Debunking Solar Myths
- Myth– I should wait until solar technology gets more efficient.
Solar technology actually hasn't changed much since the 1960s. In fact, it’s one of the most stable technologies we can use. That, plus the 30 percent federal solar tax credit and many state incentive programs, make solar a technology worth installing right now. In the last 10 years, costs of solar have dropped enormously.
- Myth– Solar doesn't work when it’s cool, cloudy or foggy.
Solar panels still produce significant energy when it’s foggy, chilly, or overcast. Solar Panels actually perform better in colder conditions as opposed to hot conditions because of the degradation of voltage due to heat. Surprising fact: solar panels on a rooftop in cool and foggy San Francisco produce only one percent less electricity than those on a rooftop in hot, sunny Sacramento.
- Myth– It is a lot of trouble to maintain solar panels.
Solar panels have no moving parts and do not require regular maintenance (unlike your car, which needs the oil changed several times a year, the tires pumped up regularly, and an annual tune-up). Most companies recommend you hose off the panels once a year or so, but many panel owners rely on the rain to do this instead. You do want to remove any debris that falls on the panels. But generally, you can use monitoring software to detect any drop in power generation that might need your attention.
- Myth– Solar panels will cause my roof to leak, deteriorate, or collapse.
On the contrary, solar panels help protect and preserve the portion of the roof they cover. Most solar panels do not attach directly to the roof. Rather, they’re mounted on a railing system sealed with metal flashing that provides an extra barrier against the elements. If your roof needs to be repaired for other reasons, such as age or storm damage, do that before installing solar panels.
- Myth– Solar is so expensive, I’ll never make back the money I put into it.
Solar turns out to be a great choice for people looking to save money on electricity. Modern financing options make it much easier to afford the upfront costs of installation, and many households can now go solar for little to no money down. Also, solar pays for itself over time. Unlike pretty much anything else you buy for your home – like a sofa, or a microwave, or a refrigerator – solar panels return, on average, two to four times their cost in saved electricity bills. In other words, whatever it costs you to purchase solar initially, you’ll be repaid in energy savings over time. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, solar panels typically pay for themselves completely within 10 years. With Solar Me, the payback can be as little as 2-5 years.
- Myth– When the power goes out, my home will still be powered.
This is not true, unless you have a battery backup system or a standby generator installed. On most systems, your solar system is tied into your utility grid, so when the grid goes down, even though your solar panels could still be working, they won’t be sending power to the grid and your home electrical system won’t be pulling power out of it. Fortunately, the power doesn't go off very often.
- Myth– Solar will look ugly on my roof. Solar panels actually send a message that the homeowners who install them are very “hip” and setting a great example for others in the community. If you don’t like the look of traditional solar panels, however, consider a ground-mount if your property is suitable for a ground array.
- Myth– Installing solar panels will increase my property tax.
In many states, solar installations are property-tax exempt. As far as investments go, installing solar panels is one of the best you can make because they increase the resale value of your house without costing any more in property taxes.
- Myth– Solar panels require a tracking system to follow the angle of the sun.
Most solar panels can be installed at just the right angle on a roof to maximize the amount of solar they can capture and convert to electricity. Tracking systems are more common in industrial settings that use massive arrays of solar panels to generate electricity.
- Myth– It is very difficult to figure out what kind of solar system I need.
At Solar Me, our experts look at all factors such as exposure, current utility consumption, available space, and available budget when creating a custom solar proposal for you. We aim to educate all of our potential customers. Our focus is to make the solar implementation experience fun, exciting, and something you will be bragging to your friends and family about.