In 2020, even with the pandemic, a record 19.2 GWdc of new capacity was added in the United States. That’s a 43 percent year-over-year increase in installations. Even with that, myths about solar panels are still pervasive, causing many people to forgo an install due to inaccurate information.
If you’re considering solar panels, separating fact from fiction is essential. Here are five solar panel myths debunked by Power Solar.
5 Solar Panel Myths
1. You Need the Perfect Roof
Most residential roofs work just fine for solar panel installs. Both metal and composite shingle roofs provide a solid foundation, and most installers are familiar with them. Tile roofs are a bit more complicated, so they can cost more. However, tile roofing is still a viable platform.
If you have a flat tar and gravel roof – or any lower-pitched roofing – you might need angled supports for your panels. That way, the panels are at the best angle.
Usually, the only issue involves wood roofs. With those, solar panel systems might be a fire hazard, so some municipalities ban those installations. However, by going with a ground install instead, you can have your solar panels.
2. They Only Work in Sunny States
While living in a sunny area is beneficial if you want to use solar energy, any state can be a great place for an installation. Today’s solar panels are far more capable, allowing them to capture energy even on cloudy days.
3. All Solar Panels Are the Same
Currently, there are six main types of solar panels on the market, with a seventh one in development. Those include:
Each one has its benefits and drawbacks. As a result, it’s wise to consult Power Solar to see if you’re qualified and which version is best for your area and your needs.
4. Solar Panel Installations Take Forever
In most cases, solar panel installations are surprisingly quick. A skilled contractor can usually finish the install in one to three days, depending on the size and complexity of your system.
While you may need to wait for an electrical inspection and a new meter (and in some cases, input from your homeowners’ association) before you can turn your system on, those also happen reasonably fast. Your contractor will arrange for the review before the installation starts, scheduling it as close to the end of the project as possible. Since the new meter benefits your local utility, they typically handle that quickly as well.
5. Solar Panels Are Too Expensive
While the average 10 kW solar panel installation costs $17,612 to $23,236 after the federal tax credit, the resulting savings are significant. Most households break even on the cost within 15 to 25 years and capture an average lifetime savings of $20,000 to $134,000.
In some cases, you’ll be eligible for local rebates from your utility, giving you some cashback after the installation. In some states and cities, you may also qualify for net metering. When you send power to the grid, you get credits you can use on future electric bills or checks from your utility, depending on the program.Plus, you can even save on your financing. You can get a lower interest loan to cover qualifying eco-friendly home improvements if you’re eligible for the FHA Energy Efficient Mortgage Program. As an added benefit, the cost is wrapped into your monthly mortgage payment, making it easier to budget.