A glossary of terminology relevant to our business and the solar industry is provided below.
What does it mean ?
Canada Greener Homes
Single Line Diagram (Electrical drawing)
Natural Resources Canada
The client specific registration number showing an homeowner completed his initial application into the CGH program.
A report created by certified Energy Advisors that is used to recommend clients of home improvements that can better their home Energy Efficiency score. The report is needed in order to qualify for the CGH program payouts.
A group of retailers that offer special power rates where consumers can chose a low or high price based on the time of year. The summer rate is higher than usual allowing clients to sell their excess power at a premium and earn extra pay. The winter rate is usually comparable to locked market rates allowing clients to keep costs stable.
A patent invented by SolarEdge allowing the inverter to shutdown if the grid is down. It acts as a safety mechanism protecting homeowners and utility workers in special cases where the inverter isn’t receiving power.
The option to adjust a person utility rate with Solar Club retailers. Retailers usually require 10 days to process such request.
The term we use by involving a lender to give clients access to funds to pay Orizon and complete their project. Customers are responsible for their loan and can decide to pay it off once they are reimbursed from the Canada Greener Homes program or keep the loan and have 2 separate payments.
Alberta Treasure Branch is a provincial bank we have a relationship with in order to qualify clients to a no fees line of credit. The line of credit can be paid off as quickly or as slowly as customers chose. It also allows clients to decide if they wish to pay interest only or interest and principal.
The term utility companies may use for MicroGen agreements.
The permit required by the city or town in order to advance a solar project, this will be required prior to applying for the utility permit.
Kilo Watt, a measurement of a 1000 watts.
Kilo Watt Hour, a measurement of power consumption used on clients’ bills.
The max AC watt capability of an inverter.
Power that gets lost due to higher power produced than the inverter can convert. Clipped power is lost and doesn’t get stored or transferred to the grid.
A cluster of panels connected together on one roof face.
The percentage amount a panel is expected to degrade according to the manufacture specs, degradation rates are used to guarantee production warranty.
The warranty specific to the parts that can go bad and require replacement within a product.
Third Party Consent form is a utility company form authorizing Orizon Energy to act on behalf of the client.
The warranty specific to solar manufacturers where they promise their panels will produce at a certain level and drop in production by only a certain amount for the length of 25 Years.
The warranty that guarantees the installation crews professional quality. The warranty protects clients from issues that could be caused by bad installation such as roof leaks, improper mounting etc.
Return merchandise authorization, a term used when dealing with warranty claims and approvals.
The term used for Micro Generators which residential solar homes fall under. It means they are creating power for personal use rather than commercial generation like power plants.
Additional products or services added to the solar deal.
A review and inspection of the home to ensure a solar system can be installed. This is a required 2nd touch with the client’s property. The surveyor has to go into the attic as well as check the Main Panel and determine if an MPU is required. Surveyors use a drone to get close footage of the roof and check if it is in good enough shape for the solar system to be installed on. Customer has to be home for this site survey to happen.
Surveyor questions and pictures assist us with having the proper information needed for the permitting process. The surveyor reviews the material, condition of the roof as well as many other items related to the project. It is the site survey that allows for our engineers to review things remotely and issue the required engineer stamps.
Main Service Panel
Home’s Main Electrical Panel
Electric panel upgrade required to handle the amps and bus rating required for Solar. This requires a permit and sometimes (like in Calgary) an extra charge to the power company.
The person completing the site survey, climbs into the attic, takes pictures, assess the roof etc.
AC vs DC
Alternating current vs Direct current. Direct current converts to alternating current – this is the function of the inverter.
Equipment that holds the solar panels on the ground instead of on the roof.
The Total Cost per watt of the solar system.
Electric Vehicle Charger
Holds the electricity generated by the solar panels.
Percent of electricity consumption offset by the solar power system Calculated by Total Yearly Production / Total Yearly Consumption.
Large Commercial Projects
Transfers power from panels and converts it from DC to AC.
Sub Panel Upgrade
Separate panel from the main panel, can usually be used when the bus rating is enough but there is not enough room on the panel, another case is when the garage has an array to install but no panel.
Approval from a structural engineer saying that a home is capable and cleared to support the weight of the solar panels on the roof of the building.
The primary purpose of these disconnect switches is so that you can shut off the incoming flow of power from your solar panels.
Photovoltaic = Solar System
Stands for “Permission to Operate”. Usually a milestone indicating that the utility has given the all clear to operate.
Mounting type for panels.
Aerial Picture of the roof.
Price per kWh for ultilities.
Price Per Watt – Calculated by dividing total system cost by system size (in watts).
A billing mechanism that allows customers to receive credit for excess billing.
Solar Company is leasing the space on the roof of the homeowner – used for homeowners who don’t wish to buy the solar. Installation is usually free or low cost, homeowner pays a fixed monthly lease payment and does not receive any tax credits or other financial incentives. Not offered by Orizon Energy.
Pre Retro-Fits Assessment
The assessment homeowners are responsible to have before doing any improvements or projects in their home. The client is responsible to pay for this report directly to the Energy Advisor. This report must get uploaded on the NRCAN portal in order for the government to evaluate it and allow to apply for the loan initiative.
Post Retro-Fits Assessment
The assessment homeowners require once their project is completed in order to confirm to the government things indeed got completed and get approved for any grants or loan reimbursements.
Canada Greener Homes program includes a grant and loan initiative. This program falls under NRCAN and is easily accessible by Canadian homeowners. The program is specific to the client and not the Solar company. Application is as quick as 10 minutes and sales reps are expected to assist clients register and upload their confirmation number (AP Number). Approval into the program usually arrives within a few days however nothing gets paid or processed until post project completion. The program requires an EnerGuide report which is a part of the Pre Retro-Fits Assessment people need to pay for. Following the install clients will need the Post Retro-Fits Assessment before being able to finalize their grant or loan.