As the saying goes, knowledge is power – but with solar, it can sometimes be hard to separate fact from fiction. YOUTH POWER is shining a light on the solar myths we come across most often, so you can make an informed decision about whether solar is right for you.
1. Solar panels are expensive
Cheaper solar panelsTechnological advances have significantly decreased the price of solar. Back in 2009, the national average size system for a residential property was 1.28kW and that would have set you back about $10K. Today, for just under that amount you can get a good quality 6-7kW system.
Combine this with the fact that power prices have increased 117% over the decade, ROI rates are looking very good indeed; especially if you live in Adelaide where a 5kW system has a payback period of only 4 years. Commercial solar payback periods can be even shorter!
The other myth that solar is just for the rich can also be debunked. The suburbs with the highest percentage of solar installations are overwhelmingly low-to middle-income suburbs and places with a high proportion of retirees.
2. A solar system doesn’t require any maintenance
Some companies will tell you that your solar system doesn’t require any maintenance. You might be able to get away with it, but the Clean Energy Council (and YOUTH POWER) wouldn’t recommend it.
Just a like a car, an annual service and maintenance check by a professional will keep your system running efficiently for decades and protect your investment.
3. You need a large roof to install solar
Not necessarily. It all depends on the recommended system size; and that is calculated by looking at your annual energy usage, orientation of your roof and what your requirements are. Even if you can’t fit or afford a system to cover your entire electricity bill, even a smaller system which offsets your usage is beneficial and cost effective.
It also worth pointing out that roof-top solar isn’t the only option available to you. Ground-mounted solar, floating solar and building-integrated solar solutions are worth considering.
4. Solar panels will damage my roof
Broken roofRoof damage from a solar panel installation is extremely rare. As long as the panels are installed by a qualified, accredited installer, you shouldn’t have to worry.
YOUTH POWER only use experienced, Clean Energy Council accredited installers and back this up with a 5-year installation warranty for both workmanship and parts.
5. Solar companies are a bunch of cowboys
Solar cowboysTen years ago, when the solar industry was expanding rapidly, there were certainly a lot of companies out looking to make a fast buck. The legacy of these solar cowboys is still being felt today and unfortunately there is still a degree of mistrust out there.
However, there are more regulations and guidelines in place these days and consumers are often more aware of their options and the importance of finding a reputable company.
YOUTH POWER is proud to be a founding signatory of the Retailers Code of Conduct, launched in 2013. As a Clean Energy Council Approved Solar Retailer, you can be assured that you are buying a quality product from a company that follows all relevant consumer protection laws.
6. Solar will protect me from black outs
Living room lightSolar alone will not protect you from a black out as a typical grid-connected system automatically shuts down when there is a power outage. This is to protect the safety of workers trying to repair the network.
To continue to have power during a black out you would need to invest in a storage battery with back up capability which automatically supplies power to your building in the event of an outage.
7. Solar panels don’t generate power on cloudy days
Cloudy dayWhilst solar panels aren’t as efficient on cloudy days, they do still generate power which is why countries like Germany and the UK appear in the top 10 list of solar-powered nations.
With Australia ranking in the top ten countries for highest average hours of sunshine, it is little wonder we also have the highest proportion of households with solar on their roofs.
8. Solar panels won’t work unless they have a northern roof exposure
CompassIn Australia, facing North at the correct angle of elevation will provide the best performance (most kWh per dollar) however solar panels can also be installed facing towards the east or west with minimal impact, as long as proper considerations are made.
9. A cheap solar system will work just as well as a more expensive one
Hot dealsWhilst it might be tempting to go with the cheapest option you can find, keep this saying in the back of your mind – ‘you pay peanuts, you get monkeys’.
Lower costs usually come at the expense of quality, service and support
10. Solar panels are noisy
HeadphonesSolar panels do not produce noise as there are no moving parts. The inverter may occasionally emit a low humming sound but generally the higher quality inverters are very quiet.