Our goal is to preach the simplicity of solar to the masses. It isn’t about us dumbing it down or simplifying how the complex technology works, the whole thing is actually simple to begin with. Over the next couple of weeks, I’m going to give a reality check to some of the myths that are out there regarding solar.

More people are going solar than ever before

I suppose that most Americans support solar. Who wouldn’t, right?. In fact, I saw recently in a survey that 9 out of 10 Americans think that solar is a good idea, yet there remains a secondary layer that despite it being the future, it probably isn’t something that the average Joe can swing and the core of that rationale is that it’s too expensive.

Myth #1. “Solar is too expensive”
Did you know that solar panel pricing has reduced by 30-40% in just the past two years?

State rebates are still in place. As an example, the PA Sunshine Rebate Program is active, but anyone applying at this point is going to be put on a waiting list. That being said, we received a call from the PA Sunshine office two weeks ago and they told us that first 400 people on the list are all expected to receive their money. In their words, “Keep the applications coming!” You can get $0.50/watt in the form of a check from the State of PA. For a 10 kW, system, that’s $5000 in your pocket. Granted, there still is no guarantee, but it’s still worth putting in the application. Other states like Maryland Massachusetts also have active rebate programs.

The 30 % Federal Tax Credit is also still active, and there is no cap on project costs. Commercial customers can still claim that 30% of the project cost in the form of the Treasury Grant until December 31, 2011. In addition, when combining the Federal Tax Credit and the tax deduction created by depreciation, up to 59% of the project cost can be recouped by the system owner. With only 41% of the project coming through either a cash or financed source, solar becomes an attractive way to fix costs.

Additionally, you fix your cost for electric when you make your own power. For many people they are paying the minimal service fees of a few dollars a month to cover the cost of staying connected to the grid and being allowed to sell their power back to the utility. You also get credited for producing power by selling Solar Renewable Energy Credits and that can put $600 annually in the average homeowner’s pocket, but much more if you’re a large business. A larger commercial customer of ours is able to have an income stream of over $55,000 a year for a 922 kW system. Think of it like a pat on the back from the state for meeting their green energy initiatives.

Next week’s Solar Myth Buster: “All solar panels are the same”