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Yardley Voice – Solar Panel Myths and Misconceptions

Yardley Voice – Going Green Solar Column – April 2015

by Mark Bortman

Lately, solar power has come into the mainstream. Despite this recent rise, many people still have mistaken ideas about solar panels.

Myth #1: I need to be rich to afford solar panels.
Truth: Solar panels are less expensive than ever. Innovative financing programs are now available that make it possible to have your own solar-generated energy – reducing or eliminating your electric bill before you pay a dime for the system. Solar panels allow you to replace a monthly liability (your electric bill) with a valuable asset that saves you more than it costs.

Myth #2: There is not enough sun in our area.
Truth: We get plenty of sun to make solar panels worthwhile. In this area, historic weather data shows we receive an average of 4.2 hours of sun per day. Compare this to Germany, the world leader in solar power, where they only receive as much sun as Alaska.

Myth #3: Solar panels require constant maintenance.
Truth: Solar energy systems are designed to be maintenance-free. The panels themselves are built to very high quality standards and are designed for the harshest conditions. In fact, they come with a 25-year warranty! Once the panels are installed, they work silently producing electricity for years and years without attention.

Myth #4: I’m not going to be in my home long enough for solar panels to make sense for me.
Truth: Installing solar panels not only saves you money from the day they are installed, but research by the National Association of Realtors and the federal government shows they also increase the value of your home.

Myth #5: Solar panels are ugly and bulky.
Truth: While “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” solar panels have gotten slimmer and more productive. Many people find the newer, sleek, all-black panels are more aesthetically pleasing than older models. In addition, new panels that lay flat on the roof like shingles are available.

New technologies, like solar panels, need to overcome the wrong ideas and assumptions that people may have. With education comes acceptance as we look to cleaner, renewable ways to power our future.

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