What People Get Wrong About Solar Power

As solar power has grown in popularity around the world the amount of information about it has exploded. Much of the information is informative and factual, but unfortunately a lot of it is ungrounded and inaccurate.

This can make it difficult for people to figure out if they want to invest in solar power for their home. If you’ve got questions about solar power, it pays to research what the experts are saying and talk to a solar specialist. 

To help sort the fact from the fiction, we discuss some of the most common misunderstandings people have about solar power below.

Solar power is a scam. It’s not worth the cost.

Solar power systems are not cheap to buy and it can take time to see significant financial savings. Because of this some people claim solar power is just a way for solar installers to make money. 

The truth is reputable solar power installers will examine your home and conduct calculations to determine whether solar is worth your while. They might look at factors such as the amount of roof space you have available, the orientation of your roof and your household’s energy consumption.

For most Australian homes solar power systems have a payback period of 3-5 years. If you are planning on living in your home for longer than this, solar power has the potential to bring significant savings in the long term. With government rebates available and the cost of electricity rising, the potential to save with solar power installation is only increasing.

Solar panels aren’t reliable. They don’t work when it’s cloudy.

It’s a commonly held belief that solar power is only good for sunny locations like Mandurah and Perth. And even then, that solar power will only work on cloudless summer days. However this is not entirely true. 

Solar panels work by converting radiant energy from the sun into electricity that we can use to power our appliances. While clouds may absorb or reflect some of that solar energy, some sunlight will still reach the panels and be converted to energy. As expected, the panels may be less efficient when it is cloudy.

Solar might be worth it one day, but not right now.

Some people put off investing in solar because they think it’s not worth it until the technology has improved or the cost of batteries has decreased. They are of the opinion that it’s not financially worth it to invest in solar now.

In many cases the opposite is true. In Australia, the Government’s STC rebate scheme is phasing out. Every year the amount of money you can save when purchasing a solar power system decreases. This means it could be more costly for you to buy and install a solar power system in the future.

Across Australia the cost of fossil fuel electricity is rising. In comparison, electricity from a solar power system is free. By delaying getting a solar power system, you could miss out on significant saving opportunities.

Solar power systems take a lot of time and effort to maintain.

Most Australians wouldn’t want to invest in something that would be a pain to take care of. The truth is solar power systems require very little maintenance in order to operate. It’s because there are no moving parts. Plus good quality systems are built to withstand environmental pressures well. 

It is generally recommended that you clean your solar panels once a year to remove any dirt or grime that has built up. These can block sunlight and reduce the efficiency of your system. You may also have to prune away any greenery that is blocking sunlight from reaching the solar panels. Other than that, solar power systems tend to take care of themselves.

Solar power is not a good solution for the environment.

It is commonly understood that solar power is a clean, renewable source of energy that doesn’t release harmful emissions into the atmosphere. However, some people argue that the manufacturing process takes more energy to create a solar panel than that solar panel will be able to produce in its lifetime.

In truth, most solar panels will produce more electricity in their lifetime than the amount of electricity it took to make them. Many solar panel production companies now rely on solar power to produce their products. This means less emissions are produced during the production process for solar panels. Furthermore, most solar panels can be recycled at the end of their life, reducing waste.

Choosing to go solar is one of the best things a household can do for the environment. Even if you don’t rely solely on solar for your electricity needs, having a solar power system will dramatically decrease your carbon footprint. Plus, with solar you’ll reap financial savings long into the future.