Frequently Asked Questions

About the Platform

Who is MyHEAT?

MyHEAT is an Albertan company known for empowering urban energy efficiency™ by helping to address one of the biggest hurdles faced when engaging homeowners about energy efficiency – its invisibility. We’ve helped millions of home and business owners visualize and compare heat loss across entire cities.

Now, we’ve expanded our offerings to promote the adoption of renewable energy generation through our rooftop solar potential platform! We are working with cities in Canada to help residents with their first step on their journey to go solar.

How do I contact MyHEAT about bringing this technology to my community?

If you are interested in bringing MyHEAT to your community, send us an email at solutions@myheat.ca to request a demo.

Is solar a good fit in Saskatoon?

Compared to other provinces, Saskatchewan has the most natural factors that influence the maximal amount of energy that a solar system can produce. Saskatoon offers an ideal climate for solar photovoltaic (PV) energy production - over 2,260 hours of bright sunlight per year.

This high degree of sunlight exposure in the city results in high energy production from solar PV systems, which increases the economic returns as compared to installation in locations with lower solar exposure. A 1kW solar system in Saskatoon would produce about 1,350 kWh/yr.

How much solar capacity currently exists in Saskatoon?

Installed solar generation capacity was 3,792 kilowatts at the end of 2021, which is enough to power over 500 homes for a year!

Do solar panels work in our cold climate?

Yes! Solar panels are power tested to work best at 25°C, and will decrease 0.3-0.5% in efficiency per degree (hotter or colder). Direct sunlight can heat the panels well beyond the recorded air temperature, so colder, sunnier days can optimize the efficiency of solar panels, and the reflection of sunlight from surrounding snow can increase power production.

Do I need to clear snow from my panels?

Maybe. Clearing snow from your solar panels will improve efficiency. However, they will still generate power if they are not completely covered. According to a 5-year study conducted by the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology's (NAIT) Alternative Energy Technology program in Edmonton, the effect of snowfall causes as little as a 3% reduction in solar energy.

Are solar panels recyclable?

  • The manufacturing of solar PV panels requires the mining of certain elements as well as the use of hazardous materials.
  • Some solar panels may be reused by selling them second-hand to buyers that are not necessarily looking for the newest technology on their sites and could benefit from a more affordable system.
  • For modules past their usable life, recycling is becoming more accessible; Battery recycling facilities in the United States are preparing to begin accepting solar modules for recycling.
  • Typically, solar modules are made up of 90% recyclable materials (by mass) such as copper, aluminum, glass, and electronic components. Through disassembly or shredding, each component can then be processed through established recycling processes.
  • In 2021, ERI, the largest electronics asset disposition provider in North America, partnered with Redwood Materials, a lithium-ion battery recycler, to create a circular supply chain for solar modules. Redwood will accept disassembled solar modules from ERI for further separation into their raw materials.

Solar Potential Calculations

How is MyHEAT providing this information?

MyHEAT has partnered with Google to apply the Project Sunroof technology in communities across Canada. For questions regarding the Project Sunroof technology, visit Google’s Project Sunroof FAQ page.

 Google: Project Sunroof FAQs

What size of panels are you considering in this calculation?

Panels are generally 1.65 m by 0.992 m but this can vary by location.

A solar installer provided a different estimate than this tool. Why?

Solar energy production estimates depend on many factors and sources of information may have different estimates as a result of shading, typical weather in your area and equipment used. Additionally, Project Sunroof mapping data may be from a different period in time than other estimates and may not show recent growth or removal of trees.

How should I use the estimated information for my home?

These estimates are provided solely for informational purposes. It is recommended that residents contact a qualified solar installer to complete a site analysis that provides a detailed and personalized assessment of the solar potential specific to the building’s needs.

In using the solar potential map, you expressly agree that you use it solely at your own risk and that the MyHEAT and its partners are not liable to you for any damages whatsoever including any direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, special or other damages resulting from your use of the solar potential map.

What other assumptions are you making?

For the purposes of providing estimates on the benefits of installing solar panels in your region, the platform applies the following assumptions:

1. Saskatoon Light & Power
Assumption Value Description
Metering type Net Metering The method used by the utility to bill and meter electricity flows from solar generation and household consumption.
Fixed utility charges $32.99 per month All utility charges associated with maintaining utility service to a location, such as administration and delivery charges.
Annual utility rate escalator 2% The projected annual inflation rate for utility charges.
Cost of installation $2,995.00 per kW The estimated cost of installing solar panels in your region.
Panel Capacity 477 watts Nominal DC solar panel power output rating.
Annual system costs 1% The annual costs to operate the system, such as maintenance and insurance, as a percentage of total installation costs.
Annual panel degradation 0.5% The annual decline in output that solar panels experience over time.
General inflation 1.4% per year The annual rate at which average prices of goods and services increase.
Solar panel lifespan 25 years The expected life of installed solar panels.
Annualized cap See electricity rate table Amount of electricity that can be bought or sold at the current tier before moving to the next.
Consumption-based utility charges See electricity rate table All utility charges calculated based on the amount of energy consumed, including rates and variable delivery charges.
Microgeneration credit See electricity rate table The credit amount received for electricity sent to the electrical power grid.
Electricity Rate Table
Tier Annualized Cap Consumption-based utility charges Microgeneration credit
1 None $0.18 per kWh $0.16 per kWh
2. SaskPower
Assumption Value Description
Metering type Net Metering The method used by the utility to bill and meter electricity flows from solar generation and household consumption.
Fixed utility charges $29.99 per month All utility charges associated with maintaining utility service to a location, such as administration and delivery charges.
Annual utility rate escalator 2% The projected annual inflation rate for utility charges.
Cost of installation $2,995.00 per kW The estimated cost of installing solar panels in your region.
Panel Capacity 477 watts Nominal DC solar panel power output rating.
Annual system costs 1% The annual costs to operate the system, such as maintenance and insurance, as a percentage of total installation costs.
Annual panel degradation 0.5% The annual decline in output that solar panels experience over time.
General inflation 1.4% per year The annual rate at which average prices of goods and services increase.
Solar panel lifespan 25 years The expected life of installed solar panels.
Annualized cap See electricity rate table Amount of electricity that can be bought or sold at the current tier before moving to the next.
Consumption-based utility charges See electricity rate table All utility charges calculated based on the amount of energy consumed, including rates and variable delivery charges.
Microgeneration credit See electricity rate table The credit amount received for electricity sent to the electrical power grid.
Electricity Rate Table
Tier Annualized Cap Consumption-based utility charges Microgeneration credit
1 None $0.16 per kWh $0.08 per kWh

Data Coverage and Availability

I’ve searched for a building, but no solar potential data is available. Why?

Google Project Sunroof data is missing for some buildings. The rooftop that you’ve searched may be:

  1. Located outside of the current Google Project Sunroof coverage area.
  2. Be missing as a result of a gap in the available data through Google Project Sunroof. Examples of this may include garages or buildings that were under construction at the time that the data was collected.

The Google Project Sunroof data is always being reviewed to address existing issues. While data may not be available for the rooftop that you are interested in exploring at this time, you can use the calculator designed by MyHEAT for missing buildings or contact a local service provider for a detailed site assessment.

MyHEAT's calculator for missing buildings applies the estimates of photovoltaic potential and the mean daily global insolation for the region available through Natural Resources Canada. The included data uses the annual value for the south-facing orientation with latitude tilt. You can generate estimated values for your roof by entering the approximate area available for solar panels, the direction that the solar panels will be facing, and your typical utility costs. For more information, please visit the Natural Resources Canada website.

To learn more about the details of the MyHEAT solar potential map, please contact us at hello@myheat.ca

Where is the data for my garage?

Google Project Sunroof data is missing for some buildings. While solar potential data may not currently be available for the rooftop that you are interested in exploring, it may still have great solar potential. MyHEAT recommends that you contact a qualified solar installer to complete a detailed site assessment.

Adding solar panels to a detached garage roof may be an excellent option. If you add solar panels to your garage, you will not have to modify your home’s roof. Solar panels could be installed in addition to a system on your house or be installed when adding solar panels to your home’s roof is not optimal.

The Google Project Sunroof data is always being reviewed to address existing issues.

Why is the platform only applicable to single-family homes and not other, larger buildings?

The Project Sunroof technology calculates solar potential for the roof of every building. However, the system size and financial estimates found on the platform are tailored to residential buildings and do not consider units within the buildings. The economics for commercial and industrial buildings are often different from residential buildings due to different regulations, electricity prices, and solar installation costs.


Solar and Your Home

Who should I contact if I want to install solar panels on my home?

If you are interested in proceeding with a solar installation after reviewing the solar potential of your home, you will need to do the following:

  1. Reach out to one of our many local contractors for a quote. Not sure what to ask for in the quote? No problem, here is a quote template!
    1. A solar contractor will do a detailed assessment of your options and can provide you with pricing.
  2. Check if you are eligible for any incentive programs like Canada Greener Homes and apply if eligible — Canada Greener Homes requires an Energy Audit to apply, so do that first (see their website for details).

It is important to remember that the estimates on this platform are provided for informational purposes only. Please ensure you have selected the correct utility provider (Saskatoon Light & Power or SaskPower) as net metering rates differ.

What are the benefits of having solar on my home?

  • Opportunity to self-generate a portion or all of your electricity needs (depending on the size of your system and energy usage);
  • Decrease utility bills costs resulting in long-term energy-savings; and,
  • Reduce your households carbon footprint and contribute to the fight against climate change.

Are net metering programs available in Saskatoon?

  • Net metering is available for residents in both Saskatoon Light & Power and Saskpower service areas*. However, the credit rate for electricity put back onto the grid is different depending on your electricity provider. SaskPower's credit rate for net metering is 7.5 cents per kWh and Saskatoon Light & Power's credit rate for net metering is 16.2 cents per kWh.
  • With net metering, you can send any excess electricity you produce to our electrical grid and receive a credit toward future electricity bills.

* Application approvals for net metering are at the discretion of the utility provider and based on the utility's interconnection guidelines. To ensure your project is eligible for net metering, please talk to your solar installer and check with your utility provider.

What's the first step to installing solar panels on my home?

It is important to remember that the estimates on this platform are provided for informational purposes only. If you are considering adding solar panels to your home, MyHEAT recommends that you contact a qualified solar installer to complete a detailed site assessment and visit the links included on this website to learn more about local resources and incentive programs.

How does my utility provider measure the energy that my solar panels are producing?

When you install solar panels, your utility provider will also install a bi-directional meter at your home. This allows them to track the energy flowing into and out of your house through a process called net metering.

With net metering, you only pay for the electricity that you use beyond what your solar panels can generate. It also allows your utility to provide a credit for any excess electricity produced that you do not use within your home. Any credit you receive will be based on an agreement with your utility provider.

It is important to remember that your utility provider can’t see what is happening on your side of the meter. In most cases, your financial benefits will be the result of the money you save by reducing the amount of electricity that you need your utility to provide.

How do solar panels impact my property value?

Solar panels can increase a home's value. Many home buyers are environmentally conscious and homes with solar panels may sell for more than homes without them.

What else should I consider in deciding if solar is right for my home?

This platform helps you understand the benefits of installing solar panels on your roof based on its solar potential and average costs in your region. There are other things to consider before you decide to go solar:

  1. Does your roof need replacing? Solar panels can last 25 to 40 years, so if your roof may need replacing, it is important to do it before having them installed. However, if your roof is in good condition prior to the installation, a solar array will shield and help protect the roof.
  2. Is your roof material suitable for solar panels? Many roof materials are suitable for solar, but some may be more suitable than others. For example, wood shake shingles or clay, slate and terra cotta tile roofs are generally not suitable so installers may recommend removing the tiles or shingles directly under the array which can lead to increased costs.
  3. Do you own a multi-family home? You may still be able to install solar panels on your home. However Project Sunroof does not always know which portion of the roof belongs to which address or homeowner.

If you would like to learn more about whether or not your home is right for solar, we recommend contacting a qualified service provider to get a detailed site assessment for your property.

Who do I contact if I have further questions about this platform?

To learn more about the details of the MyHEAT solar potential maps, please contact us at hello@myheat.ca

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