The evidence is unambiguous: in order to stop future climate change, the world must convert to clean energy sources. Solar and other renewable energy sources are leading the present global energy shift.
However, the fact remains that not every American family is a good candidate for rooftop solar.
For many people, home solar simply isn’t the best option, even while it works wonderfully for some users.
Here are seven reasons not to switch to solar power. If any of them apply to you, it could be best for you to forego getting panels.
#7 Your roof isn’t suitable for solar panels
Solar panels are almost always put on the top of houses. This is so that solar panels may be installed on the roof, which has both surface area (for the panels to be placed on) and sun exposure (to power the solar panels).
What happens, then, if you don’t have a roof of your own or if the roof you do have is inadequate for the job?
The following are all the roof-related elements that could hinder or render a solar installation unprofitable:
- You don’t own a house: You might rent an apartment, live with family, or dwell in an apartment. Whichever it is, it indicates that you lack a roof of your own to install solar panels on.
- Your roof is too old: Any sort of roof can be used for a solar system, but it is not advised to use one that is weak or broken because that would only exacerbate the situation. Furthermore, it is much better to wait until the roof replacement is complete if one is necessary; otherwise, you will have to remove the solar panels first and reinstall them once the new roof is in place.
- Your roof is too small: Sunlight is required for solar panels to produce power. They produce more energy the more sunlight they take in. Solar panels might simply not produce enough kilowatt-hours on a tiny roof to significantly reduce your energy costs.
- There’s too much shade on your roof: The amount of solar energy that may be produced by your roof might be greatly reduced by the shade that nearby structures or trees cast on it.
- The roof’s layout is unfavorable: Solar panels won’t produce as much electricity as they could if your roof doesn’t face the right way (that is, it points away from the sun, not towards it), or if it isn’t at the right angle (relative to your latitude).
#6 There’s nowhere else to put solar panels
Solar panels can be installed anywhere, although the roof is the most typical location.
Other locations where solar panels are installed by homeowners include their backyard or a supplementary building on their property.
However, you’re out of luck if both of the following situations apply to you.
- Ground-mounting isn’t possible for you: The term “ground-mounted solar” describes solar panels that are mounted on the ground and are tilted toward the sun using specialized mounts. This may be a possibility for farms and ranches, but in towns and suburbs where there is less available open space, it is rarely practical.
- No other structure is available: Buildings like carports or sheds, or outdoor structures like gazebos, pergolas, and patio covers, are the final choice to be taken into account. You will have to put off installing solar panels for the time being if you don’t have any of these or if they don’t have enough surface area.
#5 You plan to move or sell your home
You should pause and reevaluate if solar panels are the best choice for you right now if you have any plans to move out of your existing home in the next few years.
This is due to the fact that moving solar panels from one roof to another can be challenging, if not outright impossible. The location of your new home may not allow for the installation of your existing solar power system (see points #7 and #6 above), or the local building regulations in your new location may be more stringent.
Even if you can move the panels, it will cost a lot for a solar installation to take them down and put them back up on a different roof.
Having said that, Zillow’s analysis indicates that solar panels boost a home’s value by 4.1%. This means that, under the appropriate conditions, installing solar energy before moving could really be financially advantageous for you.
#4 Your electricity costs are already low
A Pew Research Center survey found that 96% of households have solar panels installed or are thinking about doing so in order to reduce their power costs.
This is completely logical. Many American houses pay hundreds of dollars in electricity bills each month, and solar panels are sometimes the most efficient option to reduce that cost.
SolarReviews’ financial modeling indicates that installing solar panels in San Francisco in 2022 might result in a $78,682 bill savings over the course of 25 years.
Some homeowners don’t spend much money on power, though. One or more of the following reasons may be the cause of this:
- You have a small home
- You have a small household size
- Your home and appliances are energy efficient
- You enjoy low electric rates from your local utility
If that’s you, and you pay $50 or less a month for electricity, then installing solar probably isn’t worth the time and effort.
#3 You’re not eligible for incentives and rebates
Government subsidies and incentives are crucial when it comes to solar power.
The most significant of these is the federal government’s solar tax credit, which has helped the solar industry expand by 10,000% since its passage in 2006.
You may use the 30% solar tax credit to offset almost 25% of the cost of your solar system right now. This incentive can significantly shorten the time it takes for a solar system to pay for itself.
State-level and occasionally local-level additional incentives are frequently offered. Currently, 38 jurisdictions provide net metering, a beneficial incentive that enables you to sell your electricity to the utility company at retail rates. Other states, like New York, provide state tax credits that can be worth thousands of dollars.
Solar energy might not be the best choice for you, though, if you don’t qualify for any incentives – the federal tax credit, for example, is only available to people who already pay federal taxes.
#2 Your quote appears too good to be true
If something seems too good to be true, it probably is, as the saying goes. Unfortunately, solar is a clear example of this.
Fly-by-night businesses have risen alongside highly regarded local solar companies as a result of the solar industry’s explosive growth.
The latter group of businesses sell solar panel installations at rock-bottom costs, either because they provide subpar technology or because their pricing strategy will force them out of business in a few years.
We advise you to stay far away from such solar cowboys because solar panels are made to endure at least 25 years.
#1 The economics aren’t right for you
The economics of solar can be negatively impacted by a number of issues, some of which were covered above. If any of these circumstances apply to you, switching to solar power may not result in significant financial savings.
The following are some things that will affect your ability to make money from solar panel installation:
- High upfront costs for your solar energy system. This is usually because solar equipment and/or installation costs are expensive where you live.
- Space restrictions mean that you can’t install a solar panel system large enough to deliver adequate electric bill savings.
- Roof issues such as shading or non-ideal direction or angle negatively affect your home’s solar potential.
- Low energy costs, whether due to low electric rates or low usage, means you don’t spend much on electricity to begin with.
- Unfavorable financing: Your solar loan comes with a high interest rate because of poor credit history, or imposes onerous conditions such as a first-priority lien.
- Lack of incentives: You’re not eligible for solar incentives that can substantially reduce system costs, such as the solar tax credit or SRECs (Solar Renewable Energy Credits).
Combining one or more of the aforementioned factors may decrease your monthly savings and lengthen the time it will take for your solar investment to pay for itself, neither of which you desire.
Now, it’s certainly possible that, despite these circumstances, you can save tens of thousands of dollars or more over the course of your solar panels; however, you should confirm this before making the investment.