Solar power facts

Jason RothmanJuly 3, 201817870

Solar power facts

Everywhere you look, solar panels dot the landscape. Those panels are on top of homes, covering office parking lots, next to schools, and even on gas station roofs. Seeing all of this solar power is making you think about it, but you haven’t made a decision. It’s time to fix this. 

We are here to help put away some of these fears and myths surrounding solar power so that you can better understand the real pros and cons of solar panel system ownership.

Solar panels continue to drop in price

The fear is that it is just too expensive and since it’s that expensive, why even bother to install solar. The truth is solar prices are falling all the time. The old economic adage that competition drives prices down is at work here. Installation companies know that there are plenty of other companies doing the exact same thing and therefore they all try to keep their prices about the same. If one quote seems too expensive, get another from someone else. The key here is to compare some quotes from three to four different installers and take the one you like the most. There are also tax incentives at the federal, and state level that can really cut down on the total price of a solar installation. Because of the falling prices in both solar panels and their installation, people can expect to recoup the cost of their installation in five to eight years, whereas before it took 10 to 15 years to recoup the investment.

Solar panels have no moving parts

The fear is that installing solar panels is a difficult process. In reality, solar panels have no moving parts, they are mounted to racks, and hooking them up to inverters is nearly a plug-n-play process. Your local utility will send someone out to install a net-meter in your home, and they usually do this free of charge. Basically once everything is correctly installed in racks, the panels are connected, and they start working. It isn’t easy enough people should install the panels themselves, but the process is getting easy enough that companies charge less to do it now.

It does not take long to install solar panels

The fear is that installing solar will take a long time. In reality, most residential solar installations take a day or two at the most. The process of submitting plans and having them approved by individual municipalities can sometimes take a while, but each city and town varies with their approval process. Once everything is approved and ready, the installations take a day.

Solar power saves you money each month

The fear is that you will never be able to cut your energy bill even after getting fitted with your own customized solar panel system. The reality is that a good solar installation will be able to handle the hottest summer day while you blast the air conditioning. Installers look at how much power you use and they design a solar panel system that matches that usage. If you use less, you sell that extra power back to the utility, a program called net-metering.

Batteries are popular, but you don't need storage if you connect to the grid

The fear is that you need batteries to store power for when it is dark outside. Unless you live in an area that is completely off the grid, you really don’t need a battery. The grid is the battery. During the day, you might generate more power than you need, and that power is not simply lost. It is imported onto the grid, and at night, when your solar panels are dormant, you get that energy back from the grid. If you use more energy than you generate, you do have to pay, but if you generate more than you use, the utility pays you. Each utility differs in their “true up” billing system, but generally at the end of the year, if you generate power more than you use, they will pay you for that power.


There are ways to pay for your solar panels

The fear is you have to come up with all the money up front. It is true that is one of the options, but here’s another word. Financing! It is the way the world runs, and solar is no different. There are lots of companies that only perform solar loans, local utilities help with financing, and even local banks are warming to solar. Many times the loan payment is the same or less than your old electric bill, so you don’t notice any difference until suddenly it is all paid off and you pocket the money each month. For more info about solar financing check out our complete solar financing guide.

Similar to the energy security boost, solar power provides the great benefit of energy independence. The sun is not going anywhere, and the fuel for solar panels cannot be bought or monopolized. It is free for all to use. Once you have solar panels on your roof, you have an independent, unending source of electricity for many years to come.

If you want to move into the future and join the solar revolution, or if you want to find out what solar panels are right for you, go to and try our price checker tool. You can see how much a system will cost, and how much you can save over the next 20 years.

For more information relating to going solar, don't forget to visit our solar blog section for more handy guides and articles.

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