Solar energy is no longer a novelty. It is commonly used in commercial and residential buildings across North America and abroad. It has particularly gained credibility in the southwest regions of the United States, of course, because of the sunny climate.
However, other regions of North America stand as good candidates for solar energy use, and ,with the development of more and more HVAC products, like furnaces and heat pumps, that are compatible with alternative energy sources, solar energy use is on the rise everywhere, and particularly Alberta.
While Canada, in general, is lagging behind the rest of the world in solar use, the Centre for Energy heralds Canada’s potential for renewable energies due to its vast, largely untapped renewable resources, like solar and wind power.
In reality, along with Ontario and Quebec, prairie provinces like Alberta are most conducive for solar energy. Solar energy availability varies with a region’s climate, latitude and daily sun exposure. For Alberta residents, the potential for solar energy use is viable, with its latitude position and the amount of direct sunlight it receives. This fact, along with rising fuel costs and decreasing fuel supplies, has spurred the use of solar energy, and it’s growing at a rate of 25 percent annually in Canada.
Calgary residents rely on their furnaces for extended heating through a long winter. By calculating the amount of direct sunlight the typical home gets, along with the roof space to accommodate solar panels, the typical Calgarian can save 53 percent with 20 sq. meters of solar panels. A homeowner who spends $1,000 annually for heat can save about $500 a year.
Air conditioning savings are even greater. The same amount of solar panels can reap a 289 percent savings, essentially making any A/C utility bills negligible and getting energy credits for smart grids (grids that tie to the province’s energy source) a possibility. These credits translate into increased savings on energy use in the winter.
If you have previously counted solar energy out, consider it now. The future is clear. As traditional fuel sources dwindle, reliance on renewable energy sources just makes sense.
It’s a big decision and solar isn’t right for everyone, but the experts at Arpi’s can offer our professional opinion and answer any questions about solar heating and cooling. Call us if we can help.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information, click here to download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.