The Four Most Quoted Reasons Not to Go Solar

By - Alex Hay
15.03.23 01:04 PM

I have been in the solar industry for 7 years now, and these are the most common hesitations I hear.

            I’ve been in home solar sales for seven years now, and it still always surprises me when homeowners decide against solar for their homes. Of course, I am biased and believe every home should have solar panels. But when you really think about it, the right choice is easy: owning your energy and producing solar on your home is always going to be better for you as a homeowner. It locks in your cost of electricity and protects against rising rates, it adds value to the home, and it is the first step towards total energy independence. Even now, homeowners are falling behind on rising rates and being cut off in record numbers. I’ve heard just about every reason possible to not go solar. Here are the top four I’ve heard: 

  • “We have other expenses to worry about first”

  • “I’m worried I won’t save as much as I think” 

  • “I’m worried about taking on debt to pay for the panels”  

  • and my personal favorite, “We just need to think about it.” 

These reasons aren’t without merit, every homeowner knows what it is like to consider a big purchase for the home and have heard too-good-to-be-true stories about contractors promising the world and failing to deliver. Let’s see how well those reasons held up over time. In the near decade that I have had the pleasure to work with homeowners and help them go solar, the homeowners that have sat on the sidelines and not moved forward have to be kicking themselves. Electric rates rose by double digit percentage points, we’ve even seen 18% in the past two years alone. Homeowners have watched their electric bills simply get out of control. Wars, pandemics, and supply chain issues are only part of the problem. There is no end in sight to increasing rates, with regulations pushing towards electric vehicle adoption and retiring of fossil fuel appliances. This will only increase electric demand and drive prices further up. Not to mention the aging infrastructure and failed projects that your utility company makes you pay for.

Solar will help you save money which in turn can help pay for other, potentially more pressing projects. But how else can it help when you are in need of a new roof, bathroom, electrical work, or even want to finish the basement or put in a pool? The 30% federal tax credit and flexible finance options, with rates typically full percentage points better than any traditional home improvement lines of credit or refinancing options, can free up cash for any home improvement. The tax credit for the homeowners I’ve worked with over the years is anywhere from $6,000 to $15,000 dollars. Solar can unlock a whole new world of cash potential. Homeowners who waited because of other projects and financed those projects with other options are now surely regretting it. I hope anyone reading this can take the lessons learned up until now and realize that these concerns, although valid, should not hold you back. Those who thought it easier to stick with the status quo and “think about it” or put it off for another day hopefully now see the benefits. Nothing is without risk and going solar is a big decision, but the alternative of staying at the mercy of your utility, renting your electricity and having no equity in your energy is much scarier. Even though some homeowners may have missed out up until now, it’s never too late! 

If you own a home and plan on being there for a while, it really is a no brainer. But what if you aren’t sure about your circumstances? You’re in your first home, and you aren’t sure how long you’ll be there. Or maybe you are certain you will move after a few years, and you just aren’t sure if you’ll be able to realize all the benefits of solar? This concern is one of the hardest I’ve had to address over the years, because there are no guarantees in the real estate market. However, since solar has now been installed on a large scale since 2010, we have the data to make the decision to go solar easier than ever! Let’s take a look at the numbers to put any lingering worries to rest. 

The average home with solar panels, as of 2023, sees an increase in home value of $20 on average for every $1 of electric bill savings. For a typical home saving $100 a month on electricity, you add the increased home value with the tax benefits and you are in the green almost instantly. These same homes also spend 14% less time on the market once listed! This is due to the fact that over the past decade, American homeowners and potential buyers’ interest in solar panels for the home has exploded. In just ten years, Americans interested in owning solar went from 30% to almost 70%. That is astronomical growth, and shows real, large scale adoption. There are states requiring solar to be added to new construction projects. These trends are here to stay, and that should make the decision to buy solar, even if you plan to move, a no-brainer. I can say that when I started working with homeowners to help them install solar on their homes seven years ago, that was not the case. We did not have the widespread adoption and statistics we do now. It was a much safer bet for homeowners who were in their forever homes. Today, solar is truly for everyone. The key to maximizing the value and overcoming the fear of the unknown is to find a trusted solar installer, who will be transparent with you and be there for the long haul. No more wait and see, it is time for you to act! Find a good, local solar company and take charge of your energy future!

Well, if the proof isn’t already all around you from homeowners who went with a reliable company and their savings, I have some more stats for you that will help you realize that while you may have missed out so far, it’s never too late! With the new legislation passed in the summer of 2022, solar is poised to have its best decade yet. Adoption will soon skyrocket, and investments in domestic manufacturing of solar panels, energy storage, and related equipment are through the roof. Recent trade policy changes have just lowered the cost to go solar, and all this activity is going to drive solar adoption to new heights! Now is the right time to jump on the bandwagon and not get left behind. 

Alex Hay