Are PV solar panels practical for homeowners?

By Email author - Thu, 05 Jul 2012 13:35:26 GMT
Are PV solar panels practical for homeowners?

Solar panels attached to the roofs of houses; Credit: © Shutterstock

Solar panels are becoming a common sight on the roofs of houses across the world, yet untruths and misunderstandings about solar panels often lead homeowners to mistakenly believe the solar power is not a practical solution to their energy problems.

However, such an assertion could not be further from the truth. PV solar panels are an increasingly cost-effective way of cutting both your carbon footprint and your energy bills. A quick reading up on solar panels can cast away these assertions and let you decide based on the facts if solar panel is for you.

Here are the top 5 myths that you might have heard to convince homeowners that solar panels are impractical, and why they are dead wrong:

5. The panels will have to be replaced in a few years, so they won't last long enough to regain the cost of purchase and installation.

Most solar panel retailers now underpin their sales with a guarantee of 25 years of power output at at least 80% of the original power output capacity. Such a guarantee means that you can buy solar panels safe in mind that they are a long-term investment, perfect for planning your long-term energy needs as we face a future of energy price uncertainty.

4. There is little point installing solar panels if there is a chance you will move home in the following year(s).

Solar panels are an investment for homeowners that can pay dividends in multiple ways. If a homeowner plans to keep their house fitted with PV solar panels, they can expect to save on household bills themselves. In this volatile house market, buyers respond well to the prospect of cheaper energy bills than in a similar house without panels. Panels therefore add value to your house and vastly increase its attractiveness (especially because they are often property tax exempt). Different numbers are used when estimating how solar power add values to your house (one formula states that for every $1 in energy saved, 15 times that is added

3. It is only worth installing solar panels on commercial properties, apartment blocks or other places with a large roof space.

Although some argue that solar panels are impractical for homeowners due to the small roof area of the average house, the long-life of solar panels means that even a small space can pay for itself and more over the lifetime of the panel. Even if you only opt for a few panels, that could still be enough energy to shave a large item off your energy bill - heating water or electric underfloor heating for example.

solar panels

Solar panels; Credit: © Shutterstock

2. Solar panels are too expensive to be practical.

The prices of solar panels have dropped massively in the past decade, but with government subsidies in many countries at risk of being phased out - now is definitely the time to make the investment whilst solar panels are at rock bottom prices. It should also be remembered that although solar panels are an investment, they are an investment that will drive down your energies bills and insulate you from future oil price hikes.

1. There's not enough sun where I live.

Experts in solar electricity refute this claim time and time again, yet it is still sprouted from the mouths of the uninformed. Obviously solar panels have a higher production capacity in sunnier areas, but PV solar panels still absorb enough ambient light on cloudy days to produce electricity.

Some who wish to be completely dependent on solar power worry that a run of bad weather would leave them without power, but their worries are unfounded. Houses run on solar power are usually still connected to the energy grid, allowing them to use electricity from the grid if and when they need to do so.

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