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The amount of energy you can produce from a rooftop depends on a few things - location, location, location. Homeowners in California get more sunshine than Toronto, so geography plays a role in the potential for solar energy. The orientation of your roof is also very important, as the South and South-West facing roofs get the most sunshine. The ideal location should also get full sunshine and not shaded part way through the day from something such as a tree.

After the importance of location, the other factor is the efficiency of the solar panels you choose. There are a large number of solar panels to choose from. Some are more efficient than others. Refer to solar panel efficiency for more details.

Here are a number of solar power examples across Ontario - from London to Ottawa. You can see the solar power production for each installation in real time and review the historical data. This will give you an idea of the potential for how much solar power you can generate. Don't forget the solar panel efficiency is important, and that information is listed too for your reference.

see how much solar power is generated from Brooklin, OntarioGraph of how much solar power a Toronto system produced

Don't get sold on the wrong numbers!

Some solar companies will make the payback sound wonderful (e.g., 6-7 years), but you need to do the math yourself based on how much solar power you can generate. To give you a ballpark, an effective solar installation in the Toronto area will likely generate 900 kWh of electricity per year for every kW of your array.

To calculate how much you should get paid each year under the Ontario microFIT program, multiply the size of your solar array in kWh by 900, and then by the amount paid per kWh (e.g. 5 kWh solar array x 900 x $0.802 = $3,609).