Debunking the top 10 solar energy myths

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Debunking the top 10 solar energy myths

For one reason or another, there are several solar energy myths and misconceptions floating around that may be putting you off installing solar at your home or business.

If you’re toying with the decision of whether to install solar panels or not, we bust these solar energy myths so you can make your decision based on facts not fiction!

Top 10 solar energy myths debunked

1.   Solar panels only work when its sunny

Solar panels work in all environments. Although they of course work optimally when there isn’t a cloud in the sky, thin cloud coverage does not inhibit the ability of the panels power production. Thick storm clouds will create a stronger barrier to sunlight cutting through and being absorbed and whilst solar production will be reduced, it won’t stop working completely.

2.   Solar powers my home when there’s a blackout

Unless you are completely ‘off grid’ then you are still connected and therefore for safety reasons, when there’s a power outage your inverter knows and shuts off the electricity produced from the solar panels too. If you want your home to still be powered by solar when you’re not attached to the grid, you’ll have to consider battery storage, which isn’t part of a standard solar installation package.

3.   Solar panels damage your roof

Solar panels actually protect your roof from the elements and when installed by an experienced solar installer should not cause any damage. They are not actually attached to the roof, but mounted on top of it by brackets so that they can be easily removed if there is any maintenance to your roof required.

4.   Solar installation is determined by the size of your house

The size of your solar system is tailored to the needs of the household, not the physical house size. Whilst bigger homes may be inhabited by larger families than smaller homes, this isn’t a hard and fast rule and your recommended system size will be based on your recent power bills and your projected power consumption.

5.   Solar is expensive to install

Thanks to Government incentives and rebates for homes and businesses, it can be extremely cost effective to install solar. The cost of your install will depend on your state, system, panels and installer so you should always seek quotes before making your decision.

6.   It takes a long time to save money from solar panels

Anyone who has installed solar should have noticed significantly reduced power bills from the first bill after installation. Not only this, the average payback time for a 5kW solar system is 4-6 years in Australia – considering it should continue to provide you with clean, green energy for around 25 years!

7.   Solar is only worth it if you’re home during the day

By simply changing some of your household habits, having your appliances on timers or by way of a solar feed-in tariff, you can still benefit from solar even if you aren’t home most days during daylight hours. By optimising your consumption such as setting timers for washing machines, dishwashers, air con systems and heaters you can maximise the power you use during the day and reduce it on an evening when you’re using power from the grid.

If you really want to maximise your solar power, the installation of battery storage will mean that you can generate and store enough power to use throughout the day and night.

8.   Solar panels are expensive in maintenance costs

When properly maintained, costs for maintenance should be minimal. The most important part of their maintenance is keeping them clean and we do recommend having them professionally cleaned at least once a year to keep them as efficient as possible. This also provides an opportunity to check if there is any damage to the panels. Your system and panels should be covered by a length manufacturer’s warranty so if they start to run anything less than optimally and this is due to a manufacturers fault, you’ll be covered!

9.   All solar panels are the same, so I can opt for the cheapest quote

Solar panel manufacturers are ranked in Tier 1, 2 and 3, with tier 1 being the most trustworthy and reputable manufacturer. These top brands come with reliable reputations for both their performance and quality. Always check the rating of the panels an installer is offering you, if there is a dramatic difference between quotes this may be due to the quality of panels being offered.

10.  Solar panels are bad for the environment and can’t be recycled

As solar panels last over 20 years there is only a small amount of waste to consider, but regardless, thanks to the materials used to make the panels such as aluminium frames and mounting systems, these old panels can be recycled with solar recycling companies emerging around the world to facilitate this.