After years of the cost of solar power being lower than conventional sources of electricity, the truth can still be hard to find.
Case in point is when a local news outfit does a report on solar, the tag line is usually – “Does solar make sense for you?” Now, understandably, news organizations need to remain as impartial as possible regarding any stories they cover (except, of course, when they are getting paid by a company to advertise a product).
However, if the given news organization did some quick math, they’d have to change the question to not if it makes sense but – “Why haven’t you gone solar yet?”
The news example is just one of many that can be used. The bottom line is that there still remains a general lack of awareness of the overall costs involved with going solar and how feasible it actually is.
Here are some basic financial facts about residential solar often not discussed.
- The monthly payments on a solar power system are either the same or lower than monthly electric bills for a ten year loan. After the loan is paid off – free electricity.
- Solar does in fact add value to a home. Please see this Berkeley Labs report. In fact, its basically a one to one proposition.
- Solar actually saves homeowners many thousands of dollars over a long period of time.
“$15,000?!! I don’t have $15,000!!” This is certainly the response from many when they see what a solar panel system costs. Was this their same reaction when they saw the cost of their home?… “$150,000?!! I don’t have $150,000!!! Of course not, everyone knows that you acquire a mortgage to realize the dream of home ownership. In much the same way, a homeowner can acquire a loan to help pay for solar. (Obviously the $150,000 figure is just an example, home values can easily be more or less depending on location.)
Again, the homeownership analogy is the best one to use to better explain the solar value proposition.
Those that have a full appreciation of the value of home ownership should be able to understand the value of solar power. They share many of the same basic advantages that come with simply owning something. Such as, when payments are done being made, that asset is now owned outright. Unfortunately, quite a few homeowners that have gone solar are leasing their solar panel systems. They will never fully realize the financial benefits of going solar.
It needs to be stressed that the true value of solar is only available to homeowners who OWN their systems outright or through non-leased financing.
Now a reasonable objection might be – “I will most likely move in 7 or 8 years. If I do that I won’t get to experience the majority of savings involved with solar.” Again, solar adds value to a home, so homeowners can get their investment back when they sell.
The good news is that more and more people are going solar. The word is certainly spreading about the massive long term savings made possible by acquiring a solar panel system. That word will continue to spread as these new owners of solar power tell their neighbors all about the benefits of going solar. Hopefully solar misinformation will soon be a thing of the past.
Want more information on the costs involved? Just head to the cost of solar page.