There are a few questions I get asked every time I meet with an individual or group regarding solar energy or solar panel systems.
As everyone knows – the actual technology that is solar – has been around for decades.
For various reasons, economic, political & nonsensical… solar has taken its time to find us at home.
From innovative patents in the 1940’s to development of panels by BELL LABS in the 1950’s – we have apparently had solar options. But these options seemed illusive until recently. I mean the collective public couldn’t obtain effective and affordable systems until these last 10 years.
As you know: you can purchase the same technology/panels from your iPhone 24/7 as of the time of this post. Now that begs the question: what would keep someone from going solar in the 2020’s?
The answer is simple and direct:
- Your roofline or property does not have the square footage (available space on top of the dwelling, or alongside the dwelling to allow installation of a system that can provide your power needs. Yes, I said on roof – or – alongside because I have personally installed several solar banks that utilize a patch of ground that is both unencumbered by shade and is close enough to the structure to allow proper management of the system. Without the real estate to present these panels to our Sun – we just cannot make a system work. This results in frustration to owners of high-rise townhomes and areas completely covered by organic life (shade trees). Its logistics, pure logistics…if you can’t install the panels needed to effectively convert the sunlight – there’s nothing to be done. (I would certainly not suggest butchering beautiful trees to accommodate a system)
- The monthly cost of installing and acquiring the system DOES NOT match or reduce the current cost of your energy. Yes, I know many say they would pay more to utilize a clean and miraculous way to power our homes. I know we all believe that we would be willing to share more of our money to reduce our footprint or become less dependent on massive corporations that are allegedly known to be less than earth-friendly… but in reality, that is not true. Consumers will absolutely not willingly pay more for the same thing they currently have. Also – lending institutions will typically not allow a system to be installed when it may have the appearance of being fiscally ‘unwise’ for the consumer. It just seldom seems to work through standard channels. (yes, I know there are the affluent and eccentric whom buy ‘what’ they want…’when’ they want. That is NOT what I’m referring to. What’s meant is that if your mother-in-law attends a solar sales event and loves the salesman and says yes to the new solar system…if there is not fiscal reasoning behind the move – most funding sources will NOT allow the transaction. Even if your mother-in-law bakes cookies for the sales rep. I’m sure this makes sense.
So that is basically the only 2 valid reasons we find that homeowners seem to be refusing solar energy systems. Yes, there are literally a thousand other reasons people say “no” to solar…
- I need to discuss with my accountant
- We have a vacation to Hawaii to plan for
- Our grandson’s graduation is next month
- The new season of Stranger Things just dropped
- We may/might be moving to another home/city/country/planet
The reasons people give…those are endless. Because let’s face it: we don’t like to buy things that cost more than a few thousand dollars ESPEICIALLY if we do not fully understand them. And especially if we have zero experience with them. It’s just something that stems from when we purchased that $750 6-head VCR in 1986 – or the time we bought that $4k extended warranty on the brand new ’95 Honda that still hasn’t broken down. We, as a society, have become fairly cautious of things that are tech-based or things that cost more than a week’s pay.
All of that to say: there are only 2 valid reasons you shouldn’t consider solar for your power: your roof isn’t big enough or your usage savings isn’t big enough to warrant the switch.
That’s all we have time for today: so until next time – I encourage you to continue to research ways to keep our world clean and encourage you to keep changing the oil in that ’95 Honda (it’s bound to breakdown someday – if not for you – for your grandchildren).
Bart J Bowe
Green Marketing Partners