Run by the sun
Run by the sun

5 Solar Energy Misconceptions

Thursday 26 February 2015

solar power for homes Leicester

Solar panels over the years have had a bad rep.  Despite this, in 2014 solar power almost double in the UK, a clear sign that home and business owners are becoming savvier when considering their future energy requirements.  Run By The Sun lay into some of the most common solar energy myths.

1. Solar panels are too expensive

Solar panels have a reputation as an expensive luxury, rather than a viable, cost-effective solution to power a home, office, school, church, sports club, farm, police station, warehouse or even a train station.  Partly the reason for this is because they have in the past been expensive. 

However, as mentioned in our first blog post, it is suggested that electricity created by fossil fuels will soon be the same price as electricity generated solar panels.  Solar energy doesn’t have the same input costs as generating electricity from fossil fuels, because harnessing power from sunlight is naturally completely free.

It can be tricky to associate a particular figure for the cost of installing solar panels on your roof as every project is different.  By completing an on site solar survey, Run By The Sun can always provide an accurate quote, giving you a clear indication of what is required for your PV solar system as well as your annual solar irradiance and any potential shadow issues. 

In addition to saving money on your energy bills, people can also take advantage of the Feed in Tariff, which can generate an additional tax-free income on the energy you don’t use and is exported back to the grid.  Under current FiT rates and not taking into account possible inflation, your solar panels could be paid back within 8-10 years.

2. Solar panels don’t work as well in the UK

This is perhaps the most common myth around solar energy.  Solar panels can still generate substantial amounts of energy, even when the skies are full of clouds.  Germany is regarded as the solar energy capital of the world and yet it isn’t renowned for its beautiful sunny weather. 

In fact, it’s proven that solar panels work more efficiently under cooler temperatures.  Furthermore, according to Paul Barwell CEO of the Solar Trade Association, solar panels in London generate ‘65% as much energy as solar panels in Madrid’.

Solar panels don’t need direct sunlight.  Believe it or not, solar panels are able to produce electricity even on the most miserable, rainy days.

3. Solar panels need to be installed on a South-facing roof

Solar energy installations don’t have to be positioned so they are entirely south facing.  Solar panels on south-east and south-west rooftops are still able to produce a significant amount of electricity and we have even given customers an accurate indication of the electricity they would produce should their installation be on a east or west facing roof.

During our survey process, we use a tool called Solmetic SunEye that measures the amount of sunlight you can expect to have over the year.  This information is then analysed by our software package to produce an MCS approved shading analysis chart. 

4. Solar panels require a lot of maintenance

If a PV solar system if installed correctly should require very little maintenance or cleaning.  Our software package which monitors the amount of electricity you produce daily can give us an indication of when panels are not working at their optimum.  It’s usually a very simple solution to get the solar panels working properly again so that you continue to make the most out of your investment.

Our grid connected solar systems come with a 10 year warranty.  If you don’t think your solar output is as good as it could be, then please get in touch for an independent system inspection.

5. Solar panels will decrease the value of my property

Despite the huge variety in solar panels that are now available, some people will still consider solar panels to be an eye sore.  We are sensitive to different roof surfaces and will provide the best solar panel to suit the environment.

It’s still unclear whether a property installed with solar energy will increase in value, as the technology just hasn’t been around long enough.  However, it certainly won’t decrease in value – this is just a matter of taste.  A property installed with solar power may be an extremely attractive proposition for many potential buyers, knowing that they could save money on their energy bills.


Hopefully this will give you good insight into deciding whether solar energy is right for your property.  Run By The Sun are always happy to provide a free site survey and all the information you need to make an informed decision.  Our sales approach has always been non-pressured, so if you’re just after some advice then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.


Thank you to Steve Jurvetson for his fantastic solar image!