Warning: strlen() expects parameter 1 to be string, array given in /data/19/1/96/24/1911839/user/2081513/htdocs/site/wp-content/themes/overeasy/header.php on line 22
"Knowledge is power. (a-hem, solar power, that is)"

FAQs

We realize that you may have many more questions than we have answered here. For additional information, please contact us at info@plan-b-energy.com.

Landlord FAQs:

What do you do to my roof?

It’s simple. We recognize that roof integrity is very important and that’s why we use non-penetrating racks to hold the solar panels in place. An inverter will need to be attached to the roof in the same manner as your HVAC. The solar panels usually add about 2 to 3 lbs per square feet of load, and the inverter requires about 35 square feet of space and weighs about 4,500 lbs.

In most cases, this maintains the roof’s integrity as well as the warranty. We would be happy to review your roof warranty to determine the right installation solution for your premises.

What are the insurance implications?

The insurance works precisely as it does if you lease the inside of the building: You insure the building; and Plan B Energy insures the solar generating facility and protects you from any issues arising from the generation of power on your rooftop.

What about the impact of weather?

The panels are not impacted by rain; in fact, the rain cleans off any dust that may have accumulated. Similarly, wind is not an issue as the panels and non-penetrating mounting systems are designed to sustain winds up to 120 miles per hour (almost 200 kilometres per hour).

What if I need to do work on my HVAC unit?

We install the panels to allow for regular maintenance of all other structures on, or associated with, your rooftop. All we ask is that you contact us prior to beginning any work so we can work with you to minimize the impact on the solar panels

What if I need to fix or even replace my roof?

Putting a solar system on your roof generally extends the life of your roof beyond its planned replacement date. Of course, there are times when repairs or replacements are necessary. This is why we prefer roofs with at least 10 years of expected life. We would be happy to discuss the specifics of your roof situation and find a solution that works for both of us.

What happens if I sell my building?

The lease agreement that you have with Plan B Energy will be transferred to the new owners, and we will pay them the monthly lease payments. Having a recurring revenue stream usually results in a higher value for your property when you sell it.

What happens at the end of the 20 years?

Plan B Energy will be responsible for removing the solar installation and returning your roof to the same condition it was in prior to the installation. Alternatively, you can arrange to purchase the solar installation from us.

How long does the installation take?

A 250kW system can be installed in less than a week, but usually takes between three and four weeks.

How will installation impact my tenants?

Your concerns are our priority and we’ll work with you to minimize any impact to your other tenants. Keep in mind that most of this effort is attaching the solar panels to pre-fabricated racking, which does not need to be physically attached to the roof.

How do you determine how many kilowatts of power can be generated on my roof?

First, we look at how much available square footage there is and how many panels we can put on the roof. Then, we use meteorological data provided by a number of sources (including Natural Resources Canada) to determine how many kW-hours of electricity your site will produce.

Define “available square footage”.

Available square footage means the amount of suitable space your roof has for solar panel installation; that is, flat, unshaded, south-facing space that can bear a weight of 2 to 3 pounds per square foot.

How do I know if my site is not appropriate for rooftop solar?

If you have less than 30,000 available square feet, a severely angled roof, a lot of shading, if you are shaded by taller structures to the south, or if your roof is not able to support additional weight, these are potential barriers. We would be happy to discuss the specifics of your roof situation to determine your property’s suitability.

Am I responsible for the installation or any ongoing maintenance costs?

No and no. We pay for the solar installation. We pay for the ongoing maintenance. And we pay you rent for leasing your roof space.

What other business benefits are there to me, as a landlord?

There are many value added benefits to your property being used as a solar electricity generator. You or your tenants might be looking for additional ways to go green, with associated bragging rights. A criteria of new tenants might be to lease space from a cleaner, more energy-efficient building (such as yours) as part of their ongoing efforts in sustainable business practices. Delivering rooftop solar electricity can be your way to get LEED-certified, too. Environmentally-friendly businesses get noticed. Period. How you choose to use that recognition is up to you!

How much profit can I expect to make?

This is based on our business model and varies according to square footage. Contact us today to discuss your unique earning potential.

General FAQs

Does a photovoltaic solar rooftop installation also provide heat to my building?

No. Rooftop solar converts sunlight into electricity using photovoltaic cells that are grouped together in the panels that will be installed on your roof.

What makes solar rooftop a more attractive option compared to other renewable energies?

All renewable energy technologies play a part in combating climate change and sustaining Ontario’s energy supply. Currently, there is over 2 billion square feet of unused rooftop space in Ontario capable of generating 20,000 megawatts of electricity.

Solar rooftop is a space-appropriate, electricity generating technology that is rapidly deployed because it does not face any transmission constraints; it requires no land on which to build; and it has a relatively short permitting process.

How reliable is the performance of the solar panels once they’re installed?

On any given day, as soon as the panels start generating electricity, they keep going until the sun goes down. Also, most panel manufacturers warrant their panels to perform at 90% of rated power for 12 years, and 80% for 25 years, minimum. This warranty combined with our ongoing operation and maintenance ensures a minimum level of power production over the course of 20 years.

Is there really enough sunlight in Ontario to do this?

Of course! Remember, sunlight refers to “light”, not “heat” so a sunny day is a sunny day, no matter what the temperature is outside; and, solar photovoltaic technology can also generate electricity when it’s cloudy or overcast. Germany’s climate is similar to Ontario’s and in general, it experiences gloomier skies throughout the year. Today, the country is regarded as the world leader in solar-generated electricity production.

How do you account for the weather being so unpredictable?

On the contrary, solar irradiation is highly predictable. For any given month we usually know how much the sun is going to shine, plus or minus 10-15%. Of course, it’s most predictable in the summer (when we generate the most demand for electricity…think of hot summer days when everyone cranks their air-conditioning); though less predictable in the winter (when we use less electricity anyway, preferring to heat our homes and buildings with natural gas instead).

In other words, solar power generation is built to meet peak demand, on sunny days and even on not-so sunny days.

What is the Green Energy Act?

The GEA can be described as a renaissance movement of the 21st century – one that brings about a new culture of energy awareness, conservation, and the creation of a cleaner, greener and sustainable energy system for Ontario.

It is a bill that was passed into law by the Ontario government in May 2009 as part of Ontario’s plan to become a leading sustainable economy in North America. It’s purpose is to spark growth in clean and renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, hydro, and bio-fuel while eliminating coal from the energy supply mix. “Coal-fired generation is the single largest source of air pollution in Ontario and eliminating it from the supply mix will be the largest climate change initiative in Canada.” (source: Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure)

How will the Green Energy Act support rooftop solar projects?

The GEA has:

  • Created a Feed-in Tariff that guarantees specific rates for energy generated from renewable sources.
  • Established the right to connect to the electricity grid for renewable energy projects that meet technical, economic and other regulatory requirements.
  • Established a one-stop, streamlined approvals process, providing service guarantees for renewable energy projects that meet regulatory requirements.
  • [Continues to] implement a 21st century “smart” power grid to support the development of new renewable energy projects, and prepare Ontario for new technologies like electric cars. (source: Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure)

Can you explain the Feed-in Tariff Program?

Ontario’s Feed-in Tariff (FIT) program is a guaranteed pricing structure for renewable electricity production. Comprehensive details can be found on the Ontario Power Authority’s website at:

http://fit.powerauthority.on.ca/Page.asp?PageID=1115&SiteNodeID=1052