St. Albert drivers can find out how to save money and the environment next week at a free forum on solar homes and electric cars.

The Solar Energy Society of Alberta (AKA Solar Alberta) is having a free talk March 12 on how to combine rooftop solar panels with an electric car.

Many people who are interested in rooftop solar also like electric cars, said Benjamin Thibault of Solar Alberta. Since the cost of gas is greater than the money you make selling solar to the power grid, using solar to charge an electric car can help your solar panels pay off faster.

St. Albert’s Ron Kube has had an electric 2018 Nissan Leaf paired with his home’s solar array since 2018. He estimates that he’s saved about $4,900 on gasoline so far as a result, based on what he would have spent on fuel using his old 2010 gas-powered car.

“It’s been very cost effective,” he said, and it’s let him drive on a net-zero emission basis.

“All the electrons have essentially come from the sun.”

Edmonton solar engineer Gordon Howell has crunched the numbers and found that a house-based solar array takes about 17 years to pay for itself, while a used electric car takes about two. Charge that car with that rooftop array, and you need about six years for both to pay off.

Thibault said Thursday’s forum would feature an electric car showcase followed by a panel discussion on solar power and electric cars.

Kube said electric cars are an ideal second vehicle to use about town, and should be combined with solar if you’re serious about shrinking your carbon footprint.

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“For me it was a no-brainer,” he said, as it let him eliminate the cost of his gasoline and electricity bills.

The forum is at the Edmonton Convention Centre from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., with the electric car showcase starting at 5:45. Visit solaralberta.ca for details.





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