3 Things Your San Diego Solar Contractor May Not Tell You
Solar energy is great.  We love it.  And a growing number of San Diego residents and business owners love it as well.

Once installed on your rooftop, your panels not only lower your monthly electricity bills (sometimes to $0), but they also reduce the world’s reliance on dirtier forms of energy.

But despite the many environmental and financial benefits of going solar, there’s still a lot of hype.  Myths and misconceptions – often perpetuated by the very professionals who install the panels.

The following are 3 things that your San Diego solar contractor might “accidentally” include or omit during the sales pitch.

1.  Solar Leases Are Not the Best Way to Finance Your Installation

We’ve covered this topic many times before (here, and here).  But solar leases are often the worst possible way to finance a new installation.

  • They don’t deliver very good financial returns
  • Your electricity bill may actually go up with time – not down
  • They can lower your property’s value (rather than increase it)
  • You forfeit the incentives and financial perks that come with true system ownership

Sadly, many San Diego solar contractors have built their entire business models around solar leases and power purchase agreements (PPAs).  So they push these options and discourage customers from exploring really attractive alternatives like solar loans.

2.  Solar System Performance Degrades with Time

It’s true.  Over time, your panels will deliver less and less power.  It’s not a huge loss.  Most high-end panels only lose about 20% efficiency after 25 years.

This is actually quite small when you consider that the utility companies raise their prices 12% to 40% in any given calendar year.

But you should still be aware of this when calculating your long-term electricity bill savings and payback periods.  And definitely avoid any San Diego solar companies who promise you consistent energy output for the next 25 years.

It doesn’t happen.  All panels lose performance with time.  Any installer who says otherwise is trying to con you.

3.  Solar Maintenance Contracts Are Not 100% Necessary

Most solar panels sold throughout San Diego carry 20- to 25-year warranties.  And many installers also offer workmanship warranties of 5 to 15 years.

However breakages, accidents, and malfunctions can and do occur.  They’re rare.  Very very rare.  Most systems continue operating just fine for 20 to 40 years with routine cleaning and minimal upkeep.  In fact, recent research suggests that even cleaning isn’t really necessary.

But many solar energy installers aggressively push extended service warranties on their customers.  There’s nothing wrong with having some added protection.  We even offer extended service contracts at Sunline Energy as an add-on option.

However, it’s simply an option and not 100% necessary.

Whether or not you should purchase an extended service agreement is up to you.  It really comes down to your personal risk tolerance.  For some, it’s a great investment.  For others, it’s a waste of money.

Just be wary of contractors who sell you on the absolute necessity of extended contracts.

Have You Heard Other San Diego Solar Contractor Myths?

The above are simply the most common “oversights” and “myths” we hear about from competitors.  Do you have personal experience with any others?  We’d love to include them in future blog posts.