Myth Busting Residential Solar Power

Thinking about switching to solar power but have some concerns? It is easy to become overwhelmed with ideas and opinions, especially today with the rate at which information is produced and spread, but it’s important to take the time to seek out the truth. There are a lot of misconceptions about residential solar power, so let’s bust the myths and clear the clouds that surround your potential solar dreams!

Rooftop Solar

1 .  Solar doesn’t save you money anymore

There have been a lot of changes happening to the way solar energy works when attached to the grid. Since utility companies were not created for this purpose, it has taken some time to figure out how solar should exist in relation to the grid. The misconception here come from net-metering, where in some states you are able to be paid directly from the utility company for any excess energy you produce and give to the grid. In Massachusetts you receive a credit for any excess energy. These credits can be saved for months when your system may not cover all of your needs, like in the winter. Excess beyond your needs can also be sold through the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target program, or SMART, for a fixed rate per kWh for a 10 year period. So there is definitely still money to be saved!

2 .  You need to own a home to benefit from solar panels

Not true! You can still lease solar panels through community solar programs. Community solar gardens are often very large arrays located far from your home. You would rent a portion of solar panels that work within your budget. Community solar is not meant to eliminate your electric bill, but reduce it! You can normally see a savings of around 10% a year!

3 . Solar will lower the value of your home

Some people think that even if they want solar, the person after them might not be okay with having panels on their roof, but studies actually show that solar panels are seen as a home upgrade and raises the value of one’s home by around $15,000!

4 .  We don’t get enough sun in Massachusetts for solar to be effective

Having at least 4 peak sun hours in a day is best for solar production, and although Massachusetts may not receive as much sun as California, which has 5.82 peak sun hours a day, Massachusetts averages exactly 4! The panels may not be able to produce as much energy as in the sunnier states, but there is still enough potential to see a cost savings, especially with the option of saving your credits for darker times of year.

5 .  Solar is too expensive for me to afford

Massachusetts offers many incentives to help make solar affordable! On the state level incentives include: 10% solar tax credit, low-interest Mass Solar Loan, SMART incentives, and also a 30% solar tax credit on the federal level!

The Center for EcoTechnology is also working with Massachusetts Clean Energy Center and the Department of Energy Resources to make renewable energy more affordable for middle-income Massachusetts homeowners through our new program, Solar Access! With Solar Access you receive all the incentives from above, but also an additional Solar Access subsidy, as well as the first 6 months of payments covered! The program also includes an efficient electric heating system, which, when powered by your new solar array, will lower the cost of your heating bills!

For more information about going solar in Massachusetts call us at 413.341.0418 or e-mail us at solaraccess@cetonline.org!

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