It's estimated that nearly 748,000 homes and businesses in the United States have switched to solar energy, which equates to nearly 22,700 MW of cumulative solar electric capacity; enough to power more than 4.6 million average American homes.
Say what? That's amazing! But given that there are still many millions of homes in the United States, why aren't more people switching to solar? There is a lot of information out there about solar energy and the benefits of switching, but there are just as many misconceptions out there and it can sometimes leave a consumer confused or hesitant to make the switch.
We called upon our good friend Kelly Curtis, Director of Operations at Solaroo Energy, to help us sort through the information and cut through all the clutter.
"When it comes down to it, there are four hot buttons that get brought up when we are discussing solar energy with a potential client," says Mr. Curtis. "We like to focus on education at Solaroo Energy, so we love these kinds of questions because it helps us all understand this concept just a little better."
Below are Mr. Curtis' responses to the 4 main solar hot buttons.
FACT or FICTION: Switching to solar is extremely expensive
Fiction. Mr. Curtis tells us that the price of solar panels has dropped by 70 percent since 1998. As more homes and businesses switch to solar, the demand for solar panels has increased dramatically, growing more manufacturing companies grow. He states, "the market has become competitive and the savings are passed on to the consumer. Additionally, with residential solar becoming more popular, the residential cost has dropped by 45 percent"
FACT or FICTION: There are tax incentives for going solar
Fact. "It's called the Solar Investment Tax Credit and it's one of the most important federal policies to support the installation of solar energy. Federally, you can receive up to 30 percent of the cost of your solar system. Here in the state of Utah, you receive a capped amount of up to $2,000," says Mr. Curtis. It's never been a better time to capitalize on this amazing credit, which has been recently extended but, as Mr. Curtis reminds us, "[it] won't be around forever."
FACT or FICTION: You can only install solar panels on south facing homes
Fiction. "Yes, it's true that the more sun you have means the more production you'll get out of your solar panels. While south facing homes are the most ideal homes, because the sun has the most direct sunlight throughout the entire day, it's not the only direction that a solar panel can be installed," Mr. Curtis points out. "Both east and west facing roofs can produce adequate power to make solar financially viable. Really, as long as your roof isn't oriented at all northward, you should be fine."
FACT or FICTION: Getting solar is a great financial investment
Fact. So you pay the power company each month, right? And you'll continue to pay the power company year after year. Mr. Curtis tells us, "the scary fact is that not only will you be paying them every year; you'll be paying them 4 percent more each year, every year. Making the financial investment to go solar isn't just about increasing the value of your home — it's about the long-term savings of being power independent." Want some really great news? When we're talking about savings, we're talking not hundreds or thousands, but usually tens of thousands or dollars. It really adds up.
For more solar advice, please visit solarooenergy.com or click here.