There’s a lot to consider when thinking about going solar for your home or for your small business, and some of the information can be confusing. For those looking to take advantage of all the sunny Texas days we get in the Rio Grande Valley, here are 5 myths about solar energy that, in our experience, sometimes keep people from fully exploring the benefits of solar power energy systems.

  1. MYTH: Solar energy is a passing fad. I’ll just wait it out.

FACT: Solar energy is growing—and fast! The amount of available solar energy has gone up year after year, with big investments and increases coming in 2021. This isn’t just for homeowners, but businesses too are discovering the energy savings that can come from going solar. In fact the current federal solar tax credit (ITC) can get you a credit of up to 26% if your home or business installs solar in the next two years.

  • MYTH: Solar doesn’t work when the sun’s not out!

FACT: Your panels are always on and collecting light—but when it’s dark, there is certainly less light to be collected. But most solar energy systems are built with this in mind. Alongside your solar panels will be batteries that can store the clean solar energy generated during the day for you to use whenever you need. For businesses that rely mostly on power during the day, the need for batteries may be even less.

  • MYTH: Solar is expensive.

FACT: The cost of solar has gone down a lot since it was first brought to market. And with so many financing options available, you can end up paying less each month for solar than you do with traditional energy. And with tax incentives and rebates, it can be a big boost for your business and for reducing your energy bill at home.

  • MYTH: Solar panels bring down property values.

FACT: In today’s market, a property with solar is seen a big benefit. As more people look to be sustainable and lower their carbon footprint, homes with renewable energy already installed and ready to go are seeing a boost in value. You’ve added a self-sustaining renewable energy source that a new property owner could take full advantage of without having to deal with the installation process.

  • MYTH: If I have a big home or business, solar will cost me more.

FACT: The size of your installation doesn’t depend on the size of your roof, but rather on how much energy you use on average.  Not everyone needs or wants to maximize the energy-generating space. There are combination systems where only parts of the building or specific appliances are powered by solar, and the rest comes from the electric grid. How you do it is up to you!

But don’t forget the last misconception though—that just anyone can install solar panels! Only trust your job to an experienced, vetted professional in the McAllen area to help you get the most from your solar investment.

Turning the rays from our strong Rio Grande Valley sun into clean solar energy your home or business can use is a process that involves 5 different elements. Rooftop solar is clean, renewable energy that can even pay for itself, and it offers homeowners and business owners alike independence from the ever-rising costs of electric utilities. Going solar can even raise your property values, while keeping your lights on, and business moving, through wind, rain, and grid blackouts.

Here are the main components of your solar energy system, including one very valuable piece of paper (your warranty).

You can’t talk about solar without talking panels

First, we have your solar panels. There are monocrystalline (mono) and polycrystalline (poly) solar panels, and both function in the same way—they take the energy from the sun and capture it to be converted into electricity for you to use. And while both are made from durable silicon, mono panels have a black, shiny appearance, while poly appear bright blue. Some people think the black looks sleeker or blends in with their roof more, but others prefer the more affordable blue option, especially for businesses looking to cut costs with solar.

The heart of your solar energy system is the inverter

Helping to pump the energy into your home or business is your inverter. It takes the direct current generated by the solar panels and turns it into alternating current we can use. The choice of your solar inverter may have an impact on your choice of panels. The use of string inverters is on the rise as they install more efficiently and allow for more flexibility. For a business looking to gradually go solar, or install solar on just a portion of the roof or parking structures, this can be an easy and agile way to move forward while controlling costs.

Mounting equipment keeps your panels on tight

It takes more than a few nuts and bolts to attach the panels to the roof of your home or business. The type of anchors your tech uses will be based on the style of roof you have to make sure the panels stay on and your roof stays in tip top shape. A good installation can have a big effect on how well your solar panels generate energy.

Solar batteries for when the sun’s not out

At night and when it’s cloudy, your panels won’t be generating enough solar energy to keep you going. That’s why battery storage is important, to store those excess rays from the daytime hours so you can use clean affordable solar whenever you need.

Don’t forget the warranty!

The final item, and some would say the most important, is the warranty on your panels and equipment. Most manufacturers or installers will provide warranties or limited warranties on some of all of the parts of your solar energy system up to 25 years.

McAllen and the RGV is Going Solar

With the help of a solar energy expert based in the Rio Grande Valley, you can design a custom rooftop solar energy system that works for your home and your budget.  

For those looking to make the most of our Texas sunshine in McAllen, time is running out on getting the best federal solar tax credit for your solar energy system at home or for your business. The solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) can help you reduce the cost of going solar, with a 26% deduction of the cost of your solar energy system on your federal taxes. But you’ll want to get started soon because this deal from the government is only available for two more years.

Here’s how it works

Purchase and install your solar energy system in 2021-2022 and claim the ITC solar tax credit when you file your federal taxes. The tax credit allows you to deduct 26% of the cost of your solar energy system.

Residential, commercial, industrial, utility-scale — any solar project that begin construction in 2021 and 2022 will still be able to receive a tax credit at 26%. However, the ITC rate will drop to 22% in 2023, and finally, the residential rate will drop to 0% in 2024, while the commercial and utility markets will sit at a permanent 10%. Going solar is always going to be good for business.

You can expect to get as much as $9,000 or more towards the cost of your solar energy system with the ITC. There is no cap on this amount, and it applies to both residential and commercial systems. For businesses looking to go solar, there couldn’t be a better time to begin the process and make sure you’re getting the max dollar for your tax credit.

However, the ITC only applies to the cost of your standard solar energy system, batteries not included. It is possible to have solar without battery storage, with a grid-tied solution that allows you to draw from the grid at night, and from your solar during the day. Your solar installer can help you determine the right level of battery storage needed for your home or business, but it will not be included in the tax credit amount.

You can also take advantage of the solar tax credit even if the panels aren’t installed on your primary home. If you own the home, and live there at least part of the year, you are eligible to claim the solar tax credit. If you rent or lease your solar panels, the solar tax credit is not available to you. It is, however, available to whoever has leased you the solar panels.

Saving with Solar

In the Rio Grande Valley, going solar already makes a lot of sense. With the solar tax credit, it can make you even more in savings. Talk to an expert about getting the right solar energy system for you in 2021 to make the most of these federal solar tax credits and be on your way to saving energy and money every month.