Frequently Asked Questions

Is Solar Right for you?

Your online guide for real solar Answers

How much are BC Hydro costs increasing?

Hydro costs have increased 21% in the past 4-5 years and the industry expects them to continue to rise 4% - 5% per year. With aging infrastructure and large capital investments many believe the increases will be more substantial in the years to come. Currently if you were to include GST, PST and tier 2 rates, Hydro costs in British Columbia are 13-14 cents per kilowatt hour.

What is a grid tied or off gird system?

A grid tied solar panel system is the most cost effective solar install. This essentially uses "the grid" as a free battery to dump your excess solar, should you not use it all up when you are producing it. The beauty of this is that BC hydro pays you back for what you give them through a program called "Net Metering". Off grid solar panel systems are very similar except we also install batteries for storage. These are typically more expensive and technical as they involve batteries and additional equipment. As the world moves towards tiered electrical metering we believe that in the very near future all homes will use an AC coupled system which is a blend of off grid and grid tied. This system will enable you to store your power locally in your house AND sell it back to BC Hydro.

Will it effect the value of my house? What if I move?

YES it will and don't worry about it!

Let us explain, as this is one of the most under-rated benefits of installing solar in your home.

A study in the United States showed that the value of a home with solar installed went up $2-$3 dollars per watt installed and also highlighted homes for quicker sales. To simplify, a common 4000W install would increase the value of your home by $8000 - $12,000. Often there is the concern of "what if I move". Leave it there, include install value in your sale and you'll not only pull your investment back out but also sell your home quicker.

If I want to run my whole house on solar, how much will that cost?

This is a tricky question because every house is different with wildly different electrical needs. A very easy example is that many houses are heated by natural gas, while some are electric, both of which will be the largest electrical loads in the house.  

It also depends on your budget. While solar does have a lucrative return on investment there is an initial cost up front. Some quick examples are:

  • 8 panels will off-set one family of 4 electrical hot water tank.

  • 6-8 panels will produce enough energy to power a city driven electric car. 

We find the best value starting budget for an install is a budget of $4000 dollars. 

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How do I know which alternative energy to use?

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On or Off Grid Solar

You might need off-grid power for a cabin, or maybe you just want to offset your homes electricity with what we call a "Grid Tied System". Either way, solar is a fantastic investment. It reduces your electrical dependency, creates additional value to your home, and supports a sustainable planet and job sector.
 
Still, many people have questions or concerns about whether it’s worth it for them to invest in solar power. Talk to us, and we’ll help discover if there is enough benefit to installing solar panels.
 
From there, we will help find the optimal placement of panels and tie it safely into your home. We also provide servicing on existing solar setups, keeping those panels at peak performance. If you have back up batteries hiring a contractor to maintain these will definitely save you long term.

Check this out

This is another beautiful installation in Errington, BC that Osprey Electric Installed.
18KW Grid Tied system utilitzing enphase micro inverters. We might add that it is also one of the largest residential installs in BC.

Cabins and Remote Buildings

Power is luxury in some places, so you need to generate electricity where you are. 
 
If you’re building a recreational cabin, or a remote monitoring station, we will travel and implement different power sources. Solar, wind or generators, we can help get the juice flowing.
 
Not sure how much power you’ll need to generate? We’ll help you determine the proper setup, adjust voltages for different pumps and appliances, work with other trades, and make sure you have consistent, reliable power.

Did you know...

If you are running your cabin or lodge off a diesel generator installing a solar system will have a return on investment in under 5-7 years!  After that its cash in hand.

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Electric Car Refuelling

Only a few years ago it seemed pretty far-fetched to have electric cars on the road. Now thousands of people are going electric. 

 

Though technology has improved and costs are declining, electric cars still require frequent charging. That means home and business refuelling stations to get your car juiced for tomorrow.

 

We have the tools and knowledge to properly install charging stations at your home and business. We can further offset your investment by providing the solar panels needed to charge your car.

 

Typically a city driver only needs 6-8 panels to produce the amount of energy they need to charge their car year round.

 

Project Gallery

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Grid Tied Solar
-Gabriolla, BC

Custom GreenBuild
--Gabriola, BC

Coast Road Solar

Largest Residential Solar install in BC.

 

Osprey Designed and implemented a complete interconnection of a 26 KW Solar System. One of the largest Residential Solar install for BC. For this project we worked alongside BC Hydro Net Metering department, Safety Authority Inspectors, and local Solar Co-Op.

 

 

Passive Design Home

 

A rare "Passive Home Design" in partnership with Pheasant Hill Homes. Built for optimal energy efficiency. This home included LED Lighting, central generator, automated transfer switch, and unprecedented attention to detail from the ground up. A challenging exciting build for all trades involved!

 

 

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Solar Cabin
Near Nanaimo lakes remote Vancouver Island, BC

Off Grid Solar Cabin

 

Designed and implemented 100% in house this cabin is completely self sufficient. Includes all the normal electrical requirements of a home plus a solar array with central inverter and battery charge controller. This is further synchronized with a back up generator to keep cabin warm and fridge cold 365 days a year. We love the challenge of remote projects.