5 Common Misconceptions about Solar Energy Related to Costs and Expenses

solar energyNow is a great time to take a fresh look at solar energy, for anyone who has doubts about related costs and expenses.  There has been a huge movement toward solar in recent years; and, as a result, solar installation has become more and more affordable. Once various myths and misconceptions about solar are dispelled, it becomes as clear as a sunny, cloudless day that solar is an investment worth making. The following are some common misconceptions about solar related to expenses and costs:

Misconception #1 – Solar PV Systems are too Inconsistent to Cut Energy Costs

As long as they are properly installed, solar electric systems can actually be more dependable than utility companies.  Off-grid systems are immune to power outages; and there are no moving parts on solar systems, which makes them very reliable.  Today’s solar technologies are so dependable, in fact, that many critical systems are powered by the sun, including railroad crossing signals, navigational buoys, and aircraft warning lights.

The efficiency of a solar system can, however, be negatively impacted; for example:

  • Shade from dense foliage, leaves, dust, and other debris can cause significant energy loss; regular maintenance can prevent these situations from becoming an issue.
  • Solar panels can become damaged when excessively stressed by hail, snow, and even high winds.
  • Over the years, expansion and contraction of the metal in solar panels caused by extreme swings in weather temperatures can cause connectors to break.

Misconception #2 – Solar Power is Inefficient

Since the 1970s, solar panel efficiency has quadrupled, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.  Technology is continually advancing the efficiency of solar products.  At this time, the majority of solar panels convert approximately 15% of the sun’s energy into electricity, which is about the same efficiency range as the gasoline in a car.

Certain kinds of experimental solar PV panels used for large-scale solar power generation have proven to convert as much as 40% of the sun’s power into electricity.  Researchers are relentlessly seeking to improve solar efficiency, and there is continual progress.

Misconception #3 – If they’re even Available Where I Live, Taking Advantage of Rebates and Financial Incentives is Probably Too Complicated

Solar PV System

The cost of Solar PV Sysemts have dropped making it an affordable energy option for most homeowners.

The Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy shows that 48 states offer solar energy incentives.  In addition to that, a 30% federal tax credit is available.  It is not difficult to apply for the various rebates and incentives designed to encourage homeowners and businesses to go solar.  In fact, in most areas, there are environmental groups who devote themselves to the task of helping people go through all of the steps to qualify for assistance.  The more homeowners learn about available incentives, the more they agree that it makes the most sense to invest in solar energy.

Misconception #4 – Solar Photovoltaic Systems are Too Expensive

The cost of solar energy installations is more affordable than ever before.  No matter what state you live in, a minimum of 30% is covered by federal incentives; and with state and local rebates and incentives which could be available where you live, as much as 85% of the solar system’s cost could be covered.  The cost per installed watt of solar electricity has reached an all-time low of $4.00 to $5.50 for basic roof-mounted systems depending on specific site circumstances.

Misconception #5 – If I Move, I’ll Never See a Return on an Investment in a Solar System

The value of your home is increased when you have a solar PV system.  According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, for every $1,000 saved in annual electricity costs, the value of the home increases by $20,000.

Contact any of our NASS stores with your questions about solar power.  We are among those who like to help homeowners and businesses take advantage of available incentives to install a solar system.

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