Switching to solar power is a major investment – and one many people are unwilling to make, especially if they think their local climate is not the best for it. Here are the most common objections:
It’s too expensive.
The initial investment for installation used to be very high – and you maybe not have had the money or, if you do, you might not feel you are going to get a return on your investment. It’s natural to balk at a system cost that can easily run to $30,000 or more, especially if your state doesn’t offer any incentives for installation.
The first is to do a proper ROI calculation. Take into account utility costs – which need to be balanced out by some of the charges, such as demand charges, that utilities are applying to people with solar systems. The easiest calculation is the 25-year guarantee – figure out what your typical bill would be for that period and then subtract that from the solar cost. Another option is, of course, to spread out that upfront cost through a payment plan or a multiple year (20 is fairly standard) lease or lease-to-own agreement. Also worth considering – solar systems can increase the value of a home to potential buyers.
- Utility Costs and Demand Charges Are Going Up
Solar panels will, yes, change the look of your home. However, this can be mitigated with good system design – modern solar systems are much more attractive than early clunky ones and don’t rise as much from the roofline. Depending on angles and location you may also be able to put the system on the back of your roof where it is not visible from the road.
Something Better Next Year
The same philosophy that gets people to put off upgrading their phone until the new model is out. With solar technology, yes, major developments can happen at any time. However, just like struggling with a slow phone because “there might be something better in six months” can lead to frustration and lost money, not getting solar will lead to higher bills that will only mount up. You should, of course, get the best technology you can afford, but waiting for “something better” can easily lead to a cycle of waiting for something better…and never actually getting anything at all.
I Don’t Know How Solar Works
It’s actually very simple. Light from the sun hits special panels that turn it into electricity that can then power your home and even allow you to sell electricity back to the grid. This means that there is little maintenance (and if you have a solar power contract all maintenance and repairs will be handled) and very low ongoing expenses.
You think solar won’t work where I live.
If you don’t live in Arizona or California or some other very hot state. This is actually untrue. The country which has installed the most solar panels in recent years? Germany – which gets less sunshine than, say, New York. And speaking of New York, over 5,300 residential systems were installed in New York City in 2016. Solar power does not need that much sunshine to work – you might have issues in Alaska, but anywhere in the lower 52 is going to get enough light to power a typical family home…and perhaps even an electric car as well.
Going solar makes sense for a lot more people than it might initially appear – and the benefits are numerous. Lower power bills, less dependence on the grid (you still need a connection, just in case) and significant environmental benefits. Pricing out a solar system is worth it for anyone – not just rich people who happen to live in Arizona or New Mexico.