Average Cost of Solar Panels In Canada 2018

The average cost of a solar power system in Canada is between $10,000 and $25,000 depending on the size of system required, your eligibility for rebates and tax credits, and even on the province that you live in. This page will cover everything you need to know to allow you to calculate the cost of solar power for your home or acreage.

Solar Power Price Estimate

Solar Power Cost Estimate

Note: if you’re researching solar power for the first time, it’s best to begin by reading your province’s Complete Solar Power Guide for important background information. If you’re looking simply looking for a detailed cost estimate for your home (including a 3D model, pictured above), you can request one by clicking here.

Otherwise, choose the most appropriate section below:

General Cost Information

Determining the cost of installing solar power on your home ultimately comes down to two main factors:

  1. The size of the system needed (in watts)
  2. The cost of the system (per watt)

The first step of determining your system size is the hardest part because a lot of information is needed. You’ll need to know your average yearly electricity usage, how much sunlight your home gets, and where you’re going to put your panels. This is all covered in the System Size Requirements section of this page.

The second step of determining the cost of your system is the easiest part. All you need to do is request a free cost estimate, or talk to a company you trust. In either case, the question that you want to know is “how much do you charge per installed watt?”. And then you simply multiply that number by the size of the system you need to get your total system cost.

Cost Per Installed Watt

As stated, the cost per installed watt is one of just two pieces of information that you need to determine the total cost of your system (the other is the system size).

Here is the average cost per installed Watt broken down by province:

Alberta$2.00-$3.00/Watt
British Columbia$2.50-$3.50/Watt
Manitoba$2.50-$3.50/Watt
Nova Scotia$2.00-$3.00/Watt
Saskatchewan$3.50-$4.00/Watt
(The rest coming June 1, 2018)

Rebates & Tax Credits

Solar Power Rebates and Tax Credits Canada

Depending on which province you live in, you may be eligible to reduce the cost of your system by taking advantage of a utility or provincial rebate or tax credit program. For a general overview of rebates you can visit the Solar Power Incentives Page or you can read about your potential rebates in-depth on your province’s Complete Solar Power Guide.

Performance Payments

Net Metering Canada

Another important piece of information that you’ll likely want to know is how much your utility provider is willing to pay you for the energy that you produce (if you want to stay on the grid). Some utilities (like BC Hydro) will pay you for excess power that you produce, while other (like SaskPower) will only allow you to reach net zero. Complete information about performance payment programs (often called net metering or net billing) can be found on ourĀ Solar Power Incentives Page or in your province’s Complete Solar Power Guide.


System Size Requirements

As mentioned, there are just two pieces of information that you need to determine how much installing solar power will cost for your home or acreage:

  1. The size of the system needed (in watts)
  2. The cost of the system (per watt)

The section is all about determining the size of the system you need.

Energy Usage

Solar systems are sized based on the energy output that’s required. Thus, you’ll need to determine how much energy you use over the course of a year (in units of kWh) by adding up the amount shown on your power or hydro bill.

All electricity bills are slightly different, but let’s take this one from Manitoba Hydro as en example. You can easily see that this customer used 86 kWh in the month of October:

Manitoba Hydro Bill

Go ahead and add up your bills for 12 consecutive months to determine your yearly usage. This number is typically in the range of 7,500kWh for a normal sized city home.

Energy Output

The next thing you need to know is how much energy your panels can produce based on the area that you live in. Output is based purely on the amount of equivalent full sunlight hours that you get during the year. This number changes depending on elevation and weather patterns (clouds, snow, rain, etc.).

Here is the annual average equivalent of full sunlight hours broken down by province:

  • Alberta (1,301 hours)
  • British Columbia (1,064 hours)
  • Manitoba (1,293 hours)
  • New Brunswick (1,140 hours)
  • Newfoundland and Labrador (943 hours)
  • Northwest Territories (1,637 hours)
  • Nova Scotia (1,068 hours)
  • Nunavut (1,116 hours)
  • Ontario (1,195 hours)
  • Prince Edward Island (1,109 hours)
  • Quebec (1,153 hours)
  • Saskatchewan (1,336 hours)
  • Yukon (971 hours)
  • Canada Average (1,132 hours)

Final Calculation

Now that you know both your annual usage and the average annual full sunlight hours that your house gets, you can calculate the size of the system you need with the following equation:

Size of system needed (in kW) = yearly energy use (in kWh) / annual average equivalent of full sunlight hours (in hours)

So let’s pretend you added up your power bills and determined that you use 10,000 kWh in the course of a year, and you lived in the province of Ontario which receives an annual average of 1195 full sunlight hours per year. You would do the above calculation to determine that the size of the system you need is 8.37 kWh!

(10,000 kWh / 1,195h = 8.83 kW)

This number can then be multiplied by the cost per watt quoted by your installer (note that 1 kW = 1,000 watts).


Do You Want A More Accurate Cost Estimate?

Solar Power Output Calculator

Please note that this paged described the most accurate way that you can calculate the cost of your solar system yourself.

But if you’re interested in obtaining a personalized quote that includes a 3D model, custom home shading by trees or neighbours, and a 1-year sunlight simulation using your exact geographic information, then simply click here for a free cost estimate.


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Where did you get this data from?