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Solar financing

Help save the earth — and save money — with solar energy.

The world is moving towards renewable energy and there are incredible benefits in supporting this move — both financially and environmentally. While you may not be able to commit to an entire roof of solar panels, a few could still be a great investment. Here’s what to look for when comparing solar financing options and what you might expect to pay to go green in a big way.

How can I finance solar panels?

Solar projects are typically funded one of several ways. Depending on what you’re looking to get out of your new energy source, funding can be chunked into two categories: leasing and buying.

Leasing solar panels means that you never actually own the equipment, but you may not have to put any money down for it or maintain it. Buying the system generally requires that you put down money upfront, but you’re also afforded flexibility when it comes to what you’re buying and what happens if you sell your home. To buy a solar panel system outright, you’ll likely need financing. Here are a couple of solar financing options:

1. Personal loan

A general purpose personal loan can be an effective financing option. Solar panels can be pricey, and personal loan rates and terms may not cut it unless you have good to excellent credit. Be sure to consider the cost of the monthly repayments against what you’re able to afford in addition to your other expenses.

Compare personal loans from these lenders

1 - 8 of 8
Name Product Interest Rate Loan Amount Loan Term Requirements Link
Loans Canada Personal Loan
Secured from 4.70%, Unsecured 8.00% - 46.96%
$300 - $50,000
3–60 months
Requirements: min. credit score 300
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A broker with the largest lender network in Canada. Fill out one application and get matched for free with lenders.
goPeer Personal Loan
8.00% - 33.92%
$1,000 - $25,000
36 - 60 months
Requirements: recommended income $40,000/year, no payday loan debt, min. credit score 600
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Connects creditworthy Canadians looking for an unsecured loan with Canadians looking to invest. Apply in minutes and get a response within 24 hours.
Spring Financial Personal Loan
17.99% - 46.96%
$500 - $15,000
9 - 48 months
Requirements: min. income $1,800/month, 3+ months employed, min. credit score 500
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If you're not eligible for an unsecured loan, you may be offered a credit builder loan to help improve your credit score.
SkyCap Financial Personal Loan
12.99% - 39.99%
$500 - $10,000
9 - 60 months
Requirements: min. income $1,600/month, stable employment, min. credit score 550, no bankruptcy
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Apply in less than 5 minutes for an unsecured loan and if approved, receive financing in as little as 24 hours.
Loanz Personal Loan
29.90% - 46.90%
$1,000 - $15,000
12 - 60 months
Requirements: min. credit score 570, min. income $1,200/month, 3+ months employed
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Apply online and get approved in less than 3 minutes. Receive funds in as little as 15 minutes. Borrowers with bad credit or no credit can apply.
LoanConnect Personal Loan
Secured from 4.99%, Unsecured 5.99% - 46.96%
$100 - $50,000
3–120 months
Requirements: min. credit score 300
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More Info
Fill out one application with this broker and get pre-approved by different lenders in 5 minutes.
Mogo Personal Loan
9.90% - 46.96%
$200 - $35,000
6–60 months
Requirements: min. income $13,000/year, min. credit score 500
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More Info
Get a free quote without affecting your credit score and get an unsecured loan the same day. 100-day money-back guarantee: If you're not happy with your loan, pay back the principal and get the 100 days of paid interest and fees back.
Fairstone Secured Personal Loan
19.99% - 23.99%
$5,000 - $50,000
36 - 120 months
Requirements: must be a homeowner, min. credit score 560
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Use your home equity to get a secured loan with flexible repayment options. Get a free quote without impacting your credit score.

Compare up to 4 providers

2. Home equity loan

A home equity loan is backed by the amount of equity that you own in your home. In other words: what you’ve paid off so far on your mortgage is used as collateral. Lenders usually provide borrowing amounts up to 80% of your home equity. The downside is you must have equity built up beforehand.

Compare home equity loans from these lenders

1 - 2 of 2
Name Product Interest Rate Loan Amount Loan Term Requirements Link
Fairstone Secured Personal Loan
19.99% - 23.99%
$5,000 - $50,000
36 - 120 months
Requirements: must be a homeowner, min. credit score 560
Go to site
More Info
Use your home equity to get a secured loan with flexible repayment options. Get a free quote without impacting your credit score.
Alpine Credits Home Equity Loan
10.00% - 22.99%
$10,000 - $500,000
Up to 60 months
Requirements: must be a homeowner, min. credit score 300
Check eligibility
More Info
Must be a homeowner to qualify. Check eligibility for this loan through LoanConnect.

Compare up to 4 providers

Representative example: Sara gets solar panels

Sara has just finished building her off-the-grid home in Southern Saskatchewan and is so excited to get solar panels. Unfortunately, she spent more than she budgeted for while building her home, so she will need to take out a loan to cover the cost of the solar panels. Including both installation and the solar panel system, she’s been told her total cost will come to $5,500.00. Since she needs the funds as soon as possible, Sally heads online to compare non-traditional lenders. She is offered a loan by a reputable online lender with a competitive interest rate, favourable terms and a quick turnaround time of just one day.

Cost of vacation$5,500.00
Loan typePersonal loan
Loan amount$5,500.00
Interest rate8.00%
Loan term1 year
Additional feesOrigination fee of 3.00% ($165.00)
Monthly payment$478.44
Total loan cost$5,906.24

*The information in this example, including rates, fees and terms, is provided as a representative transaction. The actual cost of the product may vary depending on the retailer, the product specs and other factors.

How much do solar panels cost?

Your cost will vary based on the company you purchase through, your location and the size of the system that you get. On average, a complete residential system usually costs anywhere between $15,000 and $30,000, including installation costs. This doesn’t factor in tax credits or rebates, or what you could save with your new solar panels generating some (or all) of your electricity. Installation costs are usually charged per watt installed. Varying between provinces, you will likely pay between $2 to $4 per watt.

How you can get a return on your investment with solar panels

  1. Find out how well your house is suited for solar energy. Climate, roof pitch and the direction your roof and house is facing will make a difference in how efficient your system is. Additionally, your location in Canada will make a huge difference in terms of hours of sunlight per year.
  2. Research the companies that you’re thinking of buying from thoroughly. Ask if the installation is done in-house, look at reviews from other customers and find out if there’s any kind of warranty offered.
  3. Maintain your panels properly. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning and maintenance. It’s difficult to get a return on a solar energy system when it’s not producing energy. Some companies include a maintenance plan with their products, while others will charge extra.
  4. Consider the value it may add to your property. More people are looking to invest in renewable energy and cut their electricity costs, which leads to buyers who will pay more for homes that are already equipped with solar technology.

Solar energy production potential

Since hours of sunlight vary dramatically in Canada, here’s a look at some of the provinces and territories solar energy production potential. Keep in mind this will vary depending on your location in a province. If you live in northern Saskatchewan, your potential will be much lower than someone who lives in southern Saskatchewan.

Province/territoryEnergy production potential
Saskatchewan1,336 kWh/kW per year
Alberta1,301 kWh/kW per year
Ontario1,195 kWh/kW per year
British Columbia1,064 kWh/kW per year
Yukon971 kWh/kW per year

Solar energy tax credits

As of 2021, The Canadian government announced the Canada Greener Homes Grant. This program will provide Canadians with grants up to $5,600 for energy-saving projects to their homes including investing in solar panels. Other incentives and rebates tend to come at the provincial and territorial levels, as well as local and municipal levels. Since credits and incentives vary drastically across the country, it is best to check the financial benefits for solar energy in your specific province or territory.

Since solar energy is relatively new on the scene, provincial and territorial regulations are constantly changing. Keep up-to-date with any tax credits and incentives offered in your province or territory in order to reap more financial rewards from going green.

Bottom line

Solar power can be a great investment for both your home and the environment. Tax credits, an increased house value and zero or low electricity bills can all lessen the financial burden in the future if you’re able to make the initial financial plunge now.

Your best financing option will depend on what you want out of your new system, how much equity you have in your home, your ability to make repayments and how long you need to repay the loan.

Carefully consider your needs and compare your loan options before making a decision.

Frequently asked questions

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