There are 3 ways in which solar could be less advantageous for you:
If panels are installed on a north or east facing roof. Production is significantly lower when installed facing those directions.
If panels are installed in or around excessive shading. Solar needs direct access to sunlight for optimal performance.
- If your system is "grid-tied" to a "non solar-friendly" utility. See below for a more detailed explanation.
Utilities plan ahead for decades. Regulators approve the rates they can charge for electricity, based on the number of customers, the cost of generating power, and the cost of the infrastructure that it takes to move the power around. But when customers have their own solar energy system, they are producing their energy during the day reducing their need for electricity from the grid which significantly cuts into utility profits at a time of day when peak rates abound.
Some Utility companies credit the electricity that your solar system produces at the same rate that they charge you. For example, if they sell you electricity at $0.11 per kWh and offer you a $0.11 credit for electricity sent back to their grid - that's a solar-friendly move called "Net Metering." In other words, the energy you produce from solar is valued at the same amount as the energy that they generate for you.
Other Utility companies (in an effort to recoup their losses from their customers who have switched to solar) may only offer you a $0.03 credit (for example) for electricity you send back to their grid. This is usually the amount they would have paid to buy the electricity from somebody else. This means the electricity you produce is worth $0.08 less (per kWh) if you don't use it at home. And if forcing you to accept their less than favorable credit terms is not bad enough, many are now also attaching one-time or monthly "fees" in another attempt to recoup this lost revenue. These are utility companies that we would deem as "non-friendly."
In these cases, installing solar batteries may make more economic sense since you’re able to maximize the value of the energy you generate at your own property. However, while a storage system (battery) is a great option for those who are stuck with a non solar friendly utility, they are very expensive (at the moment) and come with limited storage.
There are many homeowners who desire solar for environmental reasons and are less concerned about receiving financial benefits. Obviously, they can still choose to move forward with solar on their property even with a non solar friendly utility.
(In an attempt to be forthright at the risk of a sale, MorningStar Enterprises desires to make sure all clients understand
the pros and cons of solar as it relates to their particular home and utility company.)