We can all agree that photovoltaic (PV) or solar panels are the future. They offer a renewable energy source, help reduce our carbon footprint, and could save the planet from climate change. If you’re planning to jump on the bandwagon, check out this resource http://www.newjerseysolarinitiative.com and learn how to maximize the numerous available solar-related incentives.
Given the widespread uptake of solar panels, it’s easy to see why many myths and misconceptions are circulating about this technology. Consequently, some people are on the fence, while others outrightly refuse to install solar panels on their roofs. Let’s set the record straight by debunking some of these assumptions.
1. Solar Panels Only Work When It’s Sunny
You don’t need sunshine 24/7 to generate solar energy, despite popular belief. Even on cloudy days, solar panels can still generate energy – as the clouds let some of the sun’s rays through. Additionally, solar panels are equipped with technology to absorb whatever sunlight is available and convert it into electricity.
Research shows the best climate for generating solar is a cool but bright day due to low air resistance – allowing more sunlight to reach the solar cells. That said, if it’s not sunny, you can expect a solar panel to generate between 10 and 25% of its maximum capacity.
Similarly, photovoltaic cells collect light, unlike solar thermal energy, which uses the sun to heat water or air. Consequently, direct scorching heat makes it challenging for the cells to convert light into energy. Thus, the panels can still work in a cold area, provided it receives sunlight.
2. Solar Panels Are Pricey
Many homeowners believe solar panels are expensive, which is a primary reason they balk at the idea of installing them. The truth is, while the up-front cost may seem steep, solar panels are a long-term investment, helping you recoup the costs in about ten years. And since the panels have a 25-year service life (on average), you’ll enjoy free electricity for the remaining 15 years. And in most cases, a reputable solar company can help you make the financial transition easier.
Granted, solar panels cost roughly $16,000 – $20,000 for a mid-sized system. However, this price tag includes professional installation and a necessary permit for optimal energy production. Fortunately, you can take advantage of various federal and state incentives to reduce the upfront cost of installation.
When you’re playing the long game, the price tag is worth it. With a modest investment, you can put your home on the path to energy efficiency. And let’s face it, electricity costs keep rising, meaning solar helps cut your expenses. Thus, it becomes more attractive than some people think when we factor in savings, incentives, financing options, and other benefits.
3. Solar-Powered Homes Don’t Rely On The Grid
Installing a solar system doesn’t mean ditching the utility company. Solar provides a fraction of the power most homes need, and the rest comes from the grid.
That said, you can set up an independent system to produce all your power from solar panels and store the excess in batteries. But this setup can be expensive and somewhat tricky, making it relevant to involve a professional who understands the ins and outs of solar energy.
That said, you can feed the excess energy your solar system produces into the grid for use in other homes. To do this, you need a net metering agreement with your local utility company. The beauty of such an approach is you don’t have to store the extra electricity you generate.
Plus, if you’re not producing enough energy (such as during winter), you can supplement your power from the grid without paying additional costs. And even on cloudy days when solar production drops, you can rely on the grid to meet your energy needs. In short, solar complements the grid, allowing you to take advantage of lower energy costs. But it doesn’t replace it.
4. Homes With Solar Panels Have Lower Value
Some people believe that installing a solar system reduces the value of their homes. That could not be further from the truth.
For starters, a study by Berkeley Labs confirmed that solar panels increase a home’s value by $15,000. Similarly, Zillow reports that solar systems increase a home’s value by 4.1%. In fact, most homeowners (63%) would be willing to pay more for a home with solar panels. So, does the commonly-held belief hold water? No.
In reality, homes with solar panels attract many buyers looking to save on utility bills. Furthermore, such a system usually means a home is energy-efficient and presents little risk to buyers. And when you need an appraisal, the value of a solar system is often higher than what you paid for it. The takeaway is that solar systems are worth more than most people think.
Refrain from letting myths about solar panels prevent you from taking advantage of their benefits. Such false information only keeps homeowners in the dark about this renewable resource and its potential to reduce their electricity costs. Instead, do your research, talk to a solar expert, and learn about the various options available.