Common Solar Panel Myths and Misconceptions


Solar PV is a well-established technology in the United Kingdom. You may be surprised to read that a significant number of solar panel myths persist. Let’s identify and debunk these solar myths and set out the facts, and in doing so, answer lots of questions.

Questions We Have Been Asked

Solar PV is a well-established technology in the United Kingdom. You may be surprised to read that a significant number of solar panel myths persist. Let’s identify and debunk these solar myths and set out the facts, and in doing so, answer lots of questions.

Does The UK Get Enough Sun For Solar Panels?

Solar PV is a well-established technology in the United Kingdom. You may be surprised to read that a significant number of solar panel myths persist. Let’s identify and debunk these solar myths and set out the facts, and in doing so, answer lots of questions.

Solar Panel Myths and Misconceptions about sunlight hours

Do Solar Panels Work In Extreme Weather Conditions?

When you travel globally, observe Solar Panels in mountainous and desert regions exposed to extreme weather. Solar panels are designed to endure rain, snow, wind, dust, and hail. Nevertheless, extreme weather affects their output. High temperatures exceeding 35 degrees can reduce energy output by 10-25%. Snow covering also impacts energy production. Manufacturers specify the weather conditions they’ve tested Solar Panels to withstand, including wind speed.

Do The Panels Only Generate Energy During The Summer?

In the Spring and Summer, the days are longer, and the weather is usually sunnier. Therefore these months generate about 70% of the total solar energy output. Consequently that leaves 30% of the energy generated during the Autumn and Winter, a percentage that is by no means insignificant. Excess energy generated in the summer can be sold back to the grid or stored in batteries for later use.

Can Solar Panels Only Be Installed On South-Facing Roofs?

South-facing roofs will generate the most energy as they have the maximum exposure to the sun as it moves across the sky during the day. Solar panels can go on roofs that face south to east, south to west or on the western and eastern sides of a roof (where the ridge runs north to south). The array may generate approximately 25% less energy if the roof doesn’t face directly south. SolarGain will not install Solar Panels on a north-facing roof.

Do Solar Panels Generate Energy When Its Cloudy?

Even on cloudy days, Solar PV generates energy. It will always be less than on a clear sunny day, so when we model a new system, we factor in the seasonal variations and look at the expected output for the whole year.

Cloudy Sky Photo

Financial Myths About Solar Panels

Will solar panels pay for themselves?

The current energy crisis and rapid price increases have positively impacted the time it will take for solar panels to pay for themselves. For a domestic solar system, the payback used to be about 10-15 years. The recent blanket increase in energy costs means the payback time is now somewhere between 6-10 years, depending on the number of panels in the system, energy usage and whether the system includes energy storage batteries. Solar Panels are expected to last 25-30 years, so payback is far shorter than their lifespan.

How affordable are Solar Panels?

The Feed-in Tariffs (Government Subsidies) ended in March 2019. However, the demand for Solar Panels has remained high as the cost of the average solar installation is now about 50% less than a decade ago. Solar Panels are very affordable now and there is currently no VAT chargeable on a new installation.

Is Renewable Energy Expensive?

Many people wrongly assume solar energy is expensive. Solar energy is actually the cheapest energy source, even cheaper than wind energy. Current costs (2022) are listed below.

Cost per MWh – Energy type:

Solar Energy £44
Wind Energy £46
Gas 385
Nuclear £120

Will Solar Panels Make It More Difficult To Sell My Home?

The UK population is becoming more environmentally conscious, actively adopting energy-saving measures. Solar Panels improve homes and potentially accelerate property sales. Electric vehicles are prevalent, allowing EV owners to charge them with green, renewable energy.

Do Solar Panels Reduce The Value Of Your Home?

Installing Solar Panels will improve the EPC rating of your home and, in doing so, could improve its value. In addition, homeowners with Solar Panels should communicate the benefits of solar power to potential buyers to support them in understanding their value. Homeowners should also keep the Solar Panel handover documentation for the next owner.

Do Solar Panels Need To Be Maintained?

Solar Panels require very little maintenance as they don’t come under the mechanical stresses that wind turbines do as there are no moving parts. They should be kept clean, though.

Do I Need Planning Permission for Solar Panels?

In most cases, domestic solar panels do not require planning permission to be installed on roofs. There are a few exceptions that don’t fall under the permitted developments, and these are listed buildings, flat roofs and solar panels being installed on the ground.

Will Solar Panels Damage My Roof?

Solar Panels don’t touch the roof and are mounted on a frame slightly above the tiles and so shouldn’t damage the roof. The frame is attached to the rafters, so it doesn’t come into contact with the roof itself. Sometimes pigeons and birds nesting under roofs can cause damage but you can opt for pigeon proofing for your solar panels therefore preventing them accessing underneath. To ensure the quality of your installed we recommend choosing an MCS accredited installer like SolarGain.

The Environmental Myths About Solar Panels

Our installers typically accomplish the majority of Solar Panel and Energy Storage Battery installations within one day. They create some drilling noises for fittings, but since most work occurs on the roof, homeowners experience minimal disruption. Our installers also ensure a clean-up before departure, leaving no mess behind. Occasionally, scaffolding is necessary; in such instances, it’s erected just before the installation and dismantled a few days later.

Do Solar Panels Require More Energy To Manufacture Than They Will Ever Produce?

This is most definitely a solar panel myth as, on average, a solar panel system will generate the energy equivalent to that used in its manufacture within the first 30 months of installation.

Can solar panels be recycled?

Solar Energy is the ultimate green energy, and it follows that recycling all the constituent components should be possible. Solar Panels are made up of glass, polymer, aluminium, silicon, and copper (and some tiny percentages of other elements). Work is underway to develop solar panel recycling systems for when the panels that have been installed need removal. France has already opened a recycling centre that can recycle 95% of solar panels.

Are Solar Panels An Eyesore?

Whether Solar Panels are ugly is open for debate; early ones were an unsightly blue with silver frames. The latest Solar Panels are matt black and sleek, and there are even some roof tile-shaped solar panels that you have to look very closely to spot.

Should We Install As Many Solar Panels As Possible?

When householders were paid for every kWh generated through the Government’s Feed-in Tariff, you could argue that a household should fit as many solar panels as possible to their property as it made financial sense. Those days are gone; at SolarGain, we size a system to match the electricity a household uses annually.

Are Solar Panels Inefficient?

Solar-cell efficiency denotes a solar cell’s capacity to convert sunlight into electricity through photovoltaics. Recent years have witnessed substantial improvements in solar panel efficiency. However, the most efficient ones achieve only 23% efficiency, which pales in comparison to wind energy at 55% efficiency and hydropower at 90%. While solar panels may not match other energy forms in efficiency, their advantage lies in being “free,” renewable, and devoid of pollution during generation.

Can Solar Energy Power My House During A Power Cut?

When there is a power cut, a SolarGain system with energy storage batteries will operate an elected socket or light whilst preventing any export of power to the grid therefore allowing DNO safe maintenance. If a house has an entirely off-grid Solar PV or if the solar power system has an island function then it won’t be affected by a power outage and consequently power will continue to work.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at 0800 001 6258 or complete our form for a Free, no-obligation Survey.

Don't hesitate to contact us

We are happy to answer any Solar questions you may have and also offer a free, no-obligation, solar quotation service.

Most Popular