With every day that passes, solar energy becomes more popular. As society seeks alternative energy sources, the need for quality renewable energy has never been greater. And, with the recent extension of the Solar Investment Tax Credit, we’ll be hearing a lot more about solar power in the coming years.
As California natives ourselves, we’ve been installing solar systems in this state for over 25 years, and we know first-hand how much it can benefit homeowners. California is by far one of the best states for solar-powered homes, due to its never-ending supply of sunlight year-round. And the solar industry isn’t going anywhere but up, now that new California homes will have solar installed from the get-go.
As solar power becomes more ubiquitous, so too will the demand for it grow. As is true in any growing industry, there are bound to be a lot of misconceptions that get parroted around. In our three decades of working in solar, we’ve heard just about every myth there is under the sun. If you sell solar systems, you’ll want to have these memorized to quell customer concerns, and if you’re thinking of adopting a solar system yourself, it’s important to be informed. Here are some of the most common misconceptions about solar energy:
MYTH: SOLAR PANELS DON’T WORK WHEN IT’S CLOUDY
This one isn’t a complete myth, as there is some truth to it. However, it’s a bit disingenuous to say that solar power doesn’t work at all when the weather’s not right — this implies that your home will be left out to dry every time some clouds cover up the sun.
It is true that solar panels are, in fact, powered by solar rays. If those rays can’t reach the panels, no energy will be created. However, there are two important facts to consider. First off, clouds don’t completely block sunlight. They might reduce it, but in most cases, there’s still something getting through. Secondly, solar systems are engineered to compensate for periods when the sun isn’t out. Solar energy can be stored, so most homes collect an adequate amount during the day, which carries them through the night until the sun comes out again.
In a hypothetical scenario where you really aren’t getting any solar energy, your house is still connected to the grid and it can draw power that way. Long story short, there’s no need to worry about not having power when you have a solar system.
MYTH: THE GOVERNMENT GIVES OUT FREE SOLAR PANELS
This is another myth that has a small piece of the truth, but is ultimately still wrong. There’s a common misconception that the government is gung-ho about giving out free solar panel systems. You’re giving them a bit too much credit. However, that’s not to say that the government can’t help you shift to renewable energy.
The federal government offers a tax credit, known commonly as the Solar ITC. If you pay taxes, you’re able to claim 30% of the system cost back as a credit. So Uncle Sam is helping offset the costs, but not directly paying for the solar panels themselves or for the installation. At ESP we’ve installed over 10,000 systems where customers were aided in some way by these credits.
If you’re one of our solar sales partners, it’s always useful to be informed about any current government credits that exist for solar energy.
MYTH: SOLAR PANEL SYSTEMS WILL DAMAGE MY ROOF
As solar installers ourselves, there’s no myth we’re more tired of hearing than this one. There is a common concern that the weight of solar systems will cause roof damage, even to the extent of causing leaks. The bottom line is that this simply isn’t true. If anything, your roof is better off with solar panels, as they will take the brunt of climate-related damage, such as harsh sunlight, rain, and hail.
Take it from people who have been in the industry for three decades — solar systems were much clunkier once upon a time, and these fears may have been more valid 20 years ago. But the technology has improved a hundred-fold since then, and extensive research has been done to engineer these systems in a way that won’t cause roof damage.
The only thing that solar panels will require of your roof are some holes to affix the racking. These holes are unobtrusive and are extensively sealed to prevent leaks. Furthermore, we offer a Roof Penetration warranty at Energy Service Partners. If there are any homeowners who are unsatisfied with their installation, we’ll fix the problem right away — we are steadfastly committed to upholding our standard of quality workmanship.
MYTH: SOLAR PANELS LOWER HOME VALUE
This is a silly myth that’s solely propagated by people who have an irrational aversion to the look of solar panels. The benefits of solar power can’t be denied — despite a hefty upfront cost, they consistently save homeowners money and reduce carbon emissions. But to some people, these benefits aren’t worth it because they think solar panels are ugly.
In their ire, they might spread misinformation about solar, such as the idea that the “ugly” panels will reduce your home’s value and lower curb appeal. This is an outdated viewpoint — solar panels are in vogue now thanks to improved manufacturing aesthetics. People are going to have to get used to looking at solar panels, whether they like it or not, but black goes with everything!
The reality is that solar systems have been repeatedly proven to increase home value, not lower it. Statistically, solar power raises a home’s value by about 3.7% — that can amount to roughly $17,000 for the average California home! People love the prospect of moving into a home that is pre-equipped with solar; they get to reap all the benefits without having to get it installed themselves. To most buyers, that’s worth paying a premium for. Luckily for anyone purchasing a system from ESP in the coming years, we include Pearl Certification – a comprehensive set of documents you can provide to your realtor or appraiser to help capture maximum value from your investment.
MYTH: SOLAR PANELS ARE QUICKLY OUTDATED
Many people are reluctant to pay for solar energy, because they believe that it’s still a budding industry and that they’ll be able to save loads of money down the line by just waiting a little while for things to get cheaper or more technologically advanced. We’re not going to deny that solar will likely continue to get more affordable or efficient. However, the rate at which this happens will yield diminishing returns.
That is to say, the amount that you’ll save by waiting for solar energy will most likely pale in comparison to what you would have saved on a monthly basis by getting it earlier. All technology goes down in price with time, but there’s always a point where the decreases end up plateauing. Waiting won’t save homeowners the incredible amount of money they might be hoping for, because you’re spending money on ever-increasing power bills every month while you sit around.
ENERGY SERVICE PARTNERS – CALIFORNIA’S PREMIER SOLAR INSTALLATION COMPANY
Are you looking to implement solar energy into your California home? Are you a solar sales company looking for a quality partner to handle solar installations? Energy Service Partners has you covered. We’re California’s premier solar installation company, famous for our industry-leading cycle times and quality workmanship that’s backed by 25+ years of experience. There are many myths in this list, but that’s not one of them. Contact us today to get started!