FAQ

About the Program

1. What is the Easy Solar program?
We install solar panels absolutely free of cost on your rooftop and pay you for participating in the program. There are:

  • No credit checks
  • No maintenance costs
  • No insurance costs

2. Who is Grasshopper Solar?
Founded in 2007, Grasshopper Solar Corporation is one of the largest Canadian solar companies. We have engineered and successfully installed hundreds of turnkey solar systems for both residential and commercial customers across Ontario.

Grasshopper has industry leading affiliations, including the Better Business Bureau, CanSIA, OPA Approved Vendor, ESA, PEO, OSEA and Green Energy Act Alliance,

3. When do I get paid?
$250-per-year – If your home qualifies and you are approved, you will get your first annual payment at the time the solar system is connected by your local utility company. Every year thereafter, you will receive annual payments on that date for a total of 20 payments.

4. Do I qualify?
There is a two-step process to qualify for Easy Solar:

Step 1: Prior to signing up. You must own the detached house where the solar system is going to be installed. Your house must be located in a qualifying solar city and must pass Grasshopper’s remote evaluation.

Step 2: After signing up – Pass an on-site evaluation of your roof. The local utility’s approval to connect the solar system. (Limited availability in each area)

5. Are ground-mount solar systems eligible under the free solar program?
No, they are not eligible. Only roof-mount solar systems are eligible.
6. My roof is flat. Does it qualify?
No, flat roofs are not eligible.
7. My roof has slate/clay/metal shingles. Does it qualify?
No, unfortunately roofs with those types of shingles are not eligible.
8. Does the property qualify if it is registered to a business or an organization?
The property only qualifies if it is a house and registered to individuals. If your property is registered to a business or an organization, we can take down your information for participation in the FIT program. The next application window for this program is expected to open in 2015.
9. Do I have to pay anything?
Absolutely not. You do not pay for equipment, installation, ongoing maintenance or system insurance. All costs are Grasshopper’s responsibility.
10. How is this possible?
The Ontario government launched the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) program in November 2009 to help the economy and add renewable energy to the energy mix. Under this program, power produced by the solar system is bought by the government at guaranteed rates over a 20-year term. The income pays for the system and its operating costs.
11. What is the catch?
There is no catch! Grasshopper’s Easy Solar program is backed by the Ontario government’s microFIT program. All power produced by the solar system is bought by the government at guaranteed rates. However, the system must remain at its installed location during the 20-year term.
12. Can I use the electricity myself?
No. When the system is installed, a new export meter sends all the electricity produced by the solar system out to the grid. The electricity supply in your neighbourhood now has clean solar power generated right from your roof in the energy mix that is used to power your home.
After 20 years the solar system becomes yours and you can use the solar energy produced for your house.
13. Who gets the generation payments for the solar power?
Grasshopper receives the payments. The income from the solar generation on your roof pays for the system plus its operating costs.
14. What if I want to buy out the solar system?
The agreement contains a buy-out clause that allows you to buy out the system at any time during the term. The further into the term you are, the cheaper it is to do so.
15. What happens after 20 years?
After 20 years, the solar system becomes yours and you can use the solar energy produced for your own house.
16. Will you be in business in 20 years?
Grasshopper’s $100 million Easy Solar Program is a significant investment in the province of Ontario. It is in the company’s best interest to maintain operations for the term of the FREE Solar lease agreement.
17. What happens if I sell the house?
The Easy Solar agreement is simply transferred to the new homeowner:

  • If you choose the $3,000-upfront-payment option, the new owner will get a one-time $500 payment from Grasshopper Solar.
  • If you choose the option that pays $400 per year for 20 years, the new homeowner will continue to receive the annual payments. The new homeowner will own the system in the balance of 20-year term.

18. What if the new property owner doesn’t want the solar system?
This is very unlikely. In fact, your house will probably sell faster. It will come with additional income, higher efficiency and be ready for a future in which solar panels will be the norm. If you speak with a real estate agent, up to date with the market and green initiatives, you will learn that in most instances a solar system increases the value of a house.

Maintenance

1. What about maintenance?
Grasshopper Solar is completely responsible for maintaining the system without any cost to you during the term.
2. How many times do you visit my property for inspection and/or maintenance?
Maintenance calls will occur only when required and are rare in nature. Whether for inspection or maintenance, unless it is an emergency, Grasshopper will only come during daylight hours. And we will always notify you in advance, so you can choose to be present.
3. Will the solar panels become outdated? Will they have to be changed if the technology evolves?
Unlike your cell phone, TV, or computer, solar panel technology has changed very little since its inception. Solar panels from the 50s and 60s are in operation today and still producing power.
4. Who is responsible for roof maintenance?
General roof maintenance remains your responsibility, however the solar panels extend roof life because they protect roofing materials from direct sunlight, wind, rain and snow. Grasshopper is responsible for any damage to the roof caused by our solar panels.
5. What if I require roof repair or maintenance?
In a typical situation, the panels do not need to be removed. In the event you choose to remove the solar panels for roof work, there will be no additional cost as long as you use a Grasshopper-qualified roofer.

Effects on Home

1. How many panels are put on my roof?
A minimum of 20 up to a maximum of 40 panels will be installed. This produces enough electrical energy to power an average house in Ontario.
2. What is the size and weight of each solar panel?
Each panel is 1 m x 1.6 m x 42 mm thick, weighing approximately 23 kg. A solar panel is smaller than a sheet of plywood and it weighs less than the combination of materials already on your roof.
3. Are the solar panels screwed or clamped to my roof?
The solar panels are both clamped and screwed onto your roof to ensure solid attachment. Grasshopper’s solar engineers design the systems to ensure there is no damage to your roof or any other part of your house during installation and in the years to come.
4. Will the panels cause structural damage to my home?
No. Before Grasshopper installs a solar system, it sends a certified technician to do an on-site assessment after which a Professional Engineer also conducts and stamps a detailed study of your roof. They will determine if the house is structurally sound, and if the roof is in good condition. If your roof is not in good condition, and/or your home is not structurally sound, we will not install a solar system on your roof.
5. Will the solar panels damage my roof?
No, in fact solar panels will protect your roof. Solar panels shield the area they cover from the elements, extending the life of your roof.
6. What happens if you damage my roof during installation?
We take great care during the installation process. In the unlikely event any damage occurs, we will send a qualified contractor to repair your roof at our cost.
7. Will my house insurance fees go up?
No. The insurance for the solar system is arranged and paid for by Grasshopper Solar. Our insurance provides up to $10 million in commercial general liability coverage and we stand behind our work and system design.
8. Is it true my air conditioning costs will decrease?
Yes, solar panels on the roof can in fact reduce the costs of air conditioning in the summer by protecting the roof from direct exposure to sun.
9. Will the solar system increase the value of my property?
A Grasshopper solar power system will increase the value of your property for several reasons such as the guaranteed income it generates, extending the life of your roof, potential reduction in cooling bills and being future-ready for free electricity and electric cars.