Solar energy has two major, but obvious, benefits:
- Reduce your monthly utility bills
- Reduce your carbon footprint
But there’s more to installing solar than those two benefits. You may be thinking, what about the not so good?
Below are advantages, and even disadvantages regarding solar installations. It’s important you know and understand both so that if you do install solar, that it’s worth it for you.
The Pros of Installing Solar Panels
1. Monthly Utility Savings
The #1 reason why people go solar is to save money. Once installed on your rooftop, your PV panels generate clean energy from free sunshine reducing your reliance on expensive grid electricity. (The Bay Area has some of the highest rates in the country—and going solar here delivers some of the largest savings as well.)
What kinds of savings can you expect? Find out using our Free Calculator.
2. Protection from Rate Increases
With rates trending upwards nationwide and PG&E’s rates increasing faster than normal from California’s most destructive wildfires, solar panels protect you from the rate increases. Your solar electricity will remain “forever free.”
3. Property Value Increases
Installing solar panels can help increase the resale value of your home or commercial property, often by a lot.
According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the average value of your home “increases $20 for every $1 reduction in annual utility bills” from your PV system.
And according to the US Department of Energy, solar-enabled homes spend less time on the market.
4. Government Support
Local, state, and federal governments want you to go solar offering a range of generous incentives designed to make installing solar panels more affordable including:
- Bay Area Solar Rebates – provides cashback for installing PV panels
- California Net Metering – allows you to sell unused solar power to PG&E in exchange for utility credits
- The Solar Investment Tax Credit – reduces the total cost of your solar installation by 30% (parts & labor included)
5. Carbon Savings
Instead of powering your home or business with electricity generated from fossil fuels, you’re able to create your own electricity from sunshine. This clean and infinite energy source that doesn’t harm the planet reducing your carbon footprint.
6. Zero Maintenance
Solar PV panels are mostly “set it and forget it” – requiring almost zero maintenance. And with no moving parts, they’re incredibly resilient. So breakages and repairs are exceptionally rare.
You don’t even need to clean them.
Once installed, your panels just sit silently on your rooftop as they generate clean power every day – for decades to come.
7. Warranty Protection
Because solar panels are so durable and low-maintenance, manufacturers can confidently warranty their products for 25 years. With that kind of protection, installing PV panels is a zero-risk investment.
As long as the sun rises tomorrow, your solar savings are guaranteed.
With all the benefits combined, going solar is a no-brainer for many Bay Area homeowners and businesses.
But the technology isn’t for everyone – there are some unfavorable circumstances regarding solar panels to consider.
The Cons of Installing Solar Panels
1. Roof Constraints
Not every roof is suitable for solar power – usually due to size, orientation, shading or material. In addition, you need a roof that’s strong enough to support the added weight of PV panels.
To find out if your roof is a good candidate for solar power, schedule a free home inspection with us today.
If using your roof isn’t an option, the most common fix is to explore ground-mounted solar panels instead.
2. Solar Installation Cost
Cash is arguably the best way to finance a new solar PV system. This approach offers the highest returns and shortest payback periods.
But even with solar incentives and falling panel prices, not everyone has the disposable income to pay for a new system out-of-pocket.
Fortunately, we offer exclusive financing options that allow you to go solar affordably. In fact, you can receive a new PV system for $0 upfront – and still enjoy substantial utility bill savings and carbon footprint reductions.
3. Winter Solar Power
Your systems output will dip during winter months and peak during summertime.
To help mitigate wintertime dips in solar output, we recommend using Hanwha Q-Cell panels. Engineered in Germany, these solar modules deliver great year-round performance – even in low-light conditions. This makes Q-Cell panels ideal for the Bay Area’s notoriously foggy climate.
Since Hanwha will soon have a facility in Georgia, its panels won’t be subject to solar import tariffs. As an added benefit, you’ll also be helping the US economy by buying “American Made” products.
4. Property Ownership
In order to install solar panels on a home or business, you must be the property owner. Lessees, renters and sub-leasers need the landlord’s permission first – which is rarely guaranteed.
But this doesn’t mean you can’t go solar.
There’s a growing, nationwide movement called “community solar power” in which people band together to finance a shared solar system located off-site.
The clean electricity from this community installation typically goes into the utility grid, which indirectly reduces your carbon footprint. As a part owner of the system, a percentage of the savings come to you (in the form of utility bill credits).
Community solar gardens were originally designed for apartment dwellers and have become increasingly popular with property owners whose roof type is not the best fit for solar panels.
5. Four Things to Look for When Choosing a Solar Installer
If you’re like most Bay Area residents, you’re getting bombarded with promising solar offers every day.
You’d be amazed by some of the sneaky gimmicks they use to close the sale.
This isn’t to say that finding a reputable installer is hard. It just takes extra work. The best way to sift through the noise is to choose a solar installer that:
- Has extensive experience in your market. This is because of important variables like climate, building codes and permitting all change from region to region. Since 2016, we’ve completed more than 360+ Bay Area solar installations – saving each of our customers an average of more than $1,100 a year.
- Has reviews from satisfied customers. To read what our own customers have to say about the solar solutions we provide in the Bay Area, click here.
- Offers numerous solar financing options. You should be wary of installers who try to force one approach over another. At Bright Planet Consulting, we walk you through the benefits of cash, power purchase agreements, and loans to help you decide which financing option makes the most sense for you.
- Provides zero-pressure education. We understand going solar is a big investment, and you should only move forward on your own terms. That’s why we never use high-pressure sales tactics. Instead, we simply provide you with the essential information you need. And it’s entirely up to you whether you move forward or not.
Ready to Go Solar Today?
Going solar isn’t for everyone. And you need to carefully weigh the pros and cons of your clean power investment before making a final decision.
If you do decide to go solar, we’d be happy to help you start enjoying decades of environmental and financial savings.
So whenever you’re ready, request a free solar quote from us today. And our team of expert installers will take care of the rest.