As a solar contractor, you face a unique set of challenges when selling your services. On one hand, the benefits of a high-quality solar installation speak for themselves—your customers save money over the long-term, gain energy independence, and help solve a global crisis. On the other hand, however, you find that many of your potential customers might believe common solar myths and are skeptical or misinformed about what solar power can achieve.
The remedy for overcoming skepticism and misinformation will require you to empathize with your customers. When you see their concerns from their perspective, you’ll be ready to answer those issues with clear, fact-based answers. Once you overcome their objections, you’ll need to deliver on your promises and provide a cost-effective solar installation they demand.
Here are some of the most common solar myths and fact-based answers for them:
Solar Power is Too Expensive to Install
Of all the myths about solar energy installations, this is likely the most influential. Until recently, it was true. However, prices for solar panels have dropped drastically over the past five years. Additionally, technological advances make solar more efficient and cost-effective. A decade ago, the average solar installation cost as much as $35,000. Given today’s rates, however, a homeowner can install a 5kW system for about $12,500.
Solar Power Doesn’t Save Money on my Monthly Bills
Related to the first concern, many homeowners believe that their monthly energy bill will be the same or higher with solar. A decade ago, that was also true. According to a new report from Lazard, the price per megawatt-hour for solar in 2009 cost more than $350. Since then, that figure has dropped 86% to about $50. For comparison, the price per megawatt-hour for generating electricity using coal over the same time span remains fairly flat at $102.
Understandably, your customers believe solar is too expensive. The truth is solar power has become one of the most cost-effective ways to produce electricity.
Solar Technology Improves So Quickly I Should Wait to Install Solar
A new solar breakthrough seems to hit the news every day, so many homeowners feel that the state of the solar industry is volatile and constantly in flux. Many manufacturers have achieved noteworthy efficiency gains, not only for solar panels but also for battery backups and related technologies.
Again, perspective helps. In 2010, the most efficient solar panel boasted a 19.5% efficiency rating. Now in 2019, the highest-rated panel achieves almost 23% efficiency. That means, in nine years, the industry saw an efficiency gain of about 3.5%, and those gains have been slowing. The industry secured the majority of the efficiency gains and cost reductions over the last decade. At this point, waiting won’t provide many additional benefits.
Solar Energy Isn’t Even Green. It Takes More Energy to Make a Panel Than it Produces
It takes a lot of energy to manufacture a solar panel. Ironically, the electricity used to melt silica to make solar modules often comes from burning coal. It’s easy to see why many people get the impression that solar isn’t green; it just transfers the dirty energy use to another location.
This simply isn’t true:
- It takes a single solar module about four years to produce the amount of energy used to create it. With a life span of 25 years or more, an individual module will more than makeup for the energy used in its manufacture.
- New research shows that the solar module industry, as a whole, will soon create more energy than it takes to produce its modules.
Solar Modules Don’t Work in Cold Weather
Solar energy production requires sunlight. This fact leads many people to believe solar panels can’t produce electricity on cold, wintery days. It’s true that shorter days mean less sunlight, which leads to less electricity generated. Cloudy days also affect efficiency. But not as much as some people believe. By most estimates, solar panels generate about 10%-25% less power on cloudy days. Also, solar panels do well in cold weather and tend to lose some efficiency when they get too hot.
Solar Panels Require a Lot of Maintenance
When solar panels get dirty, they can’t generate electricity at peak performance. Because of this, many homeowners see themselves crawling up to their roof every month to clean their panels.
For the most part, however, solar panels require little to no attention. If a homeowner does see a dip in power, the solution may be as simple as hosing off the modules. If the installation is in an area with a lot of smog or dust, the homeowner may want to hire a professional cleaner every few years to keep the modules producing at their peak.
Clean Coal is Just as Environmentally Friendly as Solar
Generating electricity using “clean coal” has gotten a lot of press lately. Some reports lead people to believe its a green solution on par with solar energy. The term “clean coal” typically refers to the process of refining coal to make it pollute less. Research shows that in some cases, it pollutes more than untreated coal. Indeed, clean coal is anything but clean.
Solar energy, on the other hand, reduces greenhouse emissions over the life of a panel. It recoups any dirty energy used to create it and is unequivocally a cleaner way to generate power.
How to Increase the Value You Provide to Your Customers
You understand solar myths and your customers’ hesitation. No matter how much you empathize with them, however, when they finally say ‘yes,’ you’ll need to follow through by delivering exceptional value.
Partnering with Solerus, you get industry-leading contractor pricing, as well as design services that will exceed your expectations. Our technical staff is available to answer your questions, and we provide the drawings necessary to pull permits. Our goal is your success.
Solerus is a trusted solar energy equipment supplier, empowering contractors to develop agile solutions for commercial and residential clients. We provide a range of best-in-class solar products that are backed by an industry-leading 25-year warranty, designed to provide you with unparalleled peace of mind.
To learn more about government solar incentives and the equipment you’ll need to have happy customers at a price that you’ll love, feel free to contact one of our knowledgeable specialists today.