Busting Utah Solar Myths: What is the Truth?

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Utah solar power mythbusters

Many myths surround solar panels, but together we will bust them. By giving you the facts we plan to help you find truth in today’s confusing sea of solar fiction.

Utah Solar Calls Are a Scam

We can all relate to getting sales calls that we don’t want. They can be annoying and inconvenient.  At one point you may have had interest, but not after 50 calls in one day.

When solar started to boom in Utah homeowners across the state got bombarded. This has left a bad taste in the mouths of many Utahns. Repetitive calling and conflicting information have made solar seem like a big scam.

Getting a solar call isn’t always a scam though. First, let’s take a look at how these companies get your information. After we have covered this we can move on to why calls don’t always stop when you ask.

Typical Advertising for Solar

In order to get sales, you need to generate leads that have interest in your product. Most solar companies pay lead generation companies to find these interested individuals. These people are often found through web advertisements.

These advertisements lead the interested individual to information forums. Once these forums get filled out they are then handed off to the paying solar companies.

Other times lead generation companies will contact people to see if they have an interest in solar. If you indicate that you have an interest in solar they will transfer you to a solar company they are working with.

These calls can catch people off guard. They are not however meant to be evasive.

Why You Keep Getting Phone Calls

Although there are annoying salesmen that don’t know when no means no not all sales calls are this way. The majority of your solar sales calls come from multiple solar companies, not one. It is for this reason that you will get several solar calls in the same hour.

Lead source companies sell the same lead to a couple of companies. These companies are not told who has already contacted you. Before you get upset, ask for the name of the solar company that is calling you.

Feel free to throw your fiery darts of indignation if the company is the same one you asked to stop calling.  Keep in mind though that a different rep from the same company may have called on accident. Keeping track of who has contacted you will help you decipher the honest from the snake oil salesmen.

If you have an interest in solar, but it is a bad time, let them know. A good solar company will respect your time and call you back when it is convenient for you.

If it is a different company calling don’t be afraid of getting a second quote. Comparing bids will help you get quality products for the best price. If you fill out a forum on a solar company’s web page you will only be giving information to that company.

Rocky Mountain’s Changes Have Made Solar Too Pricey

Although it is true that recent changes have been made they aren’t all bad. Getting solar is still a good option for Rocky Mountain customers.

How Net Metering Has Changed Since 2017

In 2017 Rocky Mountain Power changed their metering system. Now, solar customers are being enrolled in their transitional program.

This new metering system measures how much energy you are taking off the grid every 15 minutes. Customers also now get 90 percent of the retail rate for their excess energy.

What This Means For Solar Customers

As a solar customer, this means that you will get a little bit less for your excess energy. You will, however, still get a noteworthy return on your investment

Solar Is a Good Option for All Utahans

Although getting solar is wonderful and we want everyone to reap the benefits not everyone is a good fit. First and foremost, you need to live in an area that has a compatible metering policy.  Secondly, Your financial situation and home qualification can also determine your candidacy.

Areas in Utah That Aren’t Ideal for Solar

Although Rocky Mountain Power covers most of Utah municipal utilities play their role. Some of these utilities have implemented or are considering Feed In Tariff Metering.

Feed In Tariff Metering requires the solar customer to sale all of their produced power to the utility. Most utilities that have Feed In Tariff Metering do not have solar.

Some areas not ideal for solar include Bountiful, Provo, Kaysville, and Springville. Heber Light and Power has Feed In Tariff Metering for commercial installs.

Qualifications for Solar Customers

To qualify for solar you need a home that is structurally sound with enough unshaded space to install on. You also need to own the home that you are getting solar for.

If you decide to get financing your credit score and debt to income ratio will determine if you can get a loan. Because tax credits cover such a large chunk of the cost taxable income is very important as well. Honest companies will deter you from getting solar if you don’t have taxable income.

Installing Your Own Solar Panels Will Save You Money

Although installing your own system can save you money the savings may not be as big as anticipated. Unless you are an experienced electrician find a trusted installer instead.

Cost Comparison

You can search online and find wholesale solar arrays. These systems, however, are not sized for your yearly energy consumption.

This means that although you may decrease your power bill it will not cover most or all of your energy needs. If it is not the correct size you actually will be paying more in the end then if you had a professional do it.

A home also needs approval before you can install and connect to your net meter. Misconceptions about the DIY process make it seem far easier then it is.

What You Save When You Hire a Solar Installer

When you hire a full-service installer you are saving yourself time and frustration. You don’t have to worry if your system is going to meet your energy needs or pass inspection. Sometimes peace of mind is worth the couple extra pennies you would have saved.

Yes, the initial cost is more for someone else to install the system. This, however, becomes an ROI through the years of savings that accumulate with a well-designed system.

Solar Panels Will Not Produce As Well In Cold Climates

Contrary to popular belief, solar panels are even more efficient in colder climates. The problem is that most places that are cold also have less sun. Utah provides the best of both worlds with its cold winters and high average peak sun hours.

Basics of Electronics

The main reason why solar panels work better in the cold is they heat up when running. Like any other electronic device, the excess energy that it produces creates heat.  A cold climate allows it to run without having to worry about overheating.

How Solar Panels Handle Snow Loads

The main concern for many in these areas is the snow. Snow turns the world into a winter wonderland and in the process covers your panels. A light snowfall will melt off in a couple of hours.

If you have several inches or feet of snow though you will want to consider brushing the snow off your panels. This will ensure that you are getting full use of the available sunlight.

Investing In Utah Solar Is A Bad Idea Because Some Solar Companies Have Gone Under

Recent changes have weeded out companies on unstable ground. This, however, has confused Utah residents. Companies that looked like they were doing well seemed to collapse at the first hurdle. These companies, however, were not as well off as it seemed. Just because they have fallen to the wayside doesn’t mean that solar is a bad option. You just need to be aware of what to look for.

What Makes Solar Worth Investing In

Solar has a great return on investment. For those that install a solar array, they will start saving money within the first couple of years.  Once you have paid off your system you will also enjoy ten plus years with nothing but a small connection fee.

What to Look For In a Solar Company

One of the major things to look for is company values. Good quality companies will have high standards that they have set for themselves. They should be honest with you even if that means you might not buy.

Another good sign is if past customers have been happy with their installations. Taking a look at solar company reviews will give you an inside look at what you can expect from them. Last, of all make sure that you have good manufacturer warranties. You want to make sure that if the company falls through you are still covered.

Solar Panels for RVs

Getting solar for your motor home or RV is a little more tricky. This is because these systems tend to be smaller. You will need to look at solar installers that are specific to RVs.

You Can Get Solar Panels for Free

Unfortunately, you can’t get your solar installation for free. there are however incentives that will decrease the total cost of solar.

State And Federal Tax Credits

In the state of Utah, you are able to get a state solar tax credit for your solar installation. This credit will cover up to $1600 until  2021.

There is also a Federal solar tax credit that will cover up to 30 percent of your solar array if you install before 2020. This credit will decrease until it reaches 0 percent in 2021 for residential. It will stop at 10 percent for commercial installations.

Both the federal and state tax credit require you to have taxable income. They can also be applied over a period of up to 5 years. If you don’t owe that much one year you don’t need to worry.

Solar Panels for RVs

Getting solar for your motor home or RV is a little more tricky. This is because these systems tend to be smaller. You will need to look at solar installers that are specific to RVs.

How Much Power Do You Need To Produce?

In order for customers and companies to both make money off of solar they system has to be a minimum size. These installations are typically are sized for homes that use at least 6,000 Kwh a year.  If your bill is below 50 dollars you may not use enough energy.

On average, motor homes use quite a bit less than 6,000 KWH per year. If they did use that much power they wouldn’t have enough space for the panels.

Getting Solar Panels For Your RV

Getting your RV set up for solar requires meticulous planning. Although the components for solar arrays are similar the capacity is different. You will want to make sure that your system will meet your needs.

Lunar Panels

Although panels are getting more efficient they have yet to gather solar power from the moon. Although a great dream the execution is a little harder to achieve.

How Solar Panels Work

As of right now, solar panels have a limited set of wavelengths that they can absorb. These wavelengths tend to be most abundant when the sun is the highest in the sky.

Wavelengths that are reflected off of the moon on to your panels are not as intense. Although it is possible that your panels might absorb some of them it would not be enough to power your home.

The Truth About Gathering Power from the Moon

Gathering energy from the moon is a dream that many want to turn into a reality. Shimz wants to create a luna ring which would collect solar energy and emit it back to earth. Although it is claimed that we have the technology execution would take quite a while.

Finding the facts is essential to gaining a realistic perspective. If you have more questions about solar for your Utah residence contact us. We will get you in touch with one of our solar consultants so they can address your concerns and give you a quote.


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