There’s solar energy and then there’s the solar myth. Many of the “facts” surrounding solar come from outdated information, others are misconceptions, and some are just rumors that are plain false.
Let’s check out a couple of the most perpetuated tales and separate the solar myth from the solar truth.
Myth: Solar panels don’t work in cold weather.
It may take a little longer to see your return on investment, but you will still save money even in a cold environment. Solar panels convert the sun’s rays into energy. This has nothing to do with the temperature outside. As far as the health of your solar panels themselves, you’ll find that like most electronics they thrive in colder weather. You may get less sun but the panels will work more efficiently which will make up for the lost rays.
Myth: Solar panels are too expensive.
The cost to go solar is historically lower than it’s ever been. The average return on investment for a solar system is 5 years. Additionally, almost every state has solar incentives that lower the price of solar substantially. There is also a 30% federal tax credit available for installing solar until 2022. As for upfront costs, there are many financing options available. SunSource even offers a zero down financing option and will work with you to get the best plan for you so that going solar won’t be a burden.
Myth: Installing solar is quite complicated and requires a lot of maintenance.
Instillation isn’t complicated so long as you are using a reliable manufacturer. Solar panels are built to last and are built to be tough. While there may be minimal maintenance needed along the way, any installer worth its salt will offer you a warranty to cover these costs. SunSource has one of the best warranties in the business: 25 years guaranteed coverage for the parts and the labor.*
Myth: Solar panels will cause damage to your roof.
In reality, solar panels protect and preserve the parts of the roof they cover. However, there may need to be adjustments made to your structure to accommodate the extra weight. Make sure your solar installation includes an evaluation of your roof that proves your roof is structurally ready to support solar panels.
Myth: Your roof has to face south.
You can benefit from solar panels as long as your roof faces East, South, or West. There isn’t a consensus on what the best direction to face solar panels are (some say west, others south) however, your installer will analyze your home’s angles and recommend the best placements for ensuring your maximum savings.
Myth: Reselling your home will be harder with solar panels.
That’s false. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory found that homes with solar panels sold on average 20% faster and for 17% more than homes without solar panels.
Myth: Once you go solar, you won’t need the grid at all.
Solar battery packs are available. However, most are not able to store enough energy to keep your house running for a significant amount of time. Because of this most people choose to stay plugged into the grid. So how do you save money if you’re still plugged into the grid? The grid becomes your battery pack.
When you install solar panels, your house uses the energy they generate primarily. If you exceed the amount of solar energy you have available, you tap into the energy grid. If you produce more solar energy than you use, that energy is fed back into the grid and discounted off your bill.
Myth: New technology will make solar cheaper, so I should wait.
Since the 1970’s, the costs of solar has decreased by about $73/watt. This huge drop means you probably won’t see another one anytime soon. Another factor to consider are the solar incentives currently available. Many states are offering incentives for those that go solar and there is a federal tax rebate available. Most of these incentives have expiration dates on them or are in limited supply, so waiting to go solar may cause you to lose money.
Myth: Manufacturing solar panels causes more pollution than the clean energy they produce.
Nope, not true. A study conducted by the US Department of Energy proved that the energy payback for the average solar panel is between 1-4 years. Compare this to the lifespan of a solar panel – 25 years – and you’ll see the amount of energy they produce far outweighs the amount consumed during their creation.
Myth: Solar panels will cause more harm to the environment when they’re thrown away.
There are inactive chemicals within solar panels that can be dangerous were the panels to be disposed of unsafely. However, this is easily thwarted if you take the time to recycle properly. Many manufacturers will take the panels from you and recycle them at no charge. You just have to be diligent and utilize their programs.