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  • Generate free, green electricity
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The top 9 myths about solar panels

The cost of solar panels has fallen by over 80% since 2010

Solar panels only need cleaning roughly once every ten years

Solar panels can raise a home’s value by around 4.1%

There are many reasons solar panels have become one of the world’s most-used renewable tech – namely, it’s the cheapest energy source in the world and is a key tool in helping us reduce the effects of climate change. It also helps that solar panel prices are falling gradually over time.

Despite solar’s success in the energy industry, there are still some rumours floating about that need debunking – and we’re here to do just that.

Think your property could benefit from a set of solar panels? We can help you with that too, with our easy-to-navigate tool. All you have to do is provide a few quick details, and our expert installers will be in touch with free quotes for you to compare.

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1. Solar panels are too expensive

Solar panels were historically over budget for most households around the world. However, the cost of solar panels has fallen by over 80% since 2010.

Today, homeowners can typically expect to pay between £4,216 and £9,837 for a set of solar panels, with the average three-bedroom house usually requiring a £7,026 system.

Of course, this is still too expensive for some households – but it’s far more affordable than it used to be, and is predicted to continue falling in price.

Plus, homeowners can typically make this money back within 14.55 years. To compare, it would have taken over 20 years to make your money back a few short years ago. This is because electricity has become much more expensive, and solar panels typically cut a property’s electricity bills by around 70%, resulting in annual savings of £483 for the average three-bedroom property.

Solar panels also usually last at least another 10 years after this break-even point, which means the average household will end up with at least £5,043 in energy bill savings and Smart Export Guarantee revenues over the solar panels’ lifetime.

2. Solar panels only work when it’s sunny

Solar panels are pretty self explanatory – they literally convert the sun’s solar energy into electricity. But this doesn’t necessarily mean they only work in direct sunlight.

Don’t get us wrong, they’re most efficient when they absorb direct sunlight, but they still produce electricity when it’s cloudy, rainy, or if part of the panel is in shade. They just won’t be as efficient.

On average, light cloud cover will lead to a power output loss of 23.8%, while heavy cloud cover will reduce output by 66.8%, according to the latest scientific research.

Solar panels even work in light snowfall.

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3. Solar panels are difficult to maintain

Solar panels are actually pretty low-maintenance pieces of equipment, since they have no moving parts.

The main thing homeowners need to do to maintain their solar panels is keep them clean – and this only needs to be done about once every ten years.

Homeowners need to remove any dust or pollen from the panels in the summertime, and look out for any snow or debris during the winter months. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t use any type of high-pressure water sprayer when washing off your solar panels, as this can often lead to damage.

To make sure your solar panels stay in tip-top shape, it’s also a good idea to regularly check their day-to-day performance, and get them serviced roughly once a year.

Want to learn more? Head to our solar panel maintenance page.

4. Solar panels decrease your property’s value

Worried that solar panels will hinder your house’s performance on the market? Well, they’re actually likely to do the opposite.

Research by real estate company Zillow indicates that solar panels raise a home’s value by around 4.1% – with properties in sunnier areas benefiting much more than others. This would increase the average UK home’s value by £9,500.

And, more and more Brits are interested in buying a home with solar panels. In our National Home Energy Survey, 69% said they would rent or buy a property that had solar panels installed, up from 65% last year.

And it makes sense when you think about it. After all, it means potential buyers can benefit from solar energy without having to invest thousands of pounds for the upfront costs.

Want to learn more? Head to our page: Do Solar Panels Affect Your Property Value?

5. Solar panels do more harm than good to the environment

Solar panels source one of the cleanest forms of energy on the planet. Unlike fossil fuels, they don’t release any greenhouse gases whilst operating, and can be used to power homes, towns, and cities.

They can even reduce a home’s carbon footprint by around one tonne of CO2 per year, depending on where you live.

Admittedly, there are also a handful of negative environmental factors of solar panels, including:

  • Some hazardous materials are used to create them
  • Where they’re manufactured
  • How far they need to be shipped from
  • How they’re disposed of
  • How they impact land use

But just how harmful are solar panels? Well, the carbon footprint of an average solar photovoltaic (PV) system is between 14–73 grams of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) per kilowatt-hour (kWh) – pretty harmless compared to the average 742g of CO2e released per kWh when burning oil.

And if solar panel owners want to make their panels completely carbon neutral (meaning they balance out any CO2 they release into the atmosphere by removing the same amount), they only need to have them for at least three years. After three years of use, a solar panel’s overall carbon footprint drops into the negatives, as it will have prevented more emissions from being released into the atmosphere than it took to create itself.

Two people installing solar panels on roof

6. Solar panels are a threat to agricultural land

Conservative MP Liz Truss and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak have both caused quite the ruckus in the energy industry, after claiming that solar panels are taking over the UK’s high-quality farmland. This has also been echoed by various other Conservative MPs, who have described solar projects as hazards for rural communities and food supply.

This myth couldn’t be further from the truth.

In reality, solar panels currently take up just under 0.1% of land in the UK, according to recent research by Solar Energy UK. This is minuscule compared to the 70% of land that agriculture covers.

In fact, existing solar farms currently use less land than all UK golf courses and airports put together.

And why do we have to choose between one or the other? We can have the best of both worlds by combining agricultural land and solar farms, to create what’s called ‘an agrivoltaic system’ – a set-up that involves planting crops underneath raised photovoltaic panels.

Some crops need shade to thrive, especially on blistering hot summer days, which can be provided by the panels whilst they harness the solar energy.

So whilst some suggest that solar energy is ‘ruining’ valuable farmland, combining the two practices can actually benefit the UK. Farmers can continue agricultural work as usual, whilst also receiving a solar rental subsidy fee of between £850–£1,100 per acre each year.

7. Solar panels make your house harder to sell

Having solar panels on your home might have made it a little harder to sell a decade ago, as most people weren’t aware of the benefits of having solar panels. But fast forward to today, and having a set of solar panels on your roof can actually make your house more sellable.

According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, homes with solar panels sell 20% faster than those without.

8. Solar panels are ugly 

When you think of solar panels, do you picture bulky, blue rectangles, protruding unnaturally from the roof? Well, you might be pleased to know that these times are far behind us.

Innovation in the solar panel industry means that most of today’s solar panels have a sleek, elegant appearance.

If homeowners want to make their panels more concealed, they can opt for integrated panels, which position panels in line with the tiles. Or perhaps solar tiles might suit them better, which act exactly like solar panels but are camouflaged as roof tiles.

Want to learn more? Take a look at our helpful page: Are Solar Panels Too Ugly for Our Neighbourhoods?

9. Solar panels don’t last that long

When solar panels first emerged in the domestic market, they were far more basic than the ones we see today – they’re now more visually appealing, more efficient, and last for decades.

The average solar panel now lasts for around 35 years. Homeowners can also get warranties on their solar panel systems – most of which last for up to 25 years – which can reassure them that their panels are here for the long haul.


It’s good to have some scepticism about things when it comes to household appliances – especially with all the ‘greenwashing’ out there. But now you know that these nine rumours are exactly that – false statements that are either untrue or are based on outdated assumptions.

If this article has reaffirmed your decision to go with solar, the next step is to get quotes for your own panels.

To speed up the process, use our free, custom-built tool. Just provide a few quick details about your property, and we’ll put you in touch with our expert solar suppliers, who will provide you with quotes to compare.

Written by:
Beth has been writing about green tech, the environment, and climate change for over three years now – with her work being featured in publications such as The BBC, Forbes, The Express, Greenpeace, and in multiple academic journals. Whether you're after a new set of solar panels, energy-saving tips, or advice on how to reduce your carbon footprint, she's got you covered.
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