Solar Myths

Solar Myths

I should wait to get home solar because the technology is improving.

The efficiency of photovoltaic home solar panels has increased dramatically in the last 40 or so years to the point of 15% efficiency. What 15% efficiency means is: of all the energy from the sun hitting a solar panel 15% of that energy will be converted to electricity. 15% efficiency is more than enough to power your home and still put excess power back into the grid. With the current 30% federal tax credit and all of the state and local rebates and incentives that are also available now is the time to switch to solar power. If you wait you may miss out on some of the solar financial incentives.

Solar power won’t work in a cool, cloudy environment

Solar panels work just great in a cool or cloudy area. As a matter of fact hot temperatures have a negative effect on the electrical production efficiency of a photovoltaic cell. A perfect example is comparing cool, foggy San Francisco to its hot sunny neighbor Sacramento…a home solar system in San Francisco only produces 1% less electricity than one in Sacramento.

I will need to have batteries for power at night

Unless your home is completely off the grid there is no reason to have a battery back-up system. Almost all home solar systems are tied into your local electricity grid. During the day when your system is producing electricity any excess power you produce is fed back into the grid. At night your home draws power from the grid. With a properly sized system you will always be able to produce more power than you use and the power company has to pay you.

Solar Panels are High maintenance

Solar panels have no moving parts and really require little or no maintenance over their lifetime. Solar panels are built very well, they are designed to withstand up to hurricane force winds and all weather extremes. Most modern solar panel arrays carry a guarantee of 20+ years. In addition, if you opt for a solar lease your solar service provider is responsible for all maintenance, monitoring and service over the life of your contract.

Solar Panels will ruin my roof

Solar panels are designed to be installed on your roof and if your roof meets standard building codes it will easily accommodate a solar installation. Solar panels are light weight and installed on a rack system that minimizes roof penetrations. Part of your pre-purchase consultation will be a structural evaluation of your roof. One thing to note is that you can expect up to 25 years of service from your solar system, if your roofing material is not in good shape you might want to consider re-roofing before installing a new solar system.

Solar Panels are dangerous

There are no dangers associated with having solar panels on your home or with the production of electricity from those panels. There is no heat, gasses or by-products of any kind generated during the conversion of solar energy into electricity. As long as you use a licensed electrical and/or solar contractor home solar power creates no more risk than the existing breaker box in your home.

Solar will not pay for itself

In many cases solar power can be installed on your home for absolutely no charge to you and in addition you will save money every month on your electric bill. Solar service providers have many financing options available, all of which will save you money. Solar is actually one of the only home improvements that will pay for itself.

Solar Power protects me from power outages

Because a solar system is grid tied, when power goes out, your solar system has a safety cut off feature that will shut it down. The reason for this is the safety of electrical workers that are working on the main system. If your solar system is feeding power into the grid a worker could be shocked while trying to do repairs.

Solar panels increase property taxes

In many states solar power systems are exempt from property taxes. What is really nice is that not only are you saving tons of cash every month in electricity bills solar power adds as much as $25,000 of tax free valuation to your home…that’s a win – win!