5 Common Misconceptions About Solar Energy

The residential and commercial use of renewable energy, particularly solar, is slowly but steadily rising. California alone reported 127,000 residential photovoltaic (PV) systems in 2017, and given the state’s new regulations mandating solar panels on newly built homes, that number is only expected to grow. Despite this positive trend, there are still many misconceptions surrounding solar power. In this article, we will be debunking the common myths about solar energy in order to help homeowners make the transition.

Myth #1: Solar energy only works in warm weather.

The PV cells in solar panels are what allow particles of light in, thereby knocking electrons free from atoms and generating a flow of electricity. Given that it harnesses the sun’s energy, it’s natural to wonder what kind of environment solar panels require.

The truth is, solar panels work in all kinds of climates because it’s the amount of sunlight that matters, not the heat it gives off. Even during the winter, you can rest assured that you won’t have to survive the cold months powerless. However, that also means that shorter and cloudier days will affect the amount of energy the solar panels can collect. This dip in solar energy is what solar batteries are for — they store solar power for later use.

Myth #2: Solar power works seamlessly during a power outage.

With batteries in place, you will have some form of power backup during a blackout. However, Green Tech Media highlights that prioritizing what appliances to use is key, as the batteries currently out on the market can only provide backup for around 10-15 hours depending on the provider.

Myth #3: Solar panels are difficult to install and require constant care.

DIY installation of solar panels requires a lot of research and effort. If you choose to go that route, then the initial installation might give you a bit of a challenge. However, our article on ‘Why Choosing Your Solar Installer Matters’ pinpoints the benefits of outsourcing, one of which is that your service provider will do all of the heavy lifting for you — from design to installation. Quality solar panels are also made to last for a few decades, and it’s this level of durability that reduces the need for constant maintenance and repair.

Myth #4: Solar panels are costly and not economically viable.

On top of our quest to raise sustainability, solar is also a known cost-cutting solution, especially for households. However, one cannot deny that the initial installation can be costly. It’s best to think of the addition of solar panels as a home investment. As such, it is a project one needs to budget for appropriately in order to calculate long-term returns, something that many homeowners fail to do. In fact, a survey on home upgrades presented by Marcus found that 65% of people expect to spend less than $10,000 on any improvements. However, when you start to factor in other costs such as materials and labor, all of these can easily add up in the end.

In reality, average-sized solar installations range from $11,411 to $14,874, so it is a bit of an investment. This number varies based on your location, as well as the size of your installation. However, our breakdown of the economics of solar for American households points out that the return on investment can happen within 5-7 years, after which the cost of your electricity significantly decreases.

Myth #5: Solar panels will make selling my property difficult.

Solar installations, when done expertly, won’t cause any roof damage. And in the event that you do have to sell your property, you might even be able to negotiate for a higher price because of them. An analysis of solar’s value by real estate marketplace Zillow reveals that solar panels increase a home’s value by 4.1% across the country. On a $226,300 property, that’s an added $9,274, which is almost a money back guarantee of your solar installation.

If you have more questions about solar, don’t hesitate to reach out to a top-rated solar company like Allterra Solar. Call us today at (831) 425-2608.

Written by Andrea Thompson