Debunking Solar Energy Myths: Separating Facts from Fiction

Debunking Solar Energy Myths: Separating Facts from Fiction

EEC Solar

Are you considering installing solar panels but are unsure of their efficiency and the investment they require? This article will debunk common solar energy myths and separate facts from fiction. One of the most common myths is that the UK doesn’t get enough sun for solar panels. However, the article reveals that solar panels work efficiently even in the UK, and the cooler temperatures in the country can even improve panel efficiency. The article also addresses other common misconceptions, such as the belief that solar panels can only be installed on south-facing roofs and that they only work when it’s sunny. Moreover, it debunks financial myths, such as the claim that solar panels will never pay back or that they reduce a home’s value. By debunking these myths, the article aims to provide readers with accurate information about solar energy, enabling them to make informed decisions about investing in solar panels.

Solar performance myths

1. The UK doesn’t get enough sun for solar panels

While it’s true that solar radiation levels differ globally, it is a misconception that the UK does not receive enough sunlight to make solar panels viable. In fact, the UK has been successful in implementing PV systems, proving that the technology can work efficiently here. Although solar panels in Cape Town may generate more electricity than those in London, the UK is still well positioned to harness the sunlight we do receive. Additionally, the cooler temperatures in the UK can even improve panel efficiency.

2. Solar panels can only go on south facing roofs

Although south-facing roofs are optimal for solar panels in countries like the UK located in the northern hemisphere, panels can still be installed on roofs facing other directions. Even an array facing east or west can generate a considerable amount of energy, albeit around 25% less than a south-facing array. In fact, an east-west split array may be advantageous for some households, particularly if they require more energy in the mornings and evenings. The only direction that is not recommended for solar panel installation in the UK is north-facing roofs.

3. Solar panels don’t work when it’s cloudy

While solar panels do experience a decrease in output when it’s cloudy, they are still capable of generating electricity. Clouds partially block sunlight, resulting in a reduction in solar radiation reaching the panels. On an overcast day, a system might produce around 10% of the electricity it would generate on a clear sunny day. Nonetheless, the panels still work and can still generate power even in cloudy conditions.

4. Solar panels can’t withstand extreme weather conditions

Contrary to the belief that solar panels cannot withstand harsh weather conditions, they are actually installed in various locations worldwide, ranging from deserts to mountains, coasts, and fields. These modules are specifically designed to withstand common forms of weather such as rain, snow, and hail, as well as dust and wind, as long as they are installed correctly. To determine the extent of the module’s durability, one can refer to the manufacturer’s specifications or the panel datasheet which typically indicates the size of hailstones or wind speed that the panel can withstand.

5. Solar panels only generate electricity in summer

It is accurate that solar panels in the UK can produce more electricity during the spring and summer seasons due to the longer daylight hours. In particular, 71% of the energy generated by the panels occurs during these seasons. However, it is worth noting that even during the autumn and winter seasons, which account for the remaining 29% of the energy generation, solar panels are still able to produce a significant amount of electricity and should not be disregarded as a viable source of energy during these periods.

House with black solar panels on roof.

Solar financial myths

6. Solar panels will never pay back

The claim that solar panels will never pay back is not accurate. In the past, prior to the energy crisis, it took an average of 10-15 years for a residential solar PV system to reach its payback period. However, due to the recent increase in grid prices, the payback period has been significantly reduced to around 7-10 years. In either case, the payback period is much shorter than the expected lifespan of the panels, which is typically over 25 years, meaning the ROI can be better than most high street banks. Therefore, it can be concluded that solar panels are a financially viable investment, and their benefits can be reaped for many years after the initial investment is recovered.

7. Solar panels reduce your home’s value

Contrary to popular belief, there is no evidence to support the notion that solar panels decrease the value of a property. In fact, if homeowners effectively communicate the benefits of solar panels to potential buyers, they even increase the value of the property. Additionally, installing solar PV panels is a proven method for boosting a house’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating, which has a positive correlation with higher property prices. Therefore, not only do solar panels add to a home’s environmental sustainability, but they can also contribute to a higher resale value.

8. Solar panels make your house harder to sell

The idea that solar panels can negatively impact the sale of a property lacks supporting evidence. On the contrary, solar panels are likely to attract environmentally conscious buyers who value energy efficiency, potentially leading to a faster sale. To ensure a smooth transition of ownership, we suggest keeping the handover documentation containing details of the solar panel system, which can be shared with the buyer. By doing so, you can provide transparency about the benefits and maintenance of the solar panels, potentially further increasing the appeal of the property to buyers.

9. You don’t own your roof if you install solar panels

In the past, when solar subsidies were still in their infancy, some companies would offer to install solar panels for free and then claim the Feed-in Tariff, essentially “renting” the homeowner’s roof. However, as subsidies decreased over time, this model became unsustainable, leading to the collapse of many of these companies and creating a headache for homeowners with such systems on their properties. However, if you opt to purchase solar panels outright, as has always been the case at EEC Solar, you do not face such issues. By owning the solar panels outright, you retain full control over their maintenance and operation, and are not dependent on any third party to claim any government subsidies or incentives.

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 Solar installation myths

10. Solar panels require a lot of maintenance

Maintaining solar panels is not as complicated as maintaining other types of generators because they don’t have any moving parts. This means that solar panels typically require very minimal maintenance, with the exception of cleaning every few years if they appear dirty and replacing the inverter after approximately 15 years of use

11. Solar panels will damage your roof

There is a misunderstanding that installing solar panels on your roof can damage it. However, when solar panels are retrofitted, they are mounted on a frame that is attached to the rafters, ensuring that the array does not put any weight on the roof surface. In fact, the solar panel system can actually act as a protective layer over the roof, shielding it from the elements and extending its lifespan.

12. Solar installation is disruptive

There is a misconception that installing solar panels can be a disruptive process. However, here at EEC Solar, our team of installers can typically complete most domestic solar installations within 1 day. Scaffolding will need to be erected at your property, which may be in place for a short while around the installation dates. Most of the work takes place on the rooftop, with some wiring work typically done in the loft. Our team is committed to minimising disruption and ensuring that the site is left tidy upon completion. While we cannot speak for other companies, we strive to make the solar panel installation process as smooth and efficient as possible for our customers.

13. You need planning permission to get solar panels

 In most cases, solar panel installations are considered permitted developments and do not require planning permission. Exceptions to this include ground mounts, flat roofs, and large commercial systems. For more information, please visit our planning page.

Solar environmental myths

14. Solar panels take more energy to make than they generate

The idea that solar panels require more energy to manufacture than they can generate over their lifetime is a myth. In fact, a standard solar PV system installed in northern Europe will produce the same amount of energy that was used in its manufacturing process in just 2.5 years, which is only a small fraction of its total lifespan.

15. Solar panels can’t be recycled

There is a common misconception that solar panels cannot be recycled, but this is not true. While solar panels will eventually reach the end of their lifespan after 25-40 years, efforts are being made to develop efficient and scalable recycling systems for the components. A French centre, for instance, claims to have achieved a 95% material recovery rate. This is important for ensuring the sustainability of solar power and reducing waste in the industry.

16. Solar panels are ugly

The idea that solar panels are unsightly may be outdated. In recent years, solar panels have become sleeker and more aesthetically pleasing. Many modern panels are all-black and can be installed flush with the roof, presenting a much more seamless appearance than the silver and blue modules of the past. Ultimately, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but it’s worth noting that solar panels have come a long way in terms of design.

Black Solar PV panels on a customers roof.

Solar technology myths

17. Solar panels don’t last that long

Solar panels have a long lifespan and are designed to last for many years without the need for major maintenance. With no moving parts, these panels can last for at least 25 years, which is backed up by a 25-year power warranty for most PV modules

18. You should install as many solar panels as possible

It used to make financial sense to install as many solar panels as possible on your roof during the high Feed-in Tariff period, when you were paid for every kWh generated. However, in the current post-subsidy era, the economic benefit comes from using your solar power to displace grid electricity. As a result, it is now recommended to size your solar panel system based on your annual electricity usage rather than fitting as many panels as possible on your roof.

19. Solar will power your house in an outage

During a power outage, your solar power system will automatically shut off to ensure the safety of those working to fix the power lines. However, if you have a battery backup system that isolates your property from the grid, your solar panels may still be able to generate electricity for your home.

To add battery storage to your Solar Pv system, click here now.


In conclusion, many myths surround solar panels, such as that the UK does not receive enough sunlight, panels can only be installed on south-facing roofs, and they do not generate electricity on cloudy days. Additionally, some believe that solar panels will not pay back, decrease a home’s value, and make it harder to sell. Lastly, there are misconceptions about solar panel ownership and maintenance requirements. However, it is essential to understand that these beliefs are not accurate. Solar panels are a financially viable investment, do not negatively impact the value or sale of a property, and require minimal maintenance. It is time to dispel these myths and embrace the reality that solar panels are a reliable source of energy with many benefits, including environmental sustainability and cost-effectiveness.

Reach out to EEC Solar, a distinguished and industry-leading solar company, to begin your solar journey today. Our team of experienced professionals is committed to providing you with top-notch service and the highest-quality solar solutions available. We would be honoured to partner with you in achieving your sustainable energy goals. Click now to register your interest. 

EEC Solar01704 333459

EEC Solar
01704 333459