Myths are common when it comes to newer technologies and solar energy is not the exception. We would like to address some of the myths associated with solar energy and dispel them.
One of the most common myths is that solar panels only work in direct sunlight, so if you live where it is often cloudy, rains or is cold, solar panels would not be worth the cost. Although solar panels do work best on sunny days, they still generate substantial amounts of energy because of the ambient diffused light. Since solar panels rely on light and not heat, cold weather does not affect the energy output. Germany does not seem to have the optimum weather for solar panels, yet it is considered the solar capital of the world.
Solar panels require a lot of maintenance. This simply is not true because solar panels have no moving parts. If by the off chance your panel’s output is less than specified, most solar panels have manufacturer warranties up to 25 years. As far as cleaning is concerned, often the rain will take care of it or simply wash the panels off with a hose.
Solar panels are ugly and will lower the value of the home they are installed on. While solar panels from the 70’s and 80’s were big and bulky, the solar panels of today have a lower profile. In the past, home owner associations were likely to not approve solar installations due to the aesthetics of the panels; however, today most H.O.A.s agree that the panels do not significantly change the look of the homes they are installed on. Often homes that have solar panels installed have a greater market value and sell more quickly than those that use traditional energy resources.
Solar systems are very expensive and only rich people can afford them.pic09Fortunately, solar system costs have gone down considerably since the time when they first started to appear on roof tops. Manufacturing processes have become more streamlined and technology has made them more efficient, which in turn lowers the cost for the average consumer. Also, the federal government along with the state of California are offering incentives to those that wish to be more environmentally friendly. The federal government offers a tax credit for 30% of the initial investment and there are rebates available through the California Solar Initiative, which Nippon Energy will submit all paperwork necessary for their customers.
It is a requirement to purchase a battery system to store any extra energy generated by the solar system. Most of today’s solar systems are connected to their local utility grid, which makes it not necessary to have a battery system. The way it works is, if your solar panels produce more energy than is used in a day, your utility company will credit your account. Basically, your meter will run backwards. If you use more energy than produced, you will be able to pull energy from the grid, so there are no worries about not having enough energy.