What are the risks of solar panels?
Although the benefits of solar are astronomical, like most things, there are some risks of solar panels. For instance, if you lose your home for some reason, you may lose your investment on your solar system. The other risk for solar system owners is that if your system stops making power and you don’t realize it, you may get hit with a high utility bill.
Loss of home and its effect on your solar
Destruction: A home can be lost in a few different ways. A natural disaster can destroy a home. If the home owner’s insurance or other coverage doesn’t cover the cost of the system, the owner would lose their investment. The same thing could happen if someone in the home accidentally set fire to the home. The solution to the risk is to make sure your solar system is covered in case of loss.
Default/Dissolution/Divorce: A homeowner could also lose out on their solar investment if they default on their mortgage and the bank forecloses on their home. The same can happen if the house is lost in a dissolution or divorce proceeding. A home can also be seized if a property owner doesn’t pay their property taxes.
Blindsided by a high utility bill
One of the minor risks of solar is that you may get an unexpectedly high utility bill after going solar. Here are three reasons this can happen:
- You use more power than you produce
- Your system stops working and you don’t know about it
- Utility company charges high evening rates and pays low rates for power produced by the homeowner
You use more power than you produce
When you decided to go solar, you signed a contract with Freedom Forever or another company. That contract is for a solar system that produces an amount of power that you and the company agreed to. If you use a lot more power than your system was built to produce, you will get a high utility bill. This is a common risk! Oftentimes homeowners new to solar use more power after they go solar.
How to reduce the risk
Make sure you understand how much power your system is designed to produce. Use your solar system monitoring portal to monitor how much power you are producing and using. Make sure to stay within your monthly power “budget” by not using more power than your system produces. Be aware that your system produces less power in the winter because the days are shorter. Try to reduce your power consumption during wintertime to reduce the chance that you’ll get high utility bills
Your system stops working
If your solar system stops producing power and you don’t know about it, you may not find out until next month’s bill. If you are a Freedom Forever customer, this isn’t a problem for you. We monitor your system to make sure it’s producing the amount of power we say it will. If it ever stops working or falls short due to our fault, we’ll compensate you for the power it didn’t produce and fix your system.*
* Subject to the terms and conditions of your agreement
Not all solar companies monitor your system for you. If you aren’t a Freedom Forever customer, you may want to check and see if the company that provides your system also monitors it for you.
Utility company charges high evening rates and pays low rates
Time-of-Use billing: Some utility companies, particularly in California, have moved to Time-of-Use (TOU) rates. TOU rates charge you for electricity based on how much power you use and when you use it.
For example, All three of California’s major utilities have moved to TOU rates. They are charging their highest rates for power in the evening, between 4 PM and 9 PM. During the day, when solar systems are generating power, they charge much lower off-peak rates. High evening TOU rates means that homeowners are being charged more for the power they use in the evenings. Off-peak daytime TOU rates mean that homeowners are being paid for the power they produce at a much lower rate than they are being charged in the evenings.
How to fight back against high evening TOU rates
Home batteries can be combined with solar systems to enable a home to avoid paying high peak TOU rates in the evenings. The batteries can then be charged by the solar system during the day. This enables the household to power their home in the evening with the electricity produced during the day.
Freedom Forever can help you manage the risks of solar
We can design a system for you that incorporates home batteries that can enable you to minimize the risk of high utility bills. If you are concerned about taking out a loan for your solar, our finance partners offer excellent solar lease options. Lastly, you don’t have to worry if your system stops working. If that happens, we’ll notify you, fix the system, and compensate you for the lost energy production if it was from our fault. Freedom Forever makes solar simple, the way it ought to be.