Residential Solar Panel Carports Are Heating Up!
Carport shelters have been a popular item at many homes across Canada for years. The main function has been to protect your vehicles from weather, including snow, ice, rain and harmful UV rays. But now, with the increase in the number of electric vehicles on the road and government incentives, residential solar carports and shelters are becoming all the rage. And the best part is that they are one of the few home purchases that actually can start to pay for themselves.
The biggest incentive is the $5,000 Canadian federal government for solar installations for 2022. Federal and provincial tax deductions and incentives also exist relating to the cost of installing a solar carport or residential system. This also applies to commercial installations.
Some Canadian provinces offer additional tax credits for installing a solar system. With a provincial solar tax credit, you can deduct a portion of the cost of your solar shelter system from your taxes.
Where are most of the electric vehicles in Canada? Well, most are on the west coast in British Columbia since they have the largest percentage of electric vehicles, based on population. The interior of BC, Alberta, Manitoba and southern Ontario have the most reliable sunny days per year than anywhere else in Canada.
So what should you look for in a solar carport or shelter then?
You need a strong structure and frame to hold your solar panels. You need a roof that can withstand and shed snow load and rain with minimal maintenance. Think about drainage during heavy rain, and plan where you want the water to go on your property, and if you have gutters to guide the flow. You need your shelter to provide lighting for you and your vehicle at night and provide shade during the day. Your roof must be able to resist intense UV damage over time and be easy to maintain. Your carport needs to be strong enough to withstand high winds (up to 60 mph) and have anchors to the foundation.
You need the solar panels with a high wattage, and ideally with a high refractive light index (so sunlight can come from a wider angle than just directly perpendicular to the surface). To effectively charge an electric vehicle, you will need at least 1 kilowatt of power from your total number of solar panels. If you can get 1.5 kW, then you can charge at 8 to 10 miles of range per hour with a standard EV such as a Tesla Model 3, Hyundai Kona, Chevy Bolt or Nissan Leaf. The standard plug for your EV is a Level 2 charger that provides 240 Volts providing 16 to 40 AMPs of power from your home. If your power utility allows it, you can also grid tie your solar carport to actually get payment or credits put onto your power bill. All you need is a certified electrician who can hook up your charger to your house usually in only a few hours.
A solar carport or shelter can pay for itself. Here's how;
$10,000 Estimated electricity bill savings over 25 years
$5,000 Estimated increase in home value
$5,000 Federal Tax Credit
TOTAL BENEFITS: $ 20,000
Increased Home Value
New studies show that buyers are willing to pay on an average around $4 for every watt of installed solar power. Solar homes also sell 20% faster than homes without solar.
A solar carport shelter allows you to create renewable energy right at your home, showing your kids, family and friends how anyone can make the transition to energy independence and freedom. Use the free solar electricity to power your home and save on your monthly electricity bills, all the while saving carbon emissions for years to come.
Do you want a carport, or gazebo or patio shelter? Any of those structures that you'd buy can have a dual purpose of generating power, which increases your value. A solar shelter can also be an outdoor protected workspace or just a nice outdoor sitting area.