Solar Glossary

A glossary of terminology relevant to our business and the solar industry is provided below.

Solar Glossary

SOLAR Resource Hub

CGH

Canada Greener Homes

SLD

Single Line Diagram (Electrical drawing)

NRCAN

Natural Resources Canada

AP Number

The client specific registration number showing an homeowner completed his initial application into the CGH program.

EnerGuide

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.

Solar Club

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.

Rapid Shutdown

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.

Rate Change

The option to adjust a person utility rate with Solar Club retailers. Retailers usually require 10 days to process such request.  

Bridge Financing

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.

ATB LOC

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.

Interconnection

The term utility companies may use for MicroGen agreements.

Municipal Permit

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.

KW

Kilo Watt, a measurement of a 1000 watts.

KWh

Kilo Watt Hour, a measurement of power consumption used on clients’ bills.

System Capacity

The max AC watt capability of an inverter.

Clipping

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.

Array

A cluster of panels connected together on one roof face.

Degradation

The percentage amount a panel is expected to degrade according to the manufacture specs, degradation rates are used to guarantee production warranty.

Parts Warranty

The warranty specific to the parts that can go bad and require replacement within a product.

TPC

Third Party Consent form is a utility company form authorizing Orizon Energy to act on behalf of the client.

Production Warranty

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.

Workmanship Warranty

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.

RMA

Return merchandise authorization, a term used when dealing with warranty claims and approvals.

MicroGen

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.

Adders

Additional products or services added to the solar deal.

Site Survey

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

MPU

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.

Site Surveyors

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.

Ground Mounts

Equipment that holds the solar panels on the ground instead of on the roof.

Gross PPW

The Total Cost per watt of the solar system.

EV Charger

Electric Vehicle Charger

Solar Battery

Holds the electricity generated by the solar panels.

Offset

Percent of electricity consumption offset by the solar power system Calculated by Total Yearly Production / Total Yearly Consumption.

Solar Farms

Large Commercial Projects

Inverter

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.

Structure Stamp

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.

AC Disconnect

The primary purpose of these disconnect switches is so that you can shut off the incoming flow of power from your solar panels.

PV

Photovoltaic = Solar System

PTO

Stands for “Permission to Operate”. Usually a milestone indicating that the utility has given the all clear to operate.

Racking

Mounting type for panels.

Eagle View

Aerial Picture of the roof.

Utility Rate

Price per kWh for ultilities.

PPW

Price Per Watt – Calculated by dividing total system cost by system size (in watts).

Net Metering

A billing mechanism that allows customers to receive credit for excess billing.

Lease

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.

If you’re ready to start your solar journey with Orizon Energy, get started here. Follow us on social media for more helpful insights.

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