Did you know that most of the myths about solar energy were started by fossil fuel companies in order to  undermine the renewable energy market and keep people using fossil fuels as energy? Lucky for us (and mother nature), people are getting smarter and are using the internet, and reputable sources, to debunk some of these common myths on their own. Here are 5 myths debunked just to get you started.

Maui Solar Pacific EnergyMyth # 1:
Solar panels require more energy to be manufactured than they produce in their lifetime.

Truth:
In a study done by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, photovoltaics (PV) payback their energy within 4 years, where their lifespan is anywhere from 25-30 years. That’s 21-26 years of free clean energy from the sun!

Myth #2:
Solar panels won’t work in the winter because of cold weather.

Truth:
Solar panels create energy based on the amount of sunlight the panels receive, not the temperature. On days without sunlight, your system is designed to draw back electricity credits you generated in the summer time. (To learn more about solar panel production in inclement weather and at night visit our blog: Solar Power and the Weather).

Myth # 3:
Solar panels require a lot of upkeep and maintenance.

Truth:
Solar panels have no mechanical parts, therefore they do not require regular maintenance. The typical recommendation is to hose off the panels once a year, although most places just rely on rain for a quick wash off. In dustier regions, such as desert areas, you may need to rinse them more often for optimal energy production.

Myth #4:
Solar panels will cause my roof to deteriorate, leak, and/or collapse.

Truth:
The solar panels provide your roof with an extra barrier from the elements. Therefore, they actually protect your roof rather than hurt it. The panels are not attached to the roof itself, but rather a mounted railing system. This way, if there is ever a problem with your roof, the panels can be removed easily. It is recommended to fix any existing leaks or finish other roof repairs before installing solar panels.

Myth #5:
When the power grid goes out, my home will still be powered by solar.

Truth:

If you are connected to a power grid, when the power goes out your system will automatically shut down as well. This is because it is not safe for your system to be pushing electricity back out into the grid while workers are trying to assess and fix the problem. So, when the power goes out your system’s inverter will recognize this and automatically shut down production.¬† However, with proper battery back up, this hazard can be averted.