Telling someone that she is shallow for not going solar because she doesn’t like the look of solar panels will not win her over. Most likely she already made up her mind that solar panels are unattractive long before anyone tried to persuade her to switch to clean, renewable energy.

You probably noticed I am using “her” not him. This is because when our company gives a couple an in-home solar evaluation and our cost-benefit analysis proves that it makes good economic sense to switch to less expensive solar energy a few still say no to solar because they fear their neighbors will think their solar system is a eyesore – even if they know it is against the law for their HOA to keep them from going solar. When this is the reason given for not going solar it is more often the woman in the relationship who had this particular objection.

Before you accuse this writer of being sexist, I am a woman myself and I know in my marriage, I definitely care more about the way our house looks on the outside than my husband does. I also understand that many men do care about the way their home looks to others, but our solar analysts have observed anecdotally that it is most often the woman of the house who raises concerns about solar panel aesthetics. This makes sense because even in the 21st century it usually is the woman of the house who decides on her family’s home décor inside and out. Our analysts’ experiences aside, statistics prove it is most often the woman of the house who approves or rejects big ticket household purchases, so ignoring or belittling her concerns will be an exercise in futility.

So, if you are a solar-powered homeowner yourself or a person who is trying to persuade their partner or friend to go solar, instead of criticizing her or him for their negative perceptions try changing their mind about the physical appearance of solar panels by sharing the list below.

Three Things Uglier than Solar Panels:

Homes without solar run on dirty energy


Air, land and water pollution from fossil fuels is hideous. If you are not solar-powered most of the energy your home uses comes from coal-fired power plants and/or dirty oil. Pollution destroys animals, plants and healthy ecosystems. It also kills humans from carcinogens and poison in water and food supplies.  Even people who do not believe climate change has anything to do with human activity dislike pollution. No one wants their children or grandchildren to get sick from poison in the air and water. One of the best things about the energy generated by solar panels is that it is emission free.

Solar panels stop rate hikes2) RISING UTILITY COSTS

What’s uglier than seeing your electricity bill growing bigger every month? Rate hikes are a never-ending fact of life now unless your home is solar-powered.  Even if you are in the one percent of top income earners who doesn’t have to worry about watching your budget, saving thousands of dollars on energy costs and/or earning profits from your solar investment can’t be a bad thing. Most wealthy people like to save money and generate a strong return on their investments. Solar panels can do both.

No wars over solar power

3) WAR

Fighting over oil rights and relying on foreign governments who are not our friends for our energy supply is terrible and really, really ugly. America has the means to become more energy independent without drilling, mining and plundering our public lands. The sun above belongs to all of us.  Millions of American homeowners know this and proudly run their homes on sunshine. This is why a new solar system is now installed in America every 2.5 minutes.*


Solar adoption across the USA is increasing every day. It won’t be long before almost all sunny neighborhoods are solar-powered and homes without solar panels in those neighborhoods will look outdated and passé.  Until that day, however, showing those concerned with aesthetics that there are much uglier things to worry about then the way a clean energy system looks could help persuade them to switch to solar energy now instead of waiting until they become the only ones in their neighborhood who don’t have solar panels.

Written by Laureen Peck, Vice President, Marketing Solar Energy World



*SEIA 2016