MicroFIT installations.

    This company offers their clients a way to use their solar energy to pay off the installation over the 20 year term. They conclude that a homeowner would earn between $400 to $1,000 per month. The kw rate is locked in for the term and will not alternate. Before you see your monthly deposit, a percentage is withdrawn to pay the investment. A partner bank offers financing at a low interest rate or find a lower rate from another source.

    Do you know homeowners that are enjoying this rate of return in Ontario? Thank you.

  23. Great website! thank you for sharing your expirience , and thanks for help the PV systems begin to come online in Portugal .

  24. Julian Egelstaff permalink

    Our insurance has always been through Meloche Monnex since before we installed the array. They had no problem with it. I have heard of people in your situation though, as described on the page of the site about insurance. I believe that the Green Energy Act was in part supposed to clarify this whole situation, and make it possible to generate power at your house, without it turning your house into a commercial building, for example. So there are rules in the Green Energy Act about zoning, I think, and other related things. I expect Allstate is simply misinformed about all this, and doesn’t understand microFIT. It may be an issue that your local MPP could help with, if in fact the Green Energy Act is supposed to make this kind of discrimination impossible. But really, who wants to fight with their insurance company. Just inform them that you’re taking your house and life and auto insurance business elsewhere to a company that is less ignorant.


  25. Ina permalink

    We just applied for the Ontario MicroFIT program. I phoned our Allstate Agent to let them know about the Solar panels which will be installed to see if the insurance premium would increase or not. I was very, very surprised when they told me that Allstate does NOT insure your house if you are in the MicroFIT program! Did you have problems with getting House Insurance because of the solar panels on your roof?

  26. Peter Sommerfeld permalink

    Thanks for all the detailed info!

    Just got my 10 KW system installed (44 x 235W Canadian Solar, 44 Enphase micro-inverters, with web monitoring). I managed to get an extension under the OPA.

    Just had a quick look at your site, I will definitely dig in deep.

    Thanks for your time!


  27. Julian Egelstaff permalink

    Update…you can now create graphs from your own Xantrex GT inverter logs (from SG-View or GT-View). Just follow the “Graph logs from your own system” links at the top of every page.

    Let me know how it goes!


  28. Julian Egelstaff permalink

    Thanks for the comments. :-) The monitoring program I use is SG-View, which is available at the Solar Guppy forums. You can find the link in the Links section of this site. I have a computer running all the time recording logs using SG-View, and those are sent to the website and processed, usually once a day, to create the graphs and update the other data. The processing is done by some custom PHP scripts I wrote, and the graphs are based on the open source pChart library. Details are on the How did you make this website page. The pChart example scripts on their website are probably the best starting place for graphing. As for parsing the data…well that really depends on what you want to capture and monitor and how you’re logging the data too. So it’s highly custom.

    I may polish some things up into general examples some time later, there’s no plans for that at the moment though. It would take some work to rejig them into something of general use and interest. I’m more interested in graphing consumption information since a little while ago I got access to our consumption data through Toronto Hydro. I also want to put a year summary graph online too.


  29. Ron Bell permalink

    Great looking website! And some nice numbers as well. Just got our microFIT online on the 18th – finally! This is precisely what I’m looking for to monitor our system – 54 Sanyo 210w panels connected to 2 Xantrex GT 5.0 invereters. I have yet to dive into my own website but this might be the push I needed. I also have never done any programming, but from what I’ve seen on the Wordpress site, I should be able to muddle through. Are the finished monitoring programs used on your site available for download? Thanks, and have a great holiday season. Play safe / rb

  30. Julian Egelstaff permalink

    Thanks! :-) The orientation was due to the shape of our roof, that’s how they would fit in the narrow space (it’s a townhouse). The software for capturing the stats is free software available for Xantrex inverters. I have a computer in the basement connected to the inverter and the internet, and it sends the details to the website. The graphs are done in PHP using freely available code libraries. Full details are on the How did you make this website? page. A shout out to people in the industry involved in such things…I would be interested in developing some nice, turnkey monitoring systems if anyone would like to collaborate on that, if there’s a business case. I think a lot of the monitoring software about there is hard to read and understand.


  31. Great Web site Julian!
    I see the modules were installed in landscape orientation. That’s unusual (requires straight trusses for one). Looking good though. What software are you using for the live production updates?

    Many happy kilo-Watt-hours!


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