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Are solar panels worth the hype?

Are solar panels worth the hype?

In recent years, the adoption of solar panels has surged as homeowners embrace sustainable energy solutions to power their homes. However, amidst the excitement of going solar, a crucial aspect often gets overlooked – insurance costs and roof warranties being voided. Additionally, some owners report that they aren't actually saving any money. While the goal of improving our planet and finding alternatives is commendable, is the current solar industry the best way to achieve that? Let's delve into this complex issue and explore some aspects homeowners should consider before making the leap to solar.

When salespeople pitch solar panels, they are exceptionally persuasive, saying whatever it takes to convince you. We’ve heard promises like "it will lower your insurance," "you'll save a lot of money each month," and "there are significant tax breaks." Personally, I had someone claim they worked with the power company to promote solar panels, but further questioning revealed they did not. While there is some truth to this, only the benefits of solar are sold and often times the negatives are not discussed. we've been talking with owners who have had solar panels for a few years to hear their experiences and we wanted to share some of those with you.

We’ve heard some negative experiences due to solar panels affecting the roof, one of the most important components of your Florida home. Most roofing companies provide a warranty on their workmanship in addition to the manufacturer’s warranty on the materials used. Recently, a homeowner with a relatively new roof had solar panels installed. When the roofing company came to repair a leak, fully intending to honor their warranty, they noticed the solar panels and informed the homeowner that these panels voided the roof warranty. 

As a result, the homeowner had to pay out of pocket for the repair on a still-new roof. You may also have a harder time finding an insurance company that will insure your home with solar panels in Florida, mostly because of the issues that can arise from them being mounted on the roof.
When you look at the total cost that you will pay for the panels, usually between $40,000 and $60,000 unless you pay them off in full, you will be paying on the lien each month to pay for the panels themselves. On top of that some owners have said they are still getting $100 +/- electricity bills. We have also heard of solar panel bills that reached more than $100,000. Keep in mind, if solar panel bills are unpaid,

Another factor to consider is whether solar panels truly add value to your home. When it comes time to sell, will they enhance your property’s value? The answer is more complex than a simple yes or no. It depends on the buyer's perception of value and the appraisal's assessment. Similar to a swimming pool, you will not recoup the full installation cost in a few years. Additionally, solar panels usually need to be paid off before transferring the deed to a new buyer, as there is often a lien on the home for the cost. This can reduce the profits at closing, and you must ensure you have enough equity to avoid bringing money to the table.

Likewise, when property owners with solar come to us to lease their home, we find that the rent cannot be increased enough to cover the expense of the landlord’s solar panel bill. Landlords are often disappointed to find this out and assume they can add the cost of the solar onto the rental amount. We have not found any overwhelming evidence that renters are willing to pay $200 - $300 extra per month for solar.

Whether you go to rent or sell your home, you may be disappointed with the financial aspects of your solar panels. Thus, if you plan to live in your home long-term, you will likely be more satisfied with your solar than if you plan to sell or rent your home anytime soon.

We are interested in your thoughts on solar though, let us know your good and bad experiences.