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Solar Energy Mythbusting: Separating Facts from Fiction

Updated: Mar 23

Installing solar panels in and around Colorado for nearly a decade, we’ve heard just about every argument against the technology, from simple misconceptions to wild and outlandish claims.

To clear up vital information about home solar today, here are six of the most pervasive myths, misbeliefs, and misunderstandings that some people may find hard to decipher between fact and fiction.

Myth #1: The cost of solar is going down.

Has the cost of solar dropped significantly in the last 20 years? Yes.

Does this mean that it will continue to do so? Almost certainly not.

One of the most common misunderstandings about residential solar panels is that their recent history of increased affordability automatically means that the price of a system will continue to lower in perpetuity. In reality, the average price of solar was only marginally lower year after year in 2018, 2019, and 2020, essentially leveling off after a decade of steeply declining costs.

In this graph from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, you can see that the price per watt of solar panels has begun to stabilize in every sector of the industry. To make matters worse, within the last two years, the cost of solar has actually risen, partly due to supply chain disruptions.

So ultimately, if you’re waiting for the cost of a solar energy system to bottom out before you make a purchase, unfortunately, that window may have come and gone.

Myth #2: The technology isn’t good enough yet.

While some people are waiting for costs to go down, other solar skeptics are waiting for the technology to improve before they make their renewable energy investment.

As even the most advanced modern home solar panels only convert about 20% of the sun's energy into usable electricity, some people recognize this as having plenty of room for improvement, and therefore not a viable buying option.

Truthfully, however, no matter how many “scientific breakthrough” headlines surface each year, advancements in solar technology have been fairly linear for residential systems. Through rigorous research, testing, and manufacturing from all corners of the globe, the efficiency of residential solar panels has slowly risen in the last 15 years, but without any significant jumps in total performance.

Looking at solar as if it were any other asset (such as a cell phone or car), a present-day purchase makes much more sense to receive its benefits now, rather than waiting for the technology to improve to an ambiguous threshold.

Myth #3: If a solar panel breaks, all investment is lost.

Although it truly depends on who installed your system originally, most reputable solar companies have some sort of warranty and service agreement to help guarantee your panels’ performance.

So while there are some horror stories out there where fly-by-night solar contractors leave customers with a broken system and liability for repair, choosing the right company can help you avoid a financial catastrophe in the rare events of panel damage or part malfunction.

For the protection of our customer’s investments, repairs and lifetime customer service are always included with every Apollo Energy solar panel installation.

Myth #4: Solar panels will damage my home.

Much like in the way of financial investment, the myth that solar panels can damage your home is only true when working with an unreputable installer. While unaccredited teams could leave your roof with potential leaks and even fire safety risks, professional companies installing solar panels to code will eliminate any preventable damage from shoddy workmanship.

Myth #5: My HOA won’t allow solar.

Although this myth may be a reality in some parts of the country, here in Rocky Mountain territory, Homeowners Associations stopping solar panel installations is pure fiction. Thanks to local solar access laws HOAs cannot prevent PV installations in Colorado or Wyoming.

With that being said, companies can take certain considerations into play to best adapt to local guidelines, such as painting conduits dark or the same color as the house.

Myth #6: Someone will install solar panels for free

There are many advertisements circulating the internet today that tell customers they may be eligible for free solar panels. While it can sometimes be hard to tell the difference between a real, legitimate offer, and an outright scam, we highly encourage you to “go with your gut” and only approach interesting opportunities with a high level of skepticism.

Most of the time, incredible deals are “too good to be true” for a reason. Call it misleading information or deliberate false advertising, the idea of “free solar panels” is typically only true when referring to their installation or upfront costs. Before you sign any solar loan or lease, you must be 100% sure about all of the fees and payments waiting for you on the other side.

Want to learn more?

If you have any questions about solar, including how much you can save on your electricity expenses in Colorado or Wyoming, please do not hesitate to contact Apollo Energy today. We are here to help at 720-582-8258.

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