Solar Energy in Calgary

As of November 15, 2021, the Calgary City Council voted to declare a Climate Emergency, which requires the local government to support emergency action to combat climate change.

Solar Energy in Calgary

As Calgary works to become a greener and more sustainable city, installing solar panels on your home in Calgary can be a great way to support your city’s mission and make your own impact.

Calgary is one of the sunniest cities in Canada, estimated to have 333 sunny days in the year. This equates to roughly 2,396 hours of sunlight annually — presenting an optimal opportunity for solar energy generation!

What size solar system will you need?

The size of the solar power system you’ll need for your home will depend on 3 main things:

  1. How much energy you use in your home. This can be found on your monthly power bill. The number of kWh’s used (energy consumption) is required to understand the sizing of your solar power system.
  1. Where in Calgary your home is located. Despite Calgary being one of the sunniest cities in Canada, different areas of the city may receive different amounts of sunlight (ie. If your home is behind a large building), or solar irradiance.  
  1. The orientation of your house. Solar power system sizes are measured in kW. How much energy (kWh) they produce will depend on your location, and roof tilt or azimuth.

Other factors we'll consider when installing solar panels in Calgary

Solar panels come in varying sizes which impacts the number of solar panels required to power your home. This can be affected by numerous external factors such as how your home is impacted by shade, by chimneys or trees, the steepness of your roof and the direction it faces. This can make it difficult to provide a standardized calculation that determines the number of solar panels needed. The exact number is also heavily dependent on your home’s azimuth, tilt and location.  

Ultimately, steeper roofs that face due south will receive the most exposure to solar irradiance and will therefore be positioned to produce more energy than shallow roofs facing east or west—although, home solar on roofs facing east and west is still viable, especially in sunny Calgary! Efficiency in these cases is made up for with the addition of more solar panels on the home.

So, how is this all calculated?

To give you a simplistic overview of how we may calculate and determine the approximate number of panels needed for your home, it will be assumed that 400W solar panels are being installed for the purposes of the demonstrated calculation below.

1kW of solar power will generate approximately 900kWh/yr to 1,200kWh/yr of solar energy or 0.9MWh/yr to 1.2MWh/yr. This range will be affected depending on the tilt or azimuth.

To calculate the approximate number of home solar panels you need, use the following:

  1. Annual Energy Use (kWh) = Avg. Energy Per Month (found on your power bill) x 12
  1. Number of solar panels required in Alberta = Annual Energy Use (kWh) / 400 (W/Panel) / 1.0 (MWh/kW)
  1. This formula is based on the assumption that a solar power system will produce 1,000 kWh per kW, which is on the conservative side of the average expectancy.  
  1. The average Alberta home uses about 600 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity each month. The annual energy use is therefore = 600 x 12 = 7,200 kWh per year. For the average home therefore, the calculation becomes: 7,200 kWh/400W/1.0 MWh/kW = 18 solar panels.  

These figures are both approximate and subject to change dependent upon your site’s conditions and the size of solar panels which can also be substituted into the formula.  

Benefits of solar in Calgary

  • Increases the supply of renewable energy to Calgary  
  • Reduces your home’s utility cost  
  • Long-term energy savings  
  • Increases the value of your property  
  • Environmental benefits

Energy independence  

These benefits of solar systems don’t just extend to residential purposes. The installation of solar energy systems to power commercial properties and businesses is also encouraged. There are a number of solar rebate programmes, incentives and grants currently available, making solar energy usage even more favorable to regular sources of energy.  

Solar rebate programs, incentives and grants

Canada Greener Homes Grant

Homeowners are eligible to receive a grant from $125 up to $5,000 to make energy-efficient improvements to the home, which includes the installation of solar panels. In the case of solar systems, individuals can be given a rebate of $1.00/W up to $5000. A maximum contribution of $600 towards the total cost of EnerGuide evaluations of the home’s energy usage before and after retrofits is also available.

Canada Greener Homes Loan

The Canada Greener Homes Loan was introduced in 2022 to assist Canadians in making their homes more energy-efficient and ecological. This loan is an interest-free financing of a maximum of $40,000 and a minimum of $5000. This loan is in addition of the Canada Greener Homes Grant, helping to subsidize the costs of more expensive installations, such as solar system installations. This loan is Canada-wide and has a repayment term of 10 years.  

The Clean Energy Improvement Program (CEIP)

This competitive financing program allows individuals to make improvements and renewable energy upgrades to their residential or commercial properties without the upfront cost. The program will cover up to 100% of the bill and this cost is then recovered through the regular property taxes.

Commercial Solar Tax Incentive

This commercial solar tax incentive enables businesses to claim a tax credit on their federal income taxes through an increased depreciation under class 43.2 of the Income Tax Regulation. Businesses can now write off 100% of the full cost of their renewable energy equipment and assets in the first year. For large projects, additional funding may even be available—contact Kuby to see if this applies to you!


Homes and businesses with solar installations which are <5MW (1 Megawatt = 1,000 kW), will have their solar energy consumption as compared to their usage monitored and appropriately credited to their monthly power bill.  Any excess solar energy is rolled over to the next month and can be sold at the end of the year at the same rate that it was purchased for (approximately $0.07/kWh). For more details read the full micro-generation regulation.

If you’re considering installing solar energy systems on your residential or commercial properties in Calgary, Kuby Energy is here to help. We’ll determine the sizing and number of solar panels you need, lead the installation process and help you understand your financing options.

Questions, comments or concerns? We would love to hear your thoughts on this.

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