Solar Scams Explained
Solar.com’s mission is to bring more transparency to the solar market… and sometimes that means rolling up our sleeves calling people out on social media!
We received this comment on our Facebook page today…
Text: “Solar is a scam and a BIG LIE!! You do not save a penny overall… Consider that:
- Solar panels lose production capacity year after year… but your payments will go on way longer, no matter what.
- A new lien will be open on your house.
- Manufacturing solar panels is very toxic for the environment.
- If you have a fire in your house…the FD will let it burn to the ground.
- The solar panels MUST BE KEPT CLEAN (even then they will not produce anything close to what you are “promised”)… additional cost!
- You could have broken tiles on your roof…and find out after a couple of years… remove the panels, replace the broken tiles, reinstall the pannels…$$$!”
This message is nothing new, but there are some points here that need to be debunked in a good old fashioned blog article.
I had my team draw up some quick responses to bust the “solar is a scam myth.” We’re getting tired of it, so hopefully, this post will clear the air.
A. Solar panels lose production capacity year after year… but your payments will go on way longer, no matter what.
It’s true that solar panel production will decrease over time, just like any other energy producing asset. Every panel on our platform is warranted at least 85% as productive as day 1 after 25 years.
All of our financial modelings are done factoring in this production degradation so there are no surprises down the road. See for yourself on our solar calculator.
Related reading: The Pros and Cons of Going Solar
B. A new lien will be open on your house.
A UCC-1 Lien or Fixture Filing is only present on homes that choose to finance their solar with a lease or Power Purchase Agreement, which is less than 5% of solar transactions on Solar.com.
A leased solar system is owned by a third party, and the lien provides assurance to the them that the homeowner cannot claim the solar as their own in the case of a breach of contract or default on their payments. Even in the case of a lease or PPA, you are replacing your monthly electric bill with a lower monthly solar cost. That means you save money!
Buying the system outright with cash or taking out a solar loan will NOT place a lien on your house.
C. Manufacturing solar panels is very toxic for the environment.
Common photovoltaic solar panels use silicon as their primary material for energy generation. They also contain copper wiring and casing made of metal and glass.
While it is true that there are environmental consequences associated with harvesting any of these materials, the overall environmental footprint of electricity generated from solar panels is significantly less than that of any other energy generation source.
D. If you have a fire in your house…the FD will let it burn to the ground.
This is simply not true. Municipalities all over the country have adopted fire codes for solar systems to keep firemen and homes safe. Permitted system designs are required to follow these codes.
E. The solar panels MUST BE KEPT CLEAN (even then they will not produce anything close to what you are “promised”)… additional cost!
This varies considerably based on your climate but at the worst, you may need to wash off your panels with a hose once or twice a year. A small price to pay for cleaner and cheaper power than from your utility.
F. You could have broken tiles on your roof…and find out after a couple of years… remove the panels, replace the broken tiles, reinstall the panels…$$$!
Broken tiles during solar installation will only occur on tiled roofs. For most homeowners with a composite shingle roof, this isn’t a concern. While tiles may break during the install, particularly for more fragile clay tiles, this is fully covered by the installation company under their workmanship warranty.
If an installer does not cover for work damages, you probably did not select a professional provider.
Scams Do Exist in Solar
I hope this clears up the “solar is a scam” naysayers.
That said, consumers do need to be aware of the scams that do exist within the industry. There’s always a couple of bad apples.
Homeowners are at most risk of falling for a spam scheme where websites sell contact information to the highest bidder. Website privacy policies, terms, and conditions matter.
Solar spam scams… our worst enemy.
Save a Pretty Penny with Solar
It’s a shame there are so many misconceptions around solar today, but that’s part of the game when a new technology disrupts a centuries-old industry against the backdrop of politicized facts.
At the end of the day, the most important thing you should know is that solar is an amazing investment. It’ll beat the stock market for 30+ years. See for yourself – our calculator will analyze your exact roof and provide an instant estimate on your savings with solar.
Just another day at the Solar.com office… busting myths in every comments section on the internet!