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  • Shelby Seib

Solar System Sizing for Beginners

Updated: Oct 29, 2020

The question we get asked the most is:

What size of system do I need?

How expensive is that going to be?

This article will leave you with a basic understanding of how we achieve the sizing and general cost for a residential solar system.

System Sizing

System sizing can be done a few different ways. In this article we will discuss the most simple way.

energy needed (yearly kWh) divided by sun hours (hours of sun yearly)

To check your sun hours in the Edmonton Area, use this link

If you live in other provinces, there is a general sun hours page here

To get energy needed, just take your power bill and add up each months power usage.


Oct: 1550kWh (est)

Nov: 1480kWh (est)

Dec: 1680kWh (est)

etc etc

With this example we would have 18,010kWh (est) per year of energy needed. The average sun hours in Edmonton Alberta is 2345. You can use this a reference, this will not be the total amount of sun your solar panels get every year because of the position and shading that they experience.

So... energy needed/sun hours:

18,010kWh / 2345 hrs = 7.68kW system size

A 7.68kW system would cover 100% of your yearly power usage! How exciting is that!? No more worrying about power prices. But... what does that system cost?

How much is that going to cost?

We can't always guarantee these prices. We generally run with the rule of 2.40 per watt and up depending on supply. But this gives you a good starting point to know what your house may cost to install solar in Alberta.

We currently offer an essentials line, luxury black and premium luxury black solar lineup. These prices vary from 2.40-3.00 per watt with GST included. So that is all in, installed, everything!

For this example that would make this solar system cost:

$18,432 - $23, 040 without the Edmonton rebate.

System Calculators

In Edmonton there is a rebate currently!

The good news is there is actually a bit of savings on this currenty above example. With some knowledge from previous system this example system could net you a rebate of $4000. This would drastically reduce the overall cost to $14432!

Can I ever pay off my solar?

This is the question most people are worried about and we completely understand. You want to be making investments for your future, increase your homes value and help with climate change. The good news is you can do that with Solar from Renewable North.

With a median average from the last year at 7cents per kWh, you would see $756 dollars annually from your solar package. With the essentials line you could see a return in 19 years if power never goes up. This of course just isn't the case and power is going to increase over the next coming years as energy prices continue to climb. Also our systems manufacturer warranties are 25 years. This pretty much guarantees you will be positive over the systems existence. Often systems are creating sustainable usable energy for 40+ years.

We also have some other tips and tricks to get your system paid off a few years sooner. In some cases closer to 11-12 years. You can catch that in another article in the near future.

If you are considering Solar, contact us at

We love creating a much brighter future for the coming years.

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