Avocado-colored appliances. Shag rugs. Floor-to-ceiling wallpaper. What one homeowner finds stylish can often be the bane of another’s existence. So it’s not surprising that even as solar power installations in the U.S. continue to break records, opinions about the way PV panels look on the roof vary widely. On one end of the spectrum, more and more multi-million dollar dream homes have prominent solar panels. Meanwhile, Tesla’s new “invisible” solar roof made such an impact on middle America (despite its six-figure price tag and numerous operational challenges) that many would-be solar adopters are stuck in the penalty box – simply because their partner thinks solar panels are ugly. If you’re one of the millions of Americans who are sitting on the sidelines when it comes to solar because of aesthetics – take heart. While it’s unlikely you’ll ever be able to get that solar panel-hater to embrace the sleek beauty of modern PV systems, you can make an unbelievably good case why your partner should give solar power another look.

You Can’t Judge A Solar Panel By Its Cover

Unlike gazebos, landscaping and (some) garden art, roofs were not specifically designed to enhance a property’s visual appeal. Instead, roofs serve a practical purpose by protecting a home and its inhabitants from weather conditions. Similarly, solar panels are not about appearances alone. Sure, solar panels blend nicely into the roof and let neighbors know that you are making a better choice by helping the environment with renewable energy. But the true beauty of solar panels lies in their ability to generate value. A solar power system dramatically limits the amount of energy a home must draw from the utility grid – which typically reduces cost — while improving that same home’s resale value. In fact, home sale data shows that residences with solar panels typically sell for $15,000 greater than those without solar panels installed. Talk about curb appeal!

Like A Fine Wine, Solar Savings Get Better With Age

With more Americans living longer and Social Security far from a certainty, aging boomers are looking for ways to stretch their retirement savings and make living costs more predictable in their Golden Years. What could be more reliable and economical than the low, 20-year rate on energy that comes with a solar lease or PPA? And when a solar power system is part of a broader, whole home energy solution – such as the Crius Solar approach which includes a complimentary ecobee smart thermostat – retirees can keep their homes comfortable while remaining budget-conscious for decades to come.

All Your Friends Are Doing It

Washington D.C. homeowner Anthony David wasn’t afraid to be the solar energy trailblazer in his neighborhood: “I feel by me going green, it will catch on in my neighborhood. It might inspire other people to do it.” And research shows, Mr. David is right. Solar power is contagious, according to a study from Yale and New York University. With just a 10% increase in the number of people within a zip code to have solar installations, there will be a 54% increase in the number of those going solar. And that number is even higher street by street. “If my neighbor installs a solar panel and tells me he’s saving money and he’s really excited about it, it’s likely I’ll go ahead and do the same thing,” said Kenneth Gillingham, the study’s co-author and assistant professor of economics at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. “Then there are others who’ll install because they don’t want to be one-upped by their neighbors.” So, while your partner may not want to be the first person on the block to take the solar energy plunge, reassure them that your home won’t be the lone trendsetter for long. In fact, in some San Diego County neighborhoods, roofs without solar panels are more the exception than the norm. And the first mover for solar energy also has the first opportunity to save.

Solar panels are beautiful

In certain neighborhoods, solar panels are the norm.

So Many Reasons Why Solar Matters

Since many of our leaders each bring more than a decade of hands-on experience in residential solar system installations, Crius Solar has heard just about every reason for going solar (or not going solar). The “pros” tend to fall into a few broad categories:

  • Save money / reduce electricity costs
  • Help the environment / contribute to carbon emission reduction
  • Take advantage of solar incentives (solar ITC, state rebates and incentives)
  • Increase property value

Whatever your partner’s “con,” your best bet for advancing the conversation is to get a risk-free assessment of what solar energy can specifically do for your home. Most solar companies will provide this review at no charge. At Crius Solar, we take the assessment one step further and provide a complimentary whole home energy audit that can help identify savings opportunities regardless of whether you ultimately go solar. Check out your options and unleash the power of the solar energy experts to help you win this “ugly” battle. After all, we rarely commute by helicopter to enjoy the aerial view of our roofs. But with the cost of solar down significantly since 2010, now is the time to make the smart decision to put your roof to work!

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