Unwarranted Skepticism

As the world grapples with the urgency of climate change and the need for sustainable energy sources, solar power emerges as one of many key solutions. However, despite its numerous benefits, solar energy continues to face unwarranted skepticism fueled by persistent myths. In this blog, we’ll debunk five common misconceptions that undermine the perceived value of solar energy.

Solar Myth #1: “The government will give you free solar panels.”
It’s a tempting offer, but the reality is quite different. While the government doesn’t provide free solar panels, they do offer substantial incentives to encourage solar adoption. The federal investment tax credit (ITC) allows you to claim 30 percent of your solar installation costs as a tax credit. Additionally, many states and local governments, including Texas, offer their own incentives such as tax credits and rebates, making solar more affordable than ever.

Solar Myth #2: “Solar is only for rich people.”
Gone are the days when solar panels were a luxury reserved for the wealthy. Thanks to plummeting installation costs and accessible financing options like solar loans and leases, solar energy is now within reach for homeowners of all income levels. According to data from EnergySage, the average cost of solar installations has dropped significantly over the past decade, from $8.50 per watt in 2009 to $2.77 per watt as of 2022. Between lower prices, state and local incentives, monthly utility savings, and added home equity, the breakeven point for homeowners going solar averages between five and eight years. A reasonably sized PV array offsetting 50-100% of your needs is now squarely within the means of most homeowners.

Solar Myth #3: “The manufacture of solar panels consumes more energy than they generate over their lifetime.”
Contrary to popular belief, solar panels are incredibly efficient in terms of energy payback. Studies from reputable sources like the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) confirm that the energy payback period for rooftop solar systems is typically just 1-4 years. Residential photovoltaic (PV) modules can be expected to function for 30 years or more, generating up to 25 times more energy than is consumed during their manufacturing process.

Solar Myth #4: “Going solar means going off the grid.”
While off-grid solar systems are an option, most solar panel installations are grid-tied, allowing homeowners to benefit from both solar energy and traditional grid electricity. This allows you to use solar energy your system produces during the day and draw electricity from the grid after the sun is down. Through net metering policies, excess solar energy can be fed back into the grid, earning homeowners credits on their electricity bills that they can then use to fund the energy they receive from the grid. This hybrid approach ensures reliable electricity supply while maximizing the use of clean, renewable energy.

Solar Myth #5: “Solar panels contain toxic materials that can leak into the environment.”
There are many types of solar panels in circulation. The main types are monocrystalline silicon, polycrystalline silicon, cadmium telluride (CdTe) and the newer thin-film types such as copper indium gallium selenide (CIS/CIGS). While it’s true that some of these panels contain toxic materials like CdTe and CIS/CIGS, they are securely encapsulated within the panel structure and pose minimal environmental risk. Moreover, advancements in recycling technologies have made it possible to recycle solar panels with efficiency rates exceeding 80%. According to a report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the recycling potential for solar panels is expected to reach 78 million tons by 2050. With proper disposal and recycling processes in place, end-of-life solar panels can become a lucrative component of our energy infrastructure.

Take the Leap – Go Solar!
It’s time to dispel the myths surrounding solar energy and embrace its immense potential. With decreasing costs, government incentives, and environmental benefits, solar power offers a viable solution to our energy needs. As a company that’s been serving solar customers across Texas now for over 16 years, NATiVE’s reputation for excellence precedes us. Our experts work directly with clients to determine how to meet their energy needs while respecting their budgets and ensuring maximum savings. Get a complimentary quote and learn more about our company and its values. Take advantage of the sun, and #TakeYourPowerBack with NATiVE Solar!