By Laureen Peck
“I think our solar panels make our home look beautiful. Not only does having solar increase our property value, but it says to our neighbors we support energy independence and care about the environment we leave behind for our children and grandchildren.” – Melissa L, Solar Energy World Customer
Most people today know home solar can help you save on energy costs while reducing your carbon footprint. Plus, when you combine solar panels with a solar battery you don’t have to suffer through a power outage whether it’s caused by a storm, overwhelmed power grid or cyberattack. However, there are still homeowners with unshaded rooves or plenty of unshaded land for a ground mount to power their homes with sunshine who won’t even look into going solar. Sometimes it is because they perceive solar would be too expensive. (It isn’t expensive. You can literally pay $0 for panels and installation with a solar lease or PPA to lock in a lower rate than your utility.)
Once they realize how inexpensive going solar really is (you really cannot get any less expensive than no-cost panels and installation) they still might worry about what their neighbors will think of the panels on their property or that their HOA will prevent them from going solar. The fact is that HOAs in most states cannot stop you from installing solar panels due to solar access laws. However this hesitation could also be because they are unaware that panels have evolved to be more aesthetically pleasing.
In many cases with the newer monocrystalline silicon panels (shown on the homes in the picture on this page) it is actually difficult to tell you have panels on your roof at all. This is because monocrystalline silicon panels are uniform, are black in color and have a sleeker look. (Older, polycrystalline silicon panels still have high efficiency ratings but can seem less attractive to some people because their color looks blue since they reflect the sky. This is the result of the multiple crystals that make the product.)
But what if you understand solar is affordable, you have the perfect home for solar, you can see that solar panels’ appearance has evolved, but still think they are ugly? There may be no way to change your perception of what is pretty to look at, but if you still have the desire to do your part to protect our environment, and wouldn’t mind ending up with lower or zero electricity costs, why not consider how beautiful solar panels really are compared to the alternatives?
Three Things Uglier Than Solar Panels
1) POLLUTION: 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.
2) 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.
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 90 seconds.
Homes in Sunny Neighborhoods Without Solar Will Become Obsolete Because Everyone Benefits from Solar Energy
A lesser known fact is that your whole neighborhood is rewarded when you go solar. By running your home on sunshine you benefit everyone around you because the excess energy you produce goes back into the energy grid, reducing the the chances of a power shortage due to strain on the grid. It also helps to decrease their energy costs, not just yours.
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. Some experts predict HOAs will eventually begin to require everyone goes solar. Until that day, however, it would be wise to consider that there are much uglier things to worry about then the way a clean energy system looks.