Solar energy is still a somewhat new concept, and anything new always comes with plenty of rumors associated. But smart homeowners get their facts straight before making decisions about their energy independence. Here are five common myths about solar power.
1. I NEED TO CHECK WITH MY HOA TO SEE IF I AM ALLOWED TO PUT IT ON MY ROOF.
This way of thinking is a common one, but it’s false. According to Florida law, homeowners’ associations cannot restrict solar equipment use. There are a few restrictions they can enforce, however, so make sure you’re informed by reading this overview of the Florida Solar Rights Law.
2. I NEED BATTERIES TO STORE THE SOLAR POWER.
This may be the most common question we receive, and it’s a myth that you need batteries with solar power. Solar power doesn’t replace electricity, so you’ll still be able to use that as a power source if you need to. Now, you’ll be able to integrate the Tesla Powerwall with your solar energy system soon, but you’ll never be required to use batteries.
3. I HAVE TO POWER MY WHOLE HOUSE WITH SOLAR, AND I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH ROOF SPACE.
Because Florida has a lot of trees, we hear this one a lot. It’s a myth that you have to power your entire house with solar. You can do only half your house and still split your electricity bill in half. Tampa residents, for instance, have no control over the whims of rate fluctuations that may be a result of TECO’s recent sale without an outside power source like solar. Even with half solar, you’ll have an insurance policy against electric companies rate hikes. In fact, a partial system can even be more cost effective, dollar-for-dollar.
4. I CAN PUT OFF THIS DECISION A FEW MORE YEARS AND GET AN EVEN BETTER DEAL ON SOLAR.
Actually, the best time to save on solar is now, and that’s not even a sales pitch. The federal tax credit incentives for solar are scheduled to expire on December 31, 2016. That means there will be no more tax credits for residential customers, and commercial credits will drop to only 10%. Most experts believe the credits will completely die at this time, but if Congress does extend the incentives, it will likely be for less than the current credits.
5. SOLAR POWER DOES NOT PROVIDE ANY BACKUP POWER WHEN THE GRID IS DOWN.
Traditionally, this has not been a myth. In the past, solar power has been unable to provide backup power. Now, however, this answer is changing due to solar power’s integration with Tesla Powerwall, like we mention above, and SolarEdge’s StorEdge™ technology. These programs consistently make it easier to achieve your energy independence.
Have more questions about solar power? Visit our FAQ page for more common myths about solar power and to answer any remaining questions.