Going solar used to be a daunting process. Is it worth it? Will the panels work in the winter? Do I have to maintain the system? All these questions (and more) are answered here for you.
Here are 5 myths about residential solar energy, debunked.
Myth 1: Solar energy still isn’t worth the investment
Largely thanks to policy incentives (like rebates) and technological innovation, solar energy now represents one of the most cost-effective energy investments homeowners can make. The average cost of a 7.5kW solar system in 2021 was $22,500, representing a dramatic cost reduction of roughly 90% compared to a decade prior.
And at the same time, solar energy has become far more affordable, it’s also become more efficient, thanks to broad advances in photovoltaic engineering. Today, average panel efficiency (the amount of solar irradiation converted into electricity) is well above 20%, up from 15% just a few years ago. This directly translates into greater savings, cutting down on the payback period of solar technology.
While residential solar may not have always been a solid investment, it most certainly is today, thanks to broad technological improvements, growing government subsidization, and rising fossil fuel electricity costs.
Myth 2: Installing solar panels will damage your property value
Understandably, homeowners want to know how significant changes to their properties — like the addition of solar panels — will impact their property values. The good news is that solar energy has a positive impact on housing prices, and can raise the value of a home by as much as 6-10%. On a house worth $800,000, that’s $48,000-$80,000!
Multiple studies have also shown that properties with solar technology sell significantly faster than those without. This is due to the allure of reduced electricity bills as well as the growing consumer emphasis on sustainability.
Now more than ever, individuals are looking to reduce their environmental footprints — and going solar can do just that while offering a healthy ROI.
Myth 3: Residential solar isn’t viable in Canada’s snowy climate
One of the most common questions our team at Solar X gets asked is whether Canada’s snowy climate will interfere with the efficacy of rooftop solar. It’s not hard to understand why this concern is so widespread, especially as Canada’s famous for its prominent winters and snowy weather.
The good news, however, is that neither of these Canadian traits threatens the viability of solar energy. There are a few reasons why this is true.
The vast majority of solar irradiance in Canada occurs between March and October when there’s little snow and the days are markedly longer. Most of a solar installation’s electricity production will thus occur throughout these months, meaning winter is the least important season for solar energy in Canada.
And when solar panels do get covered by snow, their efficiency is only marginally affected (usually <3%), as the sun can still permeate down to the panels. This also encourages the snow to melt quickly, as the panels operate at a higher ambient temperature than the surrounding environment. Effectively, this makes solar panels self-cleaning in the wintertime — especially if they’re angled downwards. The snow will simply melt and run off.
Canadian homeowners can be at ease knowing that solar energy — despite the country’s harsh seasonal change — remains an effective and reliable way of saving money on energy bills.
Myth 4: Solar panels are at risk during heavy storms
Freak weather events, from strong winds and torrential rains to hail storms and lightning, tend to be anxiety-inducing for homeowners, but don’t pose a significant threat to solar installations. Solar manufacturers thoroughly conduct weather testing on all of their products and include a variety of different protections to cover a range of weather scenarios.
Panels are designed with reinforced waterproof materials to withstand hail storms and wind speeds up to 140 mph. Lightning strikes — unless direct, which are extremely rare — are also protected against, thanks to built-in surge suppression circuits in solar inverters.
Contrary to what many expect, solar panels are incredibly durable and are built with the promise of withstanding outdoor conditions for decades.
Myth 5: Solar energy is a high-maintenance technology
When considering the switch to solar energy, homeowners inevitably come to the question: “how much time will this take up in my daily life?” It’s a valid concern, as people are stretched thinner today than ever before. Fortunately, however, one of the key perks of solar is that it’s exceptionally undemanding. Rain naturally cleans the panels, meaning regular maintenance only needs to be performed 2-4 times per year, at a maximum.
The maintenance process is straightforward, as all that’s needed is a quick blast from a hose. It is not necessary (nor recommended) for homeowners to scale their rooftops to clean their solar panels. Additionally, hot water should never be used during the cleaning process, as tempered glass is susceptible to damage from temperature shocks.
For homeowners with ground-mounted solar installations, maintenance is even easier and requires nothing more than brushing the panels with a soft-bristled broom now and again. Either way, owning solar panels is a low-effort and high-return investment — a dynamite combination.
How can I benefit from solar?
That’s easy! Simply schedule a quick call here with one of our Solar Advisors. Our team will analyze your property, electricity usage, and roof to size a custom solar system for your home. This process is complimentary and will provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision.
With over 8 years of installation experience, the 2022 award for best solar panel installer in Canada (from the Canadian Business Awards), and a fantastic federal rebate & interest-free loan program, there is no better time to go solar than now. Don’t wait for the rebate to disappear, take advantage now and get the sun working for you!