Millions of people around the globe celebrate Earth Day every year. But what can we actually do, as individuals, to lower our carbon footprint and protect the planet we share? One idea that’s becoming more and more popular is using solar energy at home. Installing solar panels enables your household to convert sunlight into energy, which reduces your dependence on non-renewable natural resources.
Curious to learn more about solar energy? The first step is to separate the facts from the misconceptions. So, in honor of Earth Day, we’re busting five myths about solar energy.
Myth: Installing Solar Is Too Expensive
The price of solar panels varies widely. You might pay $20,000 for a full system, $5,000 for something smaller, or just a couple hundred dollars for an emergency battery. Federal and state solar tax credits are available to further lower the price tag; and of course, your initial installation spending is balanced by your energy cost savings. Solar panels save an estimated $1,500 per year, potentially cutting homeowners’ energy bills by over $30,000 over the 30-year life of most solar panels.
Myth: Solar Panels Decrease Home Value
Research shows that solar panels don’t decrease the value of a property—in fact, they usually increase it. Homebuyers are more and more prioritizing energy efficiency when choosing what house to purchase, which could be why Zillow reports that installing solar panels can raise a home’s value by up to 4.1%. And, with utility prices in the U.S. continuing to surge, it’s likely that homebuyers’ interest in solar energy will continue to grow.
Myth: There’s Only One Type of Solar Loan
When it comes to solar panel financing, homeowners have a number of options. A fixed-rate home equity loan offers a lump sum of funds, while a home equity line of credit (HELOC) lets borrowers draw funds when they’re needed and only be charged for interest on money they use. Homeowners can also take advantage of loans specifically designed for solar projects, like the HUECU Solar Loan which comes with a competitively low interest rate and terms up to 120 months.
Myth: Solar Panels Ruin Your Roof
Solar panels won’t ruin your roof—as long as you work with a professional, licensed solar panel installer. It’s also a good idea to ensure that your roof is already in good condition, before getting started. A qualifier installer should be able to share more information about what repairs need to be done before the solar panel installation kicks off. Check out Own My Solar, an HUECU partner, if you’re seeking more professional guidance about solar panel installation.
Myth: Cloudy Climates Can’t Use Solar
There’s no reason to forgo solar panels just because you live in a less-than-sunny climate. Firstly, direct sunlight isn’t required for solar panels to absorb UV light and convert it to energy; so even when it’s cloudy, solar panels are still working. Secondly, on sunny days when homeowners are generating more energy than they need, they can store that energy in a solar battery or use a net metering program to sell their excess power back to the municipal grid—earning credits for a cloudy day.