Solar Myth 1: Solar will never be able to pay for itself (just like hybrid vehicles).

Fact: One of the most unfortunate myths is that solar is only for the rich or environmentalists.  In reality, many homeowners choose solar because it eliminates their monthly electric bill.  Solar is a very wise choice for people who could use an extra couple hundred bucks each month in their pocket instead of the power company’s.  Financing options have all but eliminated the big upfront costs associated with solar.  Most households are now able to go solar for little to no money down.  Studies show that solar will typically pay for itself completely within 5 to 7 years.


Solar Myth 2: I will store the energy I generate in batteries.

Fact: Modern solar systems are grid tied, which means they’re connected to the power grid.  The grid tied method is the most convenient for homeowners.  Your system will generate power during the day and feed it back directly into the grid.  Your utility company will pay you for that power produced. You’ll use grid power like you always have, and all the solar you produce will offset your energy costs.  Batteries are an option but they’re expensive, bulky, and have to be replaced every 5 to 10 years.


solar myths

Photo: by Stuart Miles

Solar Myth 3: If the power goes out, my home is still powered.

Fact: When the power goes out, grid-tied solar systems go out too.  It is unsafe to push electricity back out onto the wires while work is being done on the power lines, so your solar system shuts off automatically.  The solution to power outages?  Spend a few hundred dollars on a generator or don’t worry about it as the power doesn’t go off that often.


Solar Myth 4: Solar panels will damage or cause my roof to leak.

Fact: Solar panels actually protect and preserve the portion of the roof they cover.  If the roof needs to be repaired, panels can easily be removed.  Solar panels are not attached directly to the roof, but rather to a mounting system.  Once properly installed, solar panels can actually add to the longevity of your roof because they absorb some of the wear and tear over the years.  Most solar panels are rated to survive any kind of weather, including large hail.  SSE adds sealants and metal “flashing” or coverings to help prevent leaks or damage from the elements.  If your roof already leaks or needs to be replaced, it makes sense to make roof repairs first before installing solar panels.


Solar Myth 5: Solar panels require constant maintenance.

Fact: Solar panels have no moving parts and do not require regular maintenance.  Solar panels typically carry a warranty of 25 years.  The recommendation is to hose off the panels once or twice a year, but many panel owners instead rely on the rain to do the job.  Obviously if any large debris falls onto the panels, it’s recommended you remove it.

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