The Seven Things Solar Panel Makers
Don’t Want You to Know
Installing solar panels in your home can lower your environmental footprint and your monthly bills, but there are also some disadvantages you should know. Here are seven issues to consider.
1 Solar Panels Don’t Require Maintenance.Despite what solar panel makers may tell you, maintenance of the panels is not a problem once you have them installed. Solar panel manufacturers try to get people to lease solar panels, insisting that then the homeowner won’t have to worry about maintenance. Don’t let this get to you! The only thing you have to do is keep the panels clear of debris, by using a garden hose, out of direct sunlight, a few times a year.
2 SRECs and Tax Credits Aren’t Forever.Solar panel manufacturers will push you to invest in their product for many reasons, including the promise of SRECs (Solar Renewable Energy Credit) and tax credits. Every Megawatt-hour of electricity produced by your solar panels results in an SREC. In some states, SRECs are sold to utility companies, who then pay homeowners for each SREC they purchase. While such credits are a great incentive, they’re not a forever promise. For example, the Federal Solar Tax Credit will end for home solar in 2021.
3 The Effectiveness of Your Solar Panels Drops Each Year.It’s not a significant drop, but solar panel manufacturers aren’t going to be quick to disclose that efficiency of panels drops each year slightly. For panels manufactured after 2000, a 20-year-old panel will produce around 92% of its original power.
4 You Should Be Careful of Your Warranty.It’s essential you do research on the solar panel manufacturers out there and hone in on which one has the best warranty. Most warranties last for 20 to 25 years, but for them to follow through, the manufacturer must still be in business. As always, choose a manufacturer with a solid reputation.
5 The Production of Solar Panels Creates Pollution.Solar is held up as an energy-saving, environmentally-friendly powerhouse. And while that’s undoubtedly true in many cases, the transportation and installation of solar energy systems are linked with the emission of greenhouse gases. Toxic materials and hazardous products have also been associated with the manufacturing process.
6 You Might Not Want Solar If You Have Low Electricity Costs.Solar is enticing for many reasons, most notably for financial and environmental sustainability. But if you don’t have substantial electricity costs, to begin with, you might want to reconsider investing in solar, since, if your electricity costs are low, your solar savings will be as well. Along with the size of your home and your usage, where you live also has an impact on your energy costs. For instance, in Louisiana, the cost of electricity is 27% lower than the national average.
7 You May Not Be a Good Candidate for Solar Energy. Along with living in a state with low electricity costs, there are other things to consider regarding solar energy. For instance, you might need to cut down trees that shade and beautify your home, and that can be very expensive. You may not even have the right roof to support solar panels structurally. These aren’t topics that solar panel companies are going to put right out there, but you should think of all of these things as you consider your options. Are you a good candidate for solar? Here’s what you need to know.