If you’re thinking of a rooftop or ground mount solar energy system, waiting around could cost you a lot of income. Take advantage of the OPA microFIT program now!
The Ontario Green Energy Act (GEA) of 2009 is a landmark legislation. It delivers billions in investments and establishes Ontario as Canada’s premier green province.The GEA decrees the closure of all coal burning power plants in Ontario by 2014. In order to fill this void, the provincial government established the OPA microFIT program to promote renewable energy. This provides homeowners with incentives to install solar energy systems on their homes.
The Ontario Power Authority (OPA) offers 20-year, binding contracts at guaranteed rates to homeowners operating solar energy systems. The energy your system generates is fed back into the electrical grid and you are paid handsomely for that energy on a monthly basis. The income generated and your payback are a function of the system you choose. The Ontario microFIT program applies for systems up to 10 Kilowatts, either roof or ground mounted, while the general FIT program has provisions for installations up to 500 Kilowatts. Read about Ontario’s MicroFIT program here.
But Why the Rush?
OPA microFIT programs can be changed at anytime, and rates and terms will become less attractive as demand heats up.
When the program was started, the rate paid by the OPA was around 80 cents per Kilowatt. As of September 2013 that rate is down to 40 cents. While the rate lowering has been offset by lower equipment costs, the income opportunity will be reduced over time. California and Germany are good examples where the FIT rate decreased over time and as installed capacity grew. But there’s still time to make plenty of money if you act now.
Ontario microFIT programs are fixed in size. When a program sells out, you have to wait for the next one to be released to the public.
The OPA issues offers to purchase electricity in fixed lots. Once a procurement target is fulfilled, the OPA closes out the program, and you have to wait till the next program is released to the public. The OPA controls this window of opportunity by defining the capacity of electricity it will buy, the time frame for doing so, and the terms under which the energy will be purchased. There have been instances where a program has been closed out early and people were left waiting.
Local content regulations are changing
Local content requirements change every year, and that can make the equipment more expensive. While waiting long-term may result in lower equipment costs, that savings will be offset by decreases in the value of the guaranteed microFIT rate.
The Opportunity for excellent, guaranteed returns is too good to pass up.
If you’re like most Canadians, you are working hard to save money and optimize your investments. But realizing great returns on your investments implies taking risk. But what if you could invest in a financial instrument that yielded upwards of 12-15%, sometimes more, and that investment was guaranteed by the government through a binding 20-year agreement? Put another way, if you could secure savings bonds that yielded a 12% return instead of the piddly interest rates we see nowadays, would you do it? This is effectively the opportunity that exists with solar energy in Ontario at this time.
The income you generate can of course be put to many uses:
- pay down high interest debt
- invest for retirement via your RRSPs
- invest in RESPs and education plans for your children
- top up your TFSA or your savings account
- Meet a goal (e.g., a new vehicle for the family)
So, what are you waiting for? Contact us today!