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7 Common Solar Objections

Last Updated May 20, 2024

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Michael Jones

By Michael Jones

Michael literally wrote the book on solar (it’s called The Homeowners’ Guide to Going Solar) and has been a solar consultant for over four years.

Address common solar objections is a key part of every solar consultant's job

As you might imagine, we at the Cape Cod Solar Guys have talked to a lot of people over the years about the benefits of going solar. And, yes, most of those people have expressed some kind of objection or concern. 

These solar objections often stem from misconceptions about how the various solar programs work, which is why we’ve always placed so much emphasis on education. We typically find that, once a homeowner fully understands what solar can and can not do for them, they can make a better decision.

In this post I’m going to walk you through some of the most common solar objections we’ve come across and try to address each one. 

Does that mean that everyone who reads this article will immediately reach out to us and inquire about going solar. No.

But it does mean that any decision you make, either to go solar or not go solar, will be based on a clearer understanding of what solar entails.

1. Solar is Too Expensive

This, or some variation of it (Not in the Budget, Too Many Other Expenses, Can’t Afford It, etc.), is one of the most common solar objections we get. It usually stems from the mistaken belief that the only way to go solar is to purchase the system outright.

That’s not true. In fact, the vast majority of systems currently being installed on Cape Cod are PPAs, which involve no cost to the homeowner other than an agreement to purchase electricity from the solar company at a rate that is much cheaper than the current Eversource rate.  

If your current electricity bill is in the budget, then it stands to reason that replacing that bill with one that’s 20%-30% cheaper is in the budget, too.

Does that mean a PPA is right for everyone? No, but a good solar consultant can walk you through various other solar financing options, many of which also involve zero upfront cost and lower or maintain your monthly electricity expense.

2. I’m Waiting for Solar Technology To Improve

This solar objection typically comes from engineering types, who know just enough to have done some very rudimentary research on Google. Perhaps they read that some scientists in China managed to eke out 1.2% greater efficiency in an experiment conducted in perfect lab conditions, on a panel that was made from some super rare and expensive material that can only be mined in the foothills of some Tibetan mountain range.

The efficiency and cost-effectiveness of current solar panels are already well-established. Solar panels are not like cell phones, where new advances come out seemingly every year. Any advances in solar technology are likely to be so small that they’re not worth waiting for. 

Waiting for future improvements that are unlikely to come anytime soon will not only ensure that you continue to pay more than you need to for your electricity, it may cause you to miss out on incentives that might not be available when you do finally decide that it’s time to go solar.

Solar objections have to be overcome before an installion can go forward

3. I’m Waiting for Solar Incentives To Improve

And that brings us to our next solar objection. Some people believe that solar incentives are likely to improve over time and that it’s best to wait so that they can take advantage of even better tax breaks in the future.

The opposite is far more likely to happen.

If you think about it, the whole purpose of any financial incentive is to encourage someone to take an action that otherwise wouldn’t make financial sense. Now that solar is widely recognized as the cheapest available source of electricity, and it’s clear that going solar does make financial sense, the need to offer incentives is starting to diminish.

In fact, the conversation is starting to turn in the direction of environmental justice. Many are starting to ask if it’s fair to offer solar incentives to relatively wealthy property owners so that they can save money on their electric bills when renters in low income communities get no such benefits.

California scaled back its net metering incentives in 2023, and other states are starting to consider redirecting incentives into other non-solar programs.

4. Solar is a Scam

This and others surrounding the ethics of the industry are solar objections for which the solar industry only has itself to blame. Whether it’s “solar bro” reps who knock doors implying they work for the local utility (they don’t), or online marketers saying the solar company will give you a free roof (they won’t), it’s not surprising that 27% of homeowners consider solar sales outreach to be “spammy”.

And with too many small solar companies going out of business and large ones growing so quickly that they can’t maintain adequate customer service, many people have heard solar horror stories from either a friend, a neighbor, or a family member.

That’s why the Cape Cod Solar Guys focus on keeping it real and try to educate our customers, manage expectations and explain both the pros and the cons to any given scenario.

Solar isn’t a scam, even if it can sometimes feel like it is. There’s real money to be saved and a real planet that’s overheating.

5) Solar Panels Break Easily and Are Costly to Maintain

Because they’re made of glass, most people assume that solar panels are fragile. They’re not, they’re almost indestructible. There’s video online of a car driving over one, and panels in Florida and Texas regularly deal with both hurricane-force wind and golf ball-sized hailstones. 

So they’re unlikely to get damaged but do they malfunction? Not as much as you might think. Solar panels may seem very high tech but they are actually quite simple. Unlike a mechanical device, they have no moving parts, which means they can operate for years, even decades, with very little need for repair and maintenance.

The fact that solar panels are used by NASA to power spacecraft, and satellites, should be reassurance enough that repairs maintenance won’t be too much of an issue.

6. I’m Selling My House Soon

This one stumped me for years when I first started pitching solar. I found it very difficult to overcome this solar objection until I started asking questions. 

First of all, everyone’s definition of “soon” is different. For some, it means “we have an open house next weekend”, for others it means “we’re sort of, maybe thinking about one day moving to a bigger house.”

If it’s the latter, installing solar panels may still be a good idea because it can increase the value and attractiveness of a home to potential buyers. 

The average Cape Cod homeowner is most likely to sell their home to someone in their thirties – Millennials, for whom the idea of generating electricity from the sun is as natural as getting information from the internet.  There was a time when my customers feared that installing solar panels on their roofs could potentially decrease the value of their homes. Some are now starting to worry that not installing solar panels might diminish their home’s future value.

7. There’s No Point If I Can’t Cover 100% of my Power

Most people expect solar to meet 100% of their electrical needs, or close to it. Some even refuse to go solar if they can’t achieve that. 

But 100% offset will soon become quite rare. 

As the energy transition accelerates, few Cape Cod homes will have the roof space necessary to fit a solar system large enough to power the all-electric homes of the future. Even a home that has 1-00% offset now will see that percentage diminish once they add an EV and a few heat pumps in the coming years.

A more feasible scenario would be a system where 60-70% of energy needs are met through rooftop solar, with the remainder being met with a subscription to a community solar farm.

Final Thoughts on Common Solar Objections

These are just some of the more common solar objections we come across. Overcoming these and others like them is what we do. 

What we’ve found over the years is that solar objections fall into two broad categories – those that stop people from going solar and those that merely delay the decision. Most people, even those who are broadly pro-solar, would rather not do it right now. 

Unless some exterior factor comes into play, such as a steep spike in electricity rates, or a particularly persuasive solar consultant knocking at the door, most people’s natural tendency is to put off big decisions until later.

If you’re done waiting and would like to learn more about going solar, you can contact us to set up a no-pressure, informative chat about your current and future energy needs.

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