304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124
304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124
We love solar panels. We 100% believe it makes sense for many homeowners to go solar.
But we also know that going solar does not make sense for everyone… no matter what that pushy solar sales rep may try to tell you (there are plenty of honest ones out there but, like every industry, you have your share of sleaze).
When does going solar not make sense? Below you’ll find 9(ish) reasons why you should think twice about getting solar panels for your home.
If you have low electric bills each month, then you may want to pass on solar.
With an electric bill of $50 (maybe even $100) or less a month, it’s going to take a LONG time to make back the cost of solar panels through savings on your electric bills.
That said, if you don’t use much electricity, you may not need to buy many solar panels. So upfront costs may not be so bad.
Also, electricity costs are going up so, in a few years, you may have a much larger electricity bill than you do now. Plus there are other benefits to solar (environmental, increased home value, etc.).
Overall, a low electric bill isn’t totally a deal breaker when it comes to solar. But the payoff may take a lot longer if you don’t spend much on electricity.
Sometimes size does matter. If you have a small roof, you may not be able to fit enough panels on there to make solar worthwhile.
Also, how your roof is laid out may matter too. If you have irregular angles, dormers or other obstructions, that’s not good for solar. Again, you may not be able to fit enough panels on your roof to generate the electricity you need for solar to make sense.
Lastly, solar panels will usually be most efficient if they are on the south facing side of your roof. They’ll still generate electricity on the other sides of your roof but efficiency will take a hit.
If your roof is in bad shape and need repairs or replacement soon, hold off on solar. Fix your roof first, then go ahead with installing panels.
This is the only reason why our home does not have solar panels. It’s not our forever home and we’ll likely be moving in the next 5 years or so.
In some places and situations, you can make back your investment in solar in 5 years or less. Unfortunately, that’s not the case with our house.
So if the payback period on solar is much longer than you plan to be in your home, going solar may not make sense.
Unless you get a battery backup system, your solar panels are going to power your home during the day. Not at night.
So, if no one is really home during the day at your home – doing the laundry, dishes, cranking up the A/C, etc. – then most of your electricity use will be at night. And, again, unless you have a battery back up you can rely on, you won’t be able to harness solar energy to power most of your energy needs.
If you don’t own your home, then investing in solar doesn’t make sense. Maybe you can sweettalk your landlord into going solar but, if not, it’s not a wise idea to invest in solar on a property you don’t own (and it’s probably not even be legal!).
Are there big trees or buildings that block direct sunlight from hitting your roof? If so, the efficiency of your solar panels will take a big hit. So much so that solar might not be worth it for you.
Solar panels can be a huge upfront expense. If that’s going to put a big hurt on your family’s budget/savings, then solar might not make sense right now.
There are leasing options out there. You just have to be smart about going that route though. Some states offer really great solar lease rates for homeowners.
But many don’t. If you have to pay a high interest rate to get solar panels, then you really have to crunch the numbers to see if leasing makes sense.
Also, leasing may complicate things when you go to sell your home.
Bottom line here, if getting solar panels is going to cause money problems for you and your family, wait until the situation improves before going forward with solar.
The “ish” here is that we were debating whether or not to include this one.
There have been great solar incentives available in some states that help homeowners save $1000s on solar. But many are starting to go away.
There is also the federal tax credit (now at 30% with the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act in August 2022) that can take $1000s off the cost of installing solar panels.
However, even if you don’t qualify for any incentives, solar may still make sense for you. True, you’ll pay much more than someone who does get incentives. But between the cost savings of solar, increase in home value, potential energy independence and environmental benefits – investing in solar may still be a great option for you.
If none of the above apply to you, then going solar may absolutely make a lot of sense for your home. At the very least it’s worth some time to see just what’s involved and how much you can save.
If you want to get an idea of costs, savings, incentives, financing options and more, we recommend you use the savings calculator at UnderstandSolar.com.
You can use the calculator and get some personalized quotes from reputable local solar installers to get a clearer picture of whether going solar is a good idea for your home.