Solar energy is still relatively new technology. While solar panels have been around since the 60s and 70s they’ve become a lot more affordable for the average homeowner within the last several years. Despite the fact that more and more homes are going solar all across the country and the world there are still a ton of myths about solar power.
Today we’re busting 9 of the most popular solar power myths.
1. Myth: Solar Panels Cost a Lot Out of Pocket
Many people think that they can’t afford solar panels because they assume they need to pay for them out of pocket. Keep in mind that not every solar array costs the same. It can depend on your roof, your homes power needs and what types of panels you decide to buy.
If you want to pay for your solar array out of pocket you might consider starting out smaller and adding to it as time goes on. In the end this will cost more because of installation costs unless you decide to do DIY.
But in reality most people don’t have to worry about paying out of pocket thanks to financing options. There are many banks that will offer loans or other financing options to pay for solar panels.
2. Myth: I’ll Never See a Return on my Investment
The idea that you’ll never see a return on your solar panel investment is a big fear that we hear a lot. After all you are buying solar panels as just that, an investment! You want to know that your investment is going to pay off.
How quickly your panels pay for themselves depends on your home, state, power use, etc. At Solar Wholesale we want to help our customers get the best price possible on their solar panels so that they can see the best return possible. Many of our customers install their panels themselves for even greater savings. This all helps you to see a faster ROI (return on investment).
We have some customers that see a return on their investment in as little as five years! When the average lifespan of solar panels is over 25 years that’s nearly 20 years of free power that you’re getting from your solar panels. Even if it takes 10 years for your panels to pay for themselves that’s still 15 years of free power.
3. Myth: Solar Panels Don’t Work Well in Cold Climates
You don’t have to live in California for solar panels to work for you. Solar panels don’t work when the sun isn’t shining but it has nothing to do with the temperature. There are many cold climate areas that still see many sunny days even in the winter.
In addition, many people see their electric bills increase in the summer during the sunniest of days while it’s their gas bills that increase during the winter months. As for the Mountain West specifically, we’re in one of the best regions in the country to take advantage of this green energy source.
4. Myth: Solar Panels Will Get More Efficient So I Should Wait to Buy
While researchers are working on making solar more and more efficient progress has slowed and there’s just no reason to keep waiting for the next generation of solar panels. The increases in efficiency won’t be that huge. Plus with that excuse in mind you’ll always be waiting because researchers will likely always be looking for ways to make the panels better if even by small margins.
5. Myth: Solar Panels Will Get Cheaper So I Should Wait to Buy
Prices on solar panels have plummeted since the 1970s, from almost $80/watt, to today’s pricing, around $3/watt (or less!). This is clearly a significant drop in pricing. It’s due to a lot of factors from improvements in technology to increased demand.
Right now though, the prices are staying steady and there’s not going to be any kind of significant drop anytime soon. Plus there are many incentives that are set to run out within the next few years so there might not be a better time to buy than right now.
6. Myth: Solar Panels Don’t Work Well in Snowy Climates
A common misconception is that snowy climates aren’t good for solar panels. It’s true that while your panels are covered in snow that they’re not producing energy but snow doesn’t tend to stick around on solar panels for very long. Most panels are installed at an angle allowing snow to easily slide off the panels.
In addition a few days of snow covered panels in a year won’t be enough to erase the benefits and energy you get the rest of the year. For example, Germany gets less than half as much sun as the sunniest city in the U.S., and it has one of the most successful solar programs in the world.
7. Myth: I won’t Live in My House Long Enough to See a Return on my Investment
If you see yourself moving in the next 3-5 years don’t let that be a deterrent to adding solar panels to your home. Like I mentioned before, depending on a lot of factors like how much you paid for your panels and installation and how much power they produce, your solar array could pay for itself in just a few years.
On top of that solar panels can help add to the value of your home. So even if you move before you get a chance to reap the fruit of your investment, you’ll be able to still see a return when you sell.
8. Myth: Solar Panels Need a Tracking System to Be Effective
Some very advanced systems or solar fields might have tracking technology to make the most out of every minute of sunshine but it’s not necessary to have an effective system that meets your needs.
An expert can design a system for your home that will maximize your roof’s angles and orientation without needing a system that can change and adjust your panels throughout the day. This is what the majority of solar panel owners do and it works great!
9. Myth: Solar Panels Need a lot of Maintenance
Solar panels are actually very low-maintenance. They have a long lifespan and don’t tend to need very much upkeep and repair. Because the panels are usually installed at an angle when panels get rained on they’re essentially self cleaning. Snow also slides right off in most cases helping to clear any dirt, dust or debris along with it.
Many solar panels even come with performance warranties that guarantee their performance overtime. If they start to perform under what the warranty has stated you can have your panel repaired or replaced.