The Advantages and Disadvantages of Solar Panels

​what are the advantages and disadvantages of solar panels?

Investing in solar can be a daunting prospect for some consumers. Solar technology is simple, but understanding pricing, energy markets, payback periods, and tax credits can make solar research confusing.

No investment is perfect. Despite widespread praise and popularity, solar panels have their advantages and disadvantages, just like any other investment. It's important to understand that investing in solar panels is a smart strategy that will save you money, but what are its drawbacks?

Since we're a solar company, you'd expect for us to come out of the gate with the pros. Education and transparency are essential at Renovus, so let's start with the cons!

Don't want to read? Skip to our article summary!​

​The Disadvantages of solar panelS


1. Capital costs can be high
Solar panels and solar systems can completely erase your energy bills, but the costs of these systems can be high. A standard home might need a system that costs around $25,000$30,000 up-front. Solar tax credits, grants, and other incentives can often decrease that cost as much as 65%, but a customer still needs to furnish as much as $10,000 to buy that system. Luckily, financing options are widely available, and many solar loans require down payments of 10% or less. That means you can buy a solar system that saves you more than $100 a month in utility costs for as little as $500 out-of-pocket.

Can't finance? Well, you can still access solar through programs like
Spring by Renovu​s.

2. Solar is an intermittent energy source
This one might seem obvious; the sun isn't out all day! Unlike the grid, using solar panels to power your home on their own is not ideal. Solar is an intermittent power source, so houses that use solar should also be connected to the grid to maintain power consistency hour to hour and month to month. The good news is, during peak hours of the day your system will likely be producing more power than is being consumed, meaning you're turning your meter backward and building up energy credits to be used at night, or in the winter. When you average the production of a system over a year, it should still produce more than enough power to meet your needs.

Want your solar power to light up your home after dark?
Energy storage might be an excellent option for your home. 

3. Installations can be limited by space
Solar panels have gotten more efficient throughout the years, but solar systems still take up a fair amount of space, which can be problematic in crowded areas or small lots. When a customer has limited space, they have three main options.


They may opt to increase the efficiency of the system by purchasing higher efficiency (and more expensive) solar panels.  They may choose to maximize their available space, but not fully offset 100% of their energy usage. Lastly, they may opt to buy into a
Community Solar Farm, meet all their energy needs, and locate their solar panels offsite.

Regardless of the solution you choose, a reputable solar company will help you find what option suits your needs, your aesthetics, and your budget.


4. Some systems can't move with you

When you attach solar panels to your roof or install those solar panels as a ground-mounted system, it's likely that those panels are not going to be moved any time soon. Removing panels and transporting them to a new site is not cost effective or efficient, so often folks who are planning on moving in the near future opt to not invest in solar panels on their home, and join a solar farm instead.

If you do opt to put solar on your home and think you might be moving soon, there's good news. Solar panels have been shown to
increase the value of your home AND help it sell faster. 

​The advantages of solar panels

Solar systems have their drawbacks just like any other investment, but most customers find that the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages of installing solar. There are hundreds of reasons to buy yourself solar panels, but here are some of the most powerful.

1. Save money on your electric bill
The most significant advantage of investing in solar panels is obvious; they save you boatloads of money. When you invest in solar, you are setting yourself up to not pay for power for 25 years or more. You immediately replace your old utility bill with a loan payment that is typically 10-30% lower, saving you hundreds of dollars almost immediately.

When your loan expires, you have replaced all your old electrical expenses entirely, and will likely be saving thousands every year. Over the 25-year guaranteed life of a solar system, most customers save around $25,000-$30,000.


2.  Get insurance against rising electrical costs
One of the least talked-about benefits of investing in solar panels is the long term insurance they provide your home or business. Utility costs have been rising at a rate of 2-3% per year over the last 15 years. As long as you continue to rely on the grid for all your electrical needs, you will be subject to ever-increasing sunk costs with no long-term benefits. The same $100 a month expense you have now will end up costing more than $43,000 over the 25-year life of a solar panel system.

When you invest in solar panels and lock in a financing rate, you gain an insurance policy against those rising costs that will save you tens of thousands of dollars.



3. Electrify & erase your carbon footprint
Solar energy is clean energy. When you invest in solar panels, you can make a sizeable impact on your carbon footprint. Solar panels can power every appliance, light bulb, and device in your home, but they also can act as a catalyst to de carbonize other areas of your life.

​Switching to electric climate control systems such as ground and/or air-source
heat pumps can save you thousands on fuel oil and natural gas. When you pair solar with emerging electric vehicle technology, you can save thousands on gasoline and de carbonize your transportation.

Solar power can be the key that electrifies your life and helps you truly combat climate change in a meaningful way, all while saving thousands on utility costs.


4. Improve the value of your home
Last but not least, solar panels are a valuable way to improve the value of your home or business. It widely recognized that homes sold in every state are more valuable when they include a solar system. Solar panels are a valuable amenity, and solar systems add $2-$5 per watt to the value of your home depending on your state and real estate market.

A 10kW solar system that covers 100% of your electrical costs can ultimately be worth up to $30,000 towards the sale of your home. For those doing the math, that means that a solar system, when resold, actually appreciates along-side your utility savings.

In addition to adding to the value of your home, it's also common for solar systems to help your home sell faster. Homes with on-site solar panels frequently sell as much as 20% faster than those without solar panels. You'll sell your home more quickly, and for more money when solar is part of the equation.
 


TLDR (TOO LONG..DIDN'T READ) SUMMARY

It's clear that solar panels are a smart investment, but knowing how that purchase fits into your life can be difficult.

A reputable solar company will sell you the solar system you need, at a cost that makes sense for your financial situation. Most companies offer consulting services for free as part of the sales process, so be sure you ask your potential partners to dive into the numbers with you and find the solar panel investment that is right for you. 

Advantages of solar panels

  1. Save money on your electric bill
  2. Get insurance against rising energy costs
  3. Electrify & erase your carbon footprint
  4. Improve the value of your home 

DISAdvantages of solar panels

  1. ​Capital costs can be high
  2. ​Solar is an intermittent energy source
  3. ​Installations can be limited by space
  4. ​Some systems can't move with you

INTERESTED IN GOING SOLAR?

​There's never been a better time. Panel prices are at all time lows, and incentive packages are at all time highs. What does that mean for you? Saving thousands on energy bills. Learn more by clicking the button below!

« View all posts

​Get an INSTANT ESTIMATE​ With our solar calculator​​​

​Get an INSTANT ESTIMATE​ With our solar calculator​​​