Going Solar? Thinking beyond your objections

by GianCarlo Belloli, Solar Consultant

What is the biggest reason people have for not going solar? The cost of the system. Which is understandable, who likes spending money? The average homeowner will spend well over $70k on electricity over the course of 25 years if they stay with their utility. Why use the time span of 25 years? Because solar panels’ production are warranted for 25 years and, at Raywell, we use Enphase microinverters that are warranted for 25 years as well. As a side note, if you use a string inverter, it is warrantied for only 10 or 12 years typically. That’s good to know when looking at purchasing a solar system.

Looking at an example, I  put together 2 proposals today: one for an upfront cash purchase and one that is financed. The savings for the financed solar homeowner over 25 years is $56,907. This number is from the total amount this homeowner would pay to their utility over 25 years minus the true cost of their solar system. All 56,907 dollar bills stay in their pocket. Now who can give me a solid argument that going solar doesn’t make sense?

Technology is Improving

Another common response I get from homeowners is that the technology is going to get better and if I wait a couple of years it will be a better deal. Well we know it will get better, technology improves all around us all the time. But in the case of solar, will the 30% federal tax credit still be in effect? Also, for South Carolina will the 25% state tax credit still be in effect? (Read more about the tax credits here)  If you wait to go solar, you could pay double the price for a solar system, potentially. Yes the technology improves over time, but just like any newer, more efficient technology, the price jumps up as well. Right now, you can get LG 360W panels, but they are pricier than their 335W modules. So you will pay more for the upgraded power output. If you have enough space, you might as well go with last year’s models for a cheaper price.

Cold Fusion Mumbo Jumbo

I often make this joke quoted from a Val Kilmer movie called The Saint. At one point in the movie Val Kilmer says “you don’t believe in this cold fusion mumbo jumbo do you?” and sometimes I feel that people think of solar in this same way. I personally have worked for 5 solar companies in California, and I heard some of the craziest reasons why not to go solar. But I think one of the biggest hurdles I encountered was trust and an understanding that people don’t want to get taken advantage of.  I had to come all the way to Charleston to find a small company that has ethics. They sell the best products available at fair prices and are honestly trying to help people while earning a living at the same time.

All in all at the end of the day I know I am a honest man, and I can sleep at night because I am trying to help people. Can I dissuade people’s mistrust?  Maybe if they meet me in person and give me a chance to help them as well as our Earth. Time is of the essence and the longer we wait to think about changing the world the less chance we have of altering our present course. As you will see over the next couple of years, solar is just not cold fusion mumbo jumbo.