Myth#1: Solar is too expensive.
This really depends on your State and utility. There are more and more solar friendly states that are cutting the price of solar in half if not more, plus the Federal 30% tax rate. Check out out the right hand side of this page and the DSIRE website for a summary of all the State programs now available. If you finance through your home equity or second mortgage, you also get the benefit of a tax write off on the interest. I also just recently wrote about how solar raises the value of your home.
Myth#2: Even if it’s less expensive, I don’t have the upfront money.
One of my most read group of posts is Cash Poor financing series. These talk about solar leasing, solar PPAs, 0 Down financing, and the growing number of cities financing solar through tax assessments. All of these require very little money down. Similarly, a second home mortgage or government energy efficiency mortgage also has little upfront costs.
Myth#3: Solar will get cheaper, so I might as well wait.
While it’s true that improvements in technology and competition is making solar panels cheaper, the current number of State and Federal incentives are also getting less generous as these prices come down. So if you’re already in a solar friendly State or municipality (see #1 above), then yes, wait until local incentives improve. On the other hand, if you are in a solar friendly State, the price is going to remain about the same for the next 10 years, so might as well start saving on your electric bills now. For more on why it might not make sense to wait, check out Dan’s recent post: The cost of the “let’s wait and see” solar buying reaction.
Myth#4: Solar will look ugly on my roof.
Check out my post about Thin Film vs. Silicon based solar panels. They’re making solar panels these days to look just like regular roofs or shingles. Yeah, they’re a little more expensive, but they should still pay for themselves during their lifetime. Plus, remember that any solar panel, no matter what they look like, can raise the value of your home. In California, this improvement is exempt from a tax reassessment. Plus, many home buyers see solar as an attractive green statement, so your home might sell faster than another in your neighborhood.
Myth#5: Solar is hard to maintain.
If you buy a system that is connected to your utility, as most electric systems are, your solar panels are easy to maintain. They just need to be cleaned off with water to get off dust or debris or snow. And by the way, panels are pretty hardy, designed to withstand hail, sleet, and snow. On the other hand, if you buy a battery based system, then yes, this will require more attention–and expense. But grid connected systems without batteries are the most inexpensive and common for most home owners.
Myth#6: I don’t know if my house is right for solar.
Fair enough. First, check out this post about doing a little self evaluating for solar. Then check out this post to find an installer in your area to give you a free quote. An on the ground solar installer is usually your best source of real info. If you fill out our form, we’ll send it to a local installer in your area who will set up a time to give you that free evaluation. Free is good, so what you can you lose?