Island man finds financial stability in solar investment

Shawn Clements has installed ground mounted solar panels and is saving $200 a month on his electricity bill. Cory Pater Photo.

By Cory Pater

April 15, 2021

Shawn Clements looked out his bedroom window at the row of ten-foot-tall solar panels next to his house.

He was relieved. After a year of stress and paperwork they were finally up and fully operational.

Clements, 46, is a disabled navy veteran originally from Newfoundland. He lives off of his pension and installed solar panels to help bring financial stability to his household.

“I want to make sure that the wife doesn’t have to move away when my time comes,” he said.

In fact, his motivation for going solar is entirely financial.

“I don’t give a fuck about the environment.”

In fall 2020, he bought the solar panels for about $20,000 through a government incentive called The Solar Electric Rebate program. Under the program 40 per cent of the cost of his panels was covered by the government.

Efficiency P.E.I. said that from 2019 to 2021 approximately 303 island households have taken advantage of the rebate.

The rest of the cost will be paid off to Sunly Energy, which owns the panels in monthly installments for the next 12 years. After that his energy costs will be zero.  

Even though he has only had them for four months, Clements is convinced of the benefits of going solar.

Since the panels were installed, Clements has seen his monthly energy bill go down by over $200.

“They set you up to save a good chunk of change,” he said.

Recently, he has started to speak with his neighbours and friends about his solar investment.

So far, he has convinced five people to have solar panels install on their property.