8 Myths About Solar Power and the Truths Behind the Misperceptions

  • Lea Goodsell
  • Vice President of Business Development & Branding

Outdated myths about solar energy continue to circulate. Despite advances that have made it both convenient and affordable, some Americans still view solar as a Not-ready-for-Prime-Time technology.

Wrong! It’s time to bust the myths that keep Americans from adopting the most abundant and sustainable energy source available today.

SOLAR MYTH #1:  Solar panel installation is expensive.

NOT TRUE:  Federal subsidies now make solar installation eminently affordable.

Federal government tax credits are good through the end of 2019. They’ll shave 30% off the cost of installing solar panels. The credit can be applied to your primary residence, and in some cases, your vacation home and your rental properties. If you lease, the company you lease from will take the 30% tax credit, but it will be reflected in lower payments.

Bonus: A variety of financing options exist, from no-money-down leasing with free installation, to home improvement loans, to financing a purchase through your property taxes.

SOLAR MYTH #2:  Solar panels require a lot of maintenance. 

ABSURD: Hosing the panels down once a year and occasionally removing debris is all the maintenance they need. They have few moving parts, so wear and tear is minimal. Renova also has an in-house maintenance and repair division, so if you want to have them professionally cleaned to avoid hard water deposits, and to have technicians check for any other issues, that is an option as well.

Panels installed more than 30 years ago are still working perfectly!

SOLAR MYTH #3:  Installation of solar panels can cause the roof to leak.

NEVER HAPPENED:  On the contrary, solar panels protect roofs from hard rain (and from UV damage, too). The drilling done during installation doesn’t affect a roof’s integrity and with Renova Solar, is done by a licensed roofer who provides you with a warranty. Anchoring the legs to the beams in your attic ensure that the panels will withstand winds up to 130 miles/hour, which is required by most cities in the Coachella Valley.

SOLAR MYTH #4:  Adding solar panels will raise property taxes.

NEGATORY:  In more than 30 states, including California, solar equipment is not a factor in property tax valuation. Your home is worth more with solar panels, but you don’t pay extra in property taxes because you have them.

SOLAR MYTH #5:  Solar energy isn’t efficient.

AU CONTRAIRE: Solar panels are efficient enough to power a house and feed excess energy back to the grid (earning the homeowner money or credits you can roll over). Renova’s solar consultants can help you calculate how solar panels will fulfill your energy requirements.

SOLAR MYTH #6: It takes more energy to manufacture solar cells than they save over their useful lifecycle.

WRONG:  It takes less energy to manufacture photovoltaic cells than the energy they generate over their 30 – 40 years of productive use.

SOLAR MYTH #7: Manufacturing solar panels creates more pollution than the technology saves.

NOT TRUE. Pollution from fossil fuels used in solar manufacturing is negligible when weighed against solar’s lifetime clean air benefits.

  • Solar energy users save the world up to 75 million barrels of oil every year. They reduce carbon emissions by up to 35 million tons.
  • A single photovoltaic installation reduces sulfur dioxide pollution by half a ton. It eliminates up to 600 pounds of nitrogen oxides.
  • During its projected 40 years of clean energy production (SunPower panels), one rooftop system meeting just half a household’s electricity use would slash that household’s use of more than half a ton of sulfur dioxide, one-third a ton of nitrogen oxides, and 100 tons of carbon dioxide. In the vast majority of cases, because SunPower panels are so efficient, solar offsets 100% of a home’s expected energy usage.

SOLAR MYTH #8:  Solar cells don’t work in cold weather.

IT’S JUST THE OPPOSITE:  Actually solar panels generate more power on cold, sunny days than on hot, sunny days. They generate electricity whenever the sun is out, regardless of daylight temperatures.

If you don’t believe it, look at Germany. That country gets about as much sunshine as Alaska and they generate almost half the solar energy produced in the world today.

Don’t let the crowd keep you in the Dark Ages about solar. This technology is ready now to bequeath financial and environmental benefits on everyone enlightened enough to adopt it.

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