Between housing, food, bills, and other expenses, the average American spends more than $150 a day. As consumers, we shop at the grocery store, order something from Amazon, fill our cars with gas, buy our favorite coffee, go to the mall, pay the plumber to fix our sink, or spend our money on countless other options every day. With hundreds of purchasing decisions to make, we all develop our own personalized system of justification. Is it necessary? Does it fit in my budget? Would it provide meaningful experiences? Will it save me money down the road? Do I really want it?
At Blue Raven Solar, we know that purchasing a customized solar system can be rather intimidating. It has a large price tag, there are so many different financing options, and it can take several years to generate a return on investment. So, rather than listing all the benefits to try and convince you to go solar, we’ve created a comprehensive list of the top 5 solar advantages and disadvantages to let you decide if solar is right for your unique situation!
Top 5 Disadvantages of solar:
- High price
- Another loan
- Betting on the sun
- No immediate power at night
- Expensive batteries
It might seem counterintuitive to start by listing the disadvantages of going solar, but we like to be completely transparent with our customers. It’s important to validate and acknowledge the problems you may see with solar, and we understand that these struggles can sometimes seem overwhelming. However, we know that for most homeowners, the advantages of solar will always outweigh the disadvantages, so let’s dive into some of these disadvantages:
1. High Price
As we described in one of our recent posts, Does Going Solar Really Mean Free Electricity?, solar is never free—but, then again, nothing is. To power an averaged sized American home, you would need to purchase a solar power system that costs upwards of $20,000. This large number can be difficult to get past, especially if you feel your financial belt tightening daily. Because of its high initial price, many homeowners forget that going solar is a money-saving investment and never give it full consideration.
2. Another Loan
If you have ever looked into purchasing solar, you know there are several ways to finance a complete solar system. If you don’t have the cash to purchase your solar system right up front, almost all solar providers have loan-based financing options that will allow you to pay a monthly fee that goes toward the overall cost of the panels. For many homeowners who are already paying a mortgage and a variety of other monthly bills while also trying to save for the future, adding solar loan payments to the list may seem like an overwhelming or unnecessary financial stress.
3. You’re Betting on the Sun
Because solar relies on the power of the sun, you have no control over how much electricity your panels will generate. If you live in a cloudy region of the US or if your roof doesn’t have a section that faces south, your panels will generate less power throughout the course of the day. Homeowners can always make up for lack of sunlight with more panels, but that can mean thousands of dollars in extra expenses.
With that being said, it is important to use the resources available from solar companies to calculate how much power the panels on your roof should generate up front. Calculators like these will give you a much more accurate idea of the power you’d be able to generate than simply assuming that the weather conditions where you live will negate all the benefits of going solar.
4. No Immediate Power at Night
This one might seem obvious, but it is important to point out because the majority of time that homeowners use their appliances is during the night. With no light being absorbed by the panels, no electricity will be generated to power your home. In order to use your solar system a night, you may need to invest in a battery, which will store any excess power from the day to be used at night. Net metering is another option to offset power used at night with power produced during the day.
5. Expensive Batteries
As mentioned above, for many homeowners batteries can make buying a system a more financially sound choice because they provide the reassurance that you’ll have power whenever you need it. Unfortunately, these batteries are expensive and not extremely efficient. For example, the Tesla Power Wall costs $6,000 upfront and an extra $1,000 for installation. In recent years, solar battery technology has gained a lot of attention in the scientific world, providing an optimistic outlook for improvements in efficiency and an overall reduction in price.
Top 5 Advantages of solar:
- Eliminate your power bill
- Control the cost of electricity
- Increase the value of your home
- Reduce your carbon footprint
- Add a potential source of income
With a large price tag, the inability to control the sun, and several other disadvantages, you might wonder: “How can solar be a justifiable purchase?” We understand that the disadvantages of solar are real and can be a big turn-off, but we’re here because we have found that the advantages of solar are just as real—and they may even outweigh the disadvantages. So, let’s look at some of the solar advantages:
1. Eliminate Your Power Bill
The most popular reason to go solar is to eliminate your monthly power bill. By having your system sized correctly and owning your panels, you should produce enough electricity to cover the cost of your monthly bill. For the most part, homeowners with solar only have to pay a small monthly connection fee to stay connected to their utility provider.
Imagine eliminating one of your (seemingly) permanent bills! Having the power and financial advantage to escape from your power company is liberating, empowering, and, ultimately, makes you more self-sufficient.
2. Control the Cost of Electricity
It’s no secret that electricity prices are on the rise. With every passing year, utility companies continue to drive up prices, and homeowners have no way to get around the increased bills.
To put this into perspective, over the last 20 years the price of electricity has gone up by more than 60%, and the U.S. Energy Information Agency projects that residential electricity prices will continue to rise by at least 1% a year over the next 5 years. So, even if your electricity usage doesn’t increase, your bills are still going to get more and more expensive.
Going solar is a great way to combat rising energy bills. Because your panels produce energy independent of the price of electricity, you won’t have to worry about those frightening statistics. When you’ve bought a solar system, you’ll own your own power, which means you won’t be at the mercy of power companies or the energy market. This element of control is one of the biggest solar advantages of buying versus leasing your solar, and it offers stability in your bills and your home life.
3. Increase the Value of Your Home
Because solar panels become an integrated part of your home system, they immediately add value to your home. For many prospective home buyers, a house with solar can be a huge appeal and will validate paying a little extra. Who doesn’t love the idea of never having to pay more than $15 for their monthly power bill?
Adding a solar system is one of the easiest things you can do to increase your home’s value, and it is definitely less messy than an add-on or extensive renovations. All in all, most homeowners can increase the value of their home by 3-7% by investing in a solar system. Whether or not you live in your home for the rest of time, adding solar will still benefit you. So, if your hold-up is the permanence of your living situation, you can cross this one off the list.
4. Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
We all know that solar panels are part of the green movement, but how much do they actually impact the environment? Let’s take a look: the average residential solar system…
- Offsets energy produced by burning over 80 tons of coal
- Offsets energy produced by 175 tons of carbon dioxide
- Is the equivalent of planting 4,000 trees!
So yes, solar panels make a real impact, and, if going green is important to you (we think it should be important to everyone), then going solar is one of the best ways you can make a difference. Knowing you’ve done something big to make your home more sustainable is powerful. This advantage alone has caused tens of thousands of Americans to go solar!
5. Solar Can Become a Source of Income
Not only does solar save you money, it can actually bring in money! How?
- Net metering programs
- Federal tax incentives
- State tax deductions
In many states, net metering programs allow homeowners to sell back their unused electricity to utility companies for energy credits. These credits can be used during a less productive time of the year or be stockpiled to the point where the utility company will actually pay the homeowner for their unused credits. While these credits probably won’t add up to a substantial amount of money, it can be enough to make an impact on day-to-day life. And there is no better feeling than having your utility company pay you after years of high-priced energy bills.
Additionally, when you own your solar system, you’ll receive a federal tax credit. As of 2021, the federal government allows owners to deduct 26% of the cost of rooftop solar panels and installation. And many states allow solar-powered households to receive state income tax deduction as well. These tax incentives are huge, but can seem complicated, which is why we provide a step-by-step guide to getting the most out of your solar system in regards to tax breaks. We’re also always available to answer your questions. We are here to make your life as easy as possible!
Do the Advantages Outweigh the Disadvantages?
For tens of thousands of Americans, the advantages of going solar heavily outweigh the disadvantages. By making the switch to clean, renewable energy, you control your power for decades to come, which means that you’re not left paying monopolized utility companies’ unfair rates to power your home. Plus, you get the peace of mind that you’re reducing your carbon footprint and making a positive impact on the environment.
Of course, we may be a little biased. We always recommend that homeowners considering solar go through our free solar proposal process so you can make your own decision. By giving us some of your basic information, we can generate a full report that will show how much solar can impact your monthly electricity bills over the lifespan of the panels. With that information, you’ll be able to determine whether solar is right for your specific situation.
Going Solar with Blue Raven Solar:
If you’ve looked into going solar, you may have considered leasing. Because every property, lifestyle, and situation is different, leasing may be the best option for you, but we want to make sure you fully understand the difference between leasing and buying before making a decision.
Leasing means you are renting a company’s solar system, which doesn’t allow you to truly benefit from all the advantages of going solar. With leasing, you are still at the mercy of the prices and bills of a larger company; you might save money, but only if this company charges less than your current power company. Additionally, you are not able to reap the benefits of federal or state tax deductions available to solar system owners. So, for many, leasing just doesn’t make sense.
At Blue Raven Solar, we help our customers buy their power so they can own it and reap all the benefits. It’s our job to ensure you get the most savings possible for your property.
Our free solar estimate is an accurate, zero-commitment savings evaluation, and, when you decide to take the next step, we’ll send a contractor out to your home to assess your situation. This personalized visit provides the information we need to design a solar system unique to your home to optimize sun exposure for reducing your power bill as much as possible. If we think you shouldn’t get solar, we’ll tell you.
Not all situations are the same and, as we evaluate your property, we will help you have a clearer idea of the cost and benefits of solar for you. It is our mission to provide homeowners across America with all the joys and advantages of going solar!