No One Enjoys Being Misinformed
Solar is not what it used to be. Throughout the years, costs have dramatically decreased and the solar panels are increasingly becoming more efficient. What many people get wrong today would have been correct 10 years ago. We have put together 5 of the top solar energy myths that we here a lot at Sunbridge Solar.
5 Solar Myths You Believed Were True
It Takes 30 Years for Solar to Pay Itself Back
Solar is Useless if My Electricity is Cheap
Solar Panels Do Not Last Long
Solar Won’t Work in Cloudy Areas of the Country
Solar Is Too Expensive, I’ve Looked Into It Before
Myth 1. It Takes 30 Years for Solar to Pay Itself Back
5 to 6-year payback is the average. Excellent financial incentives, coupled with prices that fell 60% make this myth completely untrue. Prices on solar equipment have now stabilized, but incentive rates still remain very high for the time being.
Cheaper equipment coupled with a generous federal tax credit. This tax credit covers 30% of the cost including labor, already take this number down well below 30 years, but there is more to the story. In most states, additional incentives are offered that push this number down even further.
In Oregon, Pacific Power and PGE customers can receive a cash rebate from the Energy Trust of Oregon while they enjoy free power from the sun for years to come.
Myth 2: Solar is Useless if My Electricity is Cheap
The reality is that power rates are on the rise. Using public data from the US Energy Information Administration, we can compare average electrical rates in Oregon and Washington from 2018 to rates in 2003.
From 2003 to 2018, electrical rates have increased. Washington state ratepayers saw an average increase of 38.5% Oregon saw an even higher increase at 43.5% So, even in areas that enjoy cheaper power today, when calculating the benefit of going solar it is important to look at rate escalation. This is because solar is a long-term investment. Higher electrical rates in the future have a big impact on how much benefit you will actually receive from your installation.
How Do We Know This?
We compared the average electrical rates in Washington and Oregon in both 2014 and 2003 using data that is publicly available online here.
Myth 3: Solar Panels Do Not Last
False! Depending on the manufacturer solar panels they may be warrantied for as many as 25 or 30 years. Solar power is an investment that adds tangible value to your property for many, many years into the future. Energy converters can carry similar warranties, again depending on type and manufacturer. (Read: Anatomy of Solar)
And solar panels are expected to significantly outlive their warranty period when you use high-quality, well-manufactured panels like Sunbridge does in every installation.
Myth 4: Solar Won’t Work in Cloudy Areas of the Country
We get this question a lot. Many customers initially believe that the cloudy climate in Oregon and Washington make solar a poor investment. In reality, solar works brilliantly in the cloudy parts of the Pacific Northwest. In fact, the country that has invested the most in going solar is Germany and nearly every part of the Pacific Northwest maintains a better solar window than almost any place in Germany (Forbes.com).
Clearly, the Pacific Northwest stacks up great to the solar resources available to the world’s current solar energy leader. But there is more to the story. There are four key factors in the Northwest make the difference and allow solar power to flourish here.
Myth 5: Solar Is Too Expensive, I’ve Looked Into It Before
How long has it been since you last looked into going solar for your home or business? If you have not looked at solar in the past year or two, it may be a good idea to check back in and see what has changed. Here are just a couple of the more recent developments in the solar industry I am most excited about. There are much more so please contact us to take a look at your unique situation.
Solar panels have increased the power density per square foot. Or in other words, solar panels have increased the amount of solar energy it can produce in the same area. Not only has the power density increase, but so has the efficiency of all solar panels. Currently, our SunPower module is 22.5% efficient while conventional panels are about 15% efficient.
Energy Converters (Microinverters And DC Optimizers)
Microinverters and DC Optimizers are tiny solar energy converters that are attached to each individual solar panel. They are exciting because they help to mitigate shading concerns, decrease installation time, and are able to produce power more efficiently. They can help your solar array perform much better when there are trees nearby, especially when those trees lose their leaves in the winter.
Sometimes there is nothing that can be done about shading, but often modern solar can do well with light shade when solar would have been impossible before.
24/7 Online Solar Monitoring
We are very impressed with how the quality of solar monitoring has increased over the years. A few years back, there were zero capabilities of us checking online on behalf of the customer. Now, all Sunbridge Solar customers receive free online monitoring because we believe in protecting your investment years to come.
In Final Saying
As you may have learned, we have a lot of educating to do in the solar industry. A lot of myths exist, but that is why we are here. Find out if solar is a right fit for your home or business with a free quote with an onsite assessment. You can also check out our Frequently Asked Questions pages to get more specific information.
Thanks for reading!