Regardless of the U.S. surpassing 3 million solar installations in the second quarter (Q2) of 2021, the adoption of solar power in the country is often met with skepticism and lack of trust that results in a myriad of solar panel myths floating around.
In this article, we take a look at 5 of the most common solar panel installation myths.
Misconception 1: Solar Power is Too Expensive
Historical information on solar will have you think that the costs to install solar panels are too high to bear. However, in recent years the prices of solar panels have gone down, with prices having fallen by 70% between 2014 and 2020 according to the government Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy as an example.
In fact, solar power prices in some states compete with fossil-based power prices, debunking the fable that having residential solar panels is only for the wealthy who can afford it.
Another notable argument often raised is that batteries for power storage are so expensive that they make the switch to solar economically unfeasible. However, batteries are not a necessity, unless you live off-grid and the alternative to batteries is to have no power at all.
With grid-tie set-ups and net metering, you can use the grid as your storage. By day, you can enjoy the savings solar gives you while selling the excess to the grid, then at night, you get electricity at a reduced cost from the grid.
Misconception 2: Solar Energy Heavily Relies on Government Subsidies
Every source of energy is either currently subsidized or was when it was introduced. Subsidies like loan guarantees, accelerated depreciation, tax credits, and bankruptcy protection apply to fossil and nuclear power which have also been subsidized for over a century.
Solar is subsidized not because it is expensive, but to accelerate its rate of uptake. Eventually, it will become the cheapest form of energy by 2030, according to a report published by Wood Mackenzie.
Misconception 3: The sun shines while I am at work so solar is no benefit to me
One of the solar energy myths needing to be busted that we often come across is that if you spend your day at work when the sun is shining and only return home when towards dusk, then you will never enjoy the benefits of your solar set-up. At first glance, the argument may seem plausible but on closer inspection, you will notice that some of your appliances still run even when no one is home.
Consider appliances such as refrigerators and swimming pool pumps which run all day, not to mention all the other appliances that use electrical energy in standby mode. Moreover, thanks to net metering, any excess electricity you do not use is fed to the grid and you will be able to enjoy the grid electricity at lower prices when you return home.
Misconception 4: Installing solar decreases your property value
Another of the solar myths that need to be debunked is that installing solar hurts the value of your property. The opposite is actually true. A 2019 study by Zillow found that not only do houses with solar panels increase in value by 4.1% on average in the U.S. but houses equipped with solar also sell more.
However, the caveat is that properties with leased solar panels may be harder to sell as potential buyers shy away from having to pay for the lease but would be happy to pay extra if they get to own them right after the purchase.
Misconception 5: Solar panel system requires maintenance
Once put into place, solar panels for homes do not require much maintenance save for the occasional cleaning to remove dust and bird spoils.
Some will even go for years relying only on mother nature to wash the panels during the rainy season. Where maintenance may be necessary, some installers will include the cost of maintenance in the installation cost.
However, if you live off the grid or have batteries for backup, those may need to be changed periodically depending on the type of batteries you have.
If your hesitation to go solar was based on the solar myths we just busted above, we would like to help you on your journey to a cleaner and cheaper source of power that is solar. At PPM Solar, we specialize in residential and commercial solar panels installation. Contact us to get clarity on solar-based electricity in the US and we will help you design a set-up that is best for your needs.