With the latest rate increase that went into effect on November 1st, 2015 we have now seen electricity rates increase 70% over the last 5 years in Ontario. To add insult to injury, the 10% Clean Energy Benefit ends on December 31st and on January 1st, 2016 electricity bills will increase by another 10%.
In 2016 a typical household in Ontario, that uses 1000 kWh per month, can expect to pay on average $250 per month, including HST. By 2021 that same consumption of electricity will cost over $350 per month!
What can we do to mitigate this? One strategy is to reduce the amount of electricity we use (Energy Star rated appliances, LED lights, etc.). Another strategy is to generate the power we consume by installing solar modules on the roofs of our home.
A 10 kW solar PV system, installed on a south facing roof with no shading, will generate approximately 13,000 kWh per year. This is enough power to off-set the electricity consumption of a typical home in Ontario. With the system connected to the grid through the net-metering program, the excess power you generate during the day is exported onto the grid, earning you a credit for every kilowatt hour of electricity exported. At night you import power from the grid and use some of the credits you have earned. In the summer you will build up a large credit balance that will be used up during the winter months when there isn’t as much sunlight to generate your own power.
If you generate as much power in a year as you consume in a year, you will then be protected from future rate increases since you won’t have to buy power from your local hydro company.