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Myth busting the misconceptions of solar power

30th Apr 2013

Most people understand the basic concept of solar panels and solar electricity, but few really have a proper understanding of how this clean, green energy source really works.

Because of this, a few myths and misconceptions have arisen in recent years that might have discouraged you from investing in solar panel technology.

For this reason, it is worth reading up on the fact and fiction of solar power in order to ensure that you are poised to make smart and informed decisions about your electricity needs in the future.

Myth #1: Solar panels are too expensive 

A common myth regarding solar panels is that they are still too expensive to install and maintain for the average Australian.

The truth is that solar panels are now more affordable than ever before, and can be made even cheaper thanks to incentives and subsidies that are available.

Furthermore, once the solar panels are installed they can deliver a significant return on investment thanks to the fact that you will either be offsetting your energy use or building a credit by exporting into the grid.

Myth #2: Not many people actually use solar power

Many people have the misconception that solar electricity is still relatively unpopular in Australia, and that not many people are currently powering their homes with this technology.

In fact, just this month the federal minister for climate change, industry and innovation Greg Combet announced that there are now more than one million small-scale solar photovoltaic systems installed in this country.

That means approximately 11 per cent of the population is now living in a home that is partially or fully powered by solar electricity.

Myth #3: Solar electricity panels don't work when it is cold

Some Australians worry that their solar panels will not work very well during winter when the temperature drops - not true!

Because solar electricity panels utilise the photovoltaic effect, they turn light into energy, not heat, and actually work best when there is plenty of sun but the temperatures are low.

Myth #4: It's too late to get a government rebate on solar power

Last year there was much talk about solar panel rebates coming to an end on December 31, and because of this, some people think there are no more financial incentives regarding the installation of solar panels.

The government is still offering a generous solar rebate for anyone who buys a solar system that is smaller than 100 kW and who their solar panels installed by accredited professionals.

The exact rebate which you can receive will depend on where you live and the variety of system you install, so it's worth talking to an expert about this before taking the next step.

Posted by Mike Peacock

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