5 Major Myths & Misconceptions about Solar Panels

Feb 10th 23

People say a lot of different things about solar panels.

Depending on who you talk to or what you read online, you may have some preconceived ideas about solar energy that toe the line between fact and fiction.

To clear up misinformation and showcase the real value of a photovoltaic (PV) installation, here are five of the most common objections, myths, and half-truths about solar panels that we hear today.

#1 | Going solar is too expensive.

As buying a PV system usually costs $10,000 and more, some people believe that solar energy is too expensive to purchase for their homes.

While it is true that paying cash for a solar energy system is unrealistic for a lot of prospective buyers, there are many financing programs designed to help home and business owners go solar without having to endure any major start-up expenses.

Securing 25 years of solar power generation with little to no costs down, a financed PV system can help you lower your long-term electricity costs with flat monthly payments over a fixed period of time. Once your loan and system have been paid off, you will then own your solar panels and all of the renewable power they produce.

By replacing grid energy consumption with rooftop electricity generation, the “expensive” cost of solar panels can be completely offset by the utility power charges you avoid paying month after month.

In areas with net metering, American homeowners typically recoup their PV solar investment in less than a decade, after which they can continue to save money on electricity bills for 15 years and more.

#2 | Solar panels will damage my roof.

Second, many homeowners worry that installing solar panels will lead to holes in the roof, sprung leaks, and costly damages to their property.

Although there may be some horror stories out there that haunt homeowners with bad experiences, in general, professionally installed solar panels are very unlikely to damage your roof or property in any way.

By going solar with a reputable, licensed, and insured company, you can rest assured knowing that any necessary roof penetrations for the installation will be properly sealed and covered by a warranty that guarantees professional craftsmanship.

So if you’re worried about installing solar panels on a new roof, the reality is that roof damage is extremely rare and the Department of Energy even recommends going solar whenever you replace your roof.

As solar panels and roofing materials both have an expected lifespan of 25 years and more, you can save money on your total project costs by upgrading your building and green energy supply simultaneously in one seamless installation.

#3 | You can go off-grid with solar panels alone.

When purchasing your first renewable energy system, it is imperative to know that you cannot go off of the grid with solar panels alone. In addition to an inverter system that is required in all instances, home and business owners that would like to go “off of the grid” must also install battery storage.

By creating a way to store electricity on your property, you can charge a solar battery with the excess power generated by your panels throughout the day. Then, by discharging the electricity from your battery whenever grid-supplied power is unavailable or too expensive, you can run your home independently with solar.

So if you’d like to continue to access your solar power during local blackouts, you can only do so by creating a “microgrid” with battery storage. Depending on the size and capacity of your battery, you may be able to use your stored power to keep the lights on, run your home’s life-sustaining devices, or even charge an electric vehicle.

#4 | Solar panels are bad for the environment.

Of all the solar energy myths and misconceptions, the idea that the technology is bad for the environment is one of the worst offenders. With misleading information ever present in the news cycle, many media outlets focus only on the negative aspects of solar energy without comparing them to the alternative.

So yes, while it is true there are some solar panels and batteries that are built with small amounts of hazardous waste, not all modules contain toxic elements. While a lot of work must be done to ensure today’s solar equipment is disposed of properly, most solar panel components can be recycled, including the glass, aluminum frame, and external electrical cables.

By converting light into energy using silicon, the second-most abundant element on earth (after oxygen), solar panels can generate emission-free power for multiple decades. Knowing this, solar energy’s total lifecycle impact on the environment is minimal compared to resources like coal, natural gas, and other fossil fuels that release harmful emissions with every bit of power produced.

#5 | Solar stops working at night.

Finally, we’d like to address an idea that is often considered one of solar energy’s most obvious limitations: the fact that the sun stops shining every night.

Can new solar power be generated when the sun goes down? No.

Does this mean that your solar energy system stops “working” at night? Absolutely not.

Even if you don’t install a battery backup, which would give you direct access to stored solar power after the sun goes down, net metering allows homeowners to recoup overnight energy costs with bill credits for the excess electricity generated by their panels.

Essentially, homeowners are compensated for the solar power they produce throughout the day by “canceling out” any utility power consumed overnight.

So yes, it is true that your solar panels will temporarily stop generating new electricity at night. However, to reduce utility expenses and your carbon footprint, your renewable energy system can work around the clock with battery storage or net metering to power your home with solar overnight and throughout the year.

Final Thoughts

In summary, there are many objections to solar energy that may be true in some aspects but are also often misleading. Despite costs and limitations, the benefits and value of a home PV solar system can completely outweigh the myths we’ve exposed in this article as well as other arguments against the technology.

To learn even more, we suggest talking to a solar expert about your unique installation. If you’re interested to see how much you can save by going solar, you can begin your journey with a free quote from Infinity Energy today.

This article is brought to you by Sunnova & Infinity Energy

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