What is a Solar system (or PV)
Are you considering Solar Panels for your home or business? Photovoltaic or PV systems are devices used to convert sunlight into electricity. PV systems are a safe, reliable, low-maintenance source of solar electricity. They have a life expectancy exceeding 40 years. They produce no pollution or emissions, incur few operating costs, and are easy to install on most Canadian homes.
The basic building block of a solar-energy generating system is called the solar cell built into a PV module. PV modules are connected together into panels, (commonly referred to as Solar Panels) and arrays to meet various energy needs.
Modules used for home power applications usually range between 150 to 220 watts, and measure about 1.1 m x 1.6 m (about 3 ft. x 6 ft.). Based on current module efficiencies, a 1000 watt PV system (5-200w panels) generates an average of about 3.6 kilowatt-hours per day or 1,326 kWh annually in most populated regions in southern Ontario.
If you are interested having Solar Panels installed to be able to participate in the Ontario Micro Fit Program, a homeowner in Ontario would be looking at a residential scale Solar PV project of about 3 kilowatts, which costs around $25,000. The returns with the Ontario Micro FIT program will be approx. $3000.00 of revenue per year, resulting in about an 8 to 9 year payback. The most rewarding part of the FIT program is that OPA will pay this estimated returns for a contracted period of 20 years.
To qualify for the Micro FIT program installations can be no larger than 10kWw systems.
Larger installations fall into the FIT program at a different return per watt.
Robert T Design has been involved in several Solar Panel projects in Ontario and would be please to answer any questions you have.
Link to OPA Fee-in Tariff Program. http://fit.powerauthority.on.ca
Planning is the key to a successful renovation. To help you plan your project, the following are some of the main basic points to consider:
Assessing the Project
What kind of budget have I got? Be realistic in your expectations. What’s my range, what’s the maxiimum I can live with (we all tend to underestimate).
Why am I renovating? Is it a sound investment, remember you don’t want to be the most expensive house in your area. Would relocation be better/smarter, less disurbance to the kids, etc?
Costing Your Project
Invite contractors/designers to give you a rough estimate of your planned renovation. Be honest truthful about your budget. They may make suggestions to cut cost in a way that may still achieve your goal.
Hiring a Designer/Architect
An Architect or licensed Designer are both well suited to prepare permit ready construction drawings and specifications. It’s mostly a question of cost or judgement. Ask friends neighbours that had renovations done, it’s always your best source.
Getting Estimates or Proposals
Re-invite your original (or other) contractors to give you an accurate estimate based on the drawings specifications just completed. This is the only way to compare apples to apples.
Hiring a Contractor
Get minimum 3 bids from your invited contractors. Your winning choice should never be because of low bid. Your choice should be based on experience, past (recent) projects, price, recommendation from good sources (your selection may also be the low bid).
Getting a Contract
Getting a written contract is a must for a successful completed project (both for owners and contractor). It should include among other things: stipulated final total price, how extras to be dealt with, the starting and completion date, who is doing the work i.e. subs etc … Standard contracts are easily available.
Payments and Holdbacks
Payments and holdbacks should be part of the above contract. Respectable contractors should not request excessive up-front payment, nor should you agree to it. A 10% deposit at signing is fair and acceptable; after all, the contractor needs some form of commitment from the owners. Progress payments, however, should be well defined and acceptable to both parties. A 10% 30 days holdback to complete all deficiencies and assure complete satisfaction is an industry standard.
As of January, 2006. Ontario Bill 124 became law and requires that Design Firms submitting Plans for Building Permit approval must have met new province wide standards. Design Firms meeting those required standards will have a Building Code Identification Number (BCIN) from the Ministry.
What is a Building Code Identification Number (BCIN)? A Building Code Identification Number, or BCIN, is the unique identifying number assigned to individuals who file their qualifications with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, and firms which register with the Ministry. The BCIN is used for several purposes: you may need to provide it on building permit applications in all correspondence with the Ministry, and in any other building-related work that requires a qualified person or registered firm.
Who is responsible for ensuring that building practitioners are appropriately qualified and/or registered? Ultimately, it is the role of the individual or firm to be appropriately qualified / registered. As part of completing the building permit application form, designers must provide their qualification information and are therefore accountable for the information they provide.
Municipalities are responsible for assessing building permit applications for completion, including ensuring that the designers listed on the application have the necessary qualifications, and if required have insurance and are registered with the province.
Municipalities are also responsible for enforcing the Building Code Act, 1992 and Building Code, including reviewing building
permit applications for compliance with the Building Code.
The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing administers the Building Code examinations necessary for building practitioners to be qualified. The Ministry is also responsible for accepting filed qualification information, as well as approving, renewing, suspending and revoking the registration of designers and registered code agencies.
The Building Code requires that qualified and registered designers who review and take responsibility for design activities include the following information on any documents submitted to a chief building official or registered code agency:
· The name and Building Code Identification Number (BCIN) of the registered firm;
· A statement that the qualified person has reviewed and taken responsibility for the design activities;
· The name and BCIN of the qualified person; and
· The signature of the qualified person.
· The provincial common building permit application form includes fields in which the above information can be included.
BCIN Toronto | BCIN Number | BCIN Certification | BCIN Registration | BCIN Mississauga | BCIN Barrie | BCIN GTA | BCIN Barrie | BCIN Oakville | BCIN Markham | BCIN Richmond Hill | BCIN Thornhill | BCIN York Region | BCIN Durham Region | BCIN Pickering | BCIN Ajax | BCIN Oshawa | BCIN North York | BCIN Scarborough | BCIN West Hill | BCIN Kitchener | BCIN Cambridge | BCIN Waterloo | BCIN Guelph | BCIN Brampton | BCIN Caledon | BCIN Muskoka | BCIN Kawartha's | BCIN Kawartha Lakes | BCIN Peterborough | BCIN Port Hope | BCIN Cobourg | BCIN Bowmanville