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Residential Solar Panel Carports Are Heating Up!

Carport shelters have been a popular item at many homes across the US and 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 30% US federal unlimited tax credit for solar installations, which is valid until the end of 2019. Specifically, the US federal solar tax credit, or investment tax credit (ITC), lets you deduct 30 percent of the cost of installing a solar carport or residential system from your federal taxes. This also applies to commercial installations and the good news is that there is no cap on it's value until December 31st, 2019. Unlike the US, Canada does not yet have a federal tax break for solar, however many provinces such as Quebec (20% RenoVert tax credit) do provide incentives.

The bad news is that this residential solar tax credit is going to get smaller after 2019 and disappear entirely after 2021 as follows;

    • 2020: Owners of new residential and commercial solar can deduct 26 percent.
    • 2021: Owners of new residential and commercial solar can deduct 22 percent.
    • 2022 onwards: Owners of new commercial solar energy systems can deduct 10 percent of the cost of the system from their taxes. There is no federal credit for residential solar energy systems.

Some US states offer additional tax credits for installing a solar system. With a state solar tax credit, you can deduct a portion of the cost of your solar shelter system from your state tax bill, similar to the federal ITC. However, note that these amounts vary significantly by state.

Where are most of the electric vehicles in the US? Well, most are on the west coast with California having by far the largest percentage of electric vehicles, based on population. Following that, Hawaii, Vermont, Washington and Oregon are also high EV buyer states. Colorado is also a highly electric car oriented state despite being mountainous and subject to extreme weather.

Solar Carport Electric Vehicle Demand

And what kind of growth are EV's having in the US year over year?

US EV Sales

And what kind of range you do expect to get from a EV?

Electric Vehicle Range 2017 to 2018

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 or a 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; 

US$ 15,905 Estimated electricity bill savings over 25 years
US$ 6,000 Estimated increase in home value
US$ 3,000 30% Federal Tax Credit for US customers
US$ 1,000 Launch promotion until July 30th, 2018 : cashback on your install (upon proof of installation from you or your contractor and photo proof at your address)


TOTAL COST: US$ 9,950 
(or $11,250 US with Level 2 Charger)

Increased Home Value

New study sponsored by the Department of Energy shows 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, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Go Green

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.

Grizzly Shelter offers a unique curved solar panel carport that is sturdy for wind, rain and snow.  Accessories include a Level 2 charging station, LED lights, bug & shade curtains and more.  

Click here to see our 2018 Solar Carport product.