What is the microFIT program?
The microFIT program is part of Ontario’s Green Energy Act. The program provides large financial incentives for individuals and companies to invest in renewable energy production.
Participants in the program sign a contract with the Ontario Power Authority (OPA), and the contract guarantees that the OPA will buy all the electricity that you produce, for 20 years, at a fixed price.
The program pays different rates depending on what your power source is. The guaranteed rate at the time the program was launched, was 80.2¢ per kilowatt hour (what is a kilowatt hour?). But every two years, they review the program and make adjustments. The current rate for a system like ours is 54.9¢. (The new price schedule is available on the microFIT website.)
The Green Energy Act also introduced a related program called FIT, aimed at commercial and utility grade systems. The microFIT program is aimed at homeowners and small businesses.
The microFIT and FIT programs are among the most aggressive feed-in-tariff programs in the world. Because of the high prices they offer, and the 20 year price guarantee, they have sparked a huge amount of activity in the renewable energy sector in Ontario.
In the first six months of the microFIT program, there were over 8,400 applications involving solar power systems. Our system was in the first batch of 700 microFIT projects to receive approval, and we were among the first 18 connected to the grid.
For more detailed information about the program, check out the official microFIT and FIT websites.
Is it worth doing a FIT/micro FIT?
In short yes, but it's a long term game plan and not a quick get rich scheme. The contract with OPA is 20yrs think of it as a guarantee investment with a reputable company.
On average the ROI of a system is greater than 10%. While the price of kw has dropped to 54.9¢ so has the solar systems making them still a great investment. Think of a microfit as a mini business where you have to do nothing. Each month you get a check from your monthly utility and as a able to claim with Revenue Canada and write off your loan interest.
Financial institutions in ontario have been happy to work with homeowners and lends towards your purchase. The fact that it's a guarantee contract for 20yrs with the ontario government as a safe investment, and consider solar panels as a "silent and safe tennant"
Other Benefits of Solar programs
- The provide a protective barrier from sun, rain, snow deteriorating your shingles and prolonging the lifespan.
- The panels create a space that also helps minimize the heating of your roof in the winter. South facing roofs covered in solar tend to keep the house cooler and clients have noticed a difference in the summer months.
- No moving parts equal a long lasting and lost cost upkeep investment.
- Great deal considering you can't make anything close to what the bank offers for interest.