As we sail through fall, many of us can feel the change in the weather. Mornings are chilly, mountainous areas are experiencing snowy peaks, and the sunset happens earlier each day. With less hours of sunlight, current and future solar owners might be wondering if there’s enough sunshine to efficiently power a home with solar panels and if it is worth installing a solar system in a place with more severe winters.
If you go solar with Blue Raven Solar, winter worries are no problem. Not only will your panels be premium and highly efficient, but they will also be installed in the most efficient array as determined by our team of expert designers.
Solar panels are the most efficient in cold climates. While the temperature does not affect the amount of energy the panels receive, the lack of heat makes it easier for the electrons in the panel to move through their circuits, allowing energy to be produced at a higher rate. On average, the efficiency of a panel increases by about 0.05% for every degree (Celsius) decrease in temperature, so the colder it is, the more energy your system produces1.
Here are a few recommendations on how to maximize your solar savings during the coldest months of the year:
Depending on how much snow there is, you may not notice a difference in production. A light dusting will typically be blown off by the wind. Production may begin to be affected by larger amounts of snow fall, but not for very long. When panels are installed at a proper angle on your roof, as soon as the sun is out, snow will melt and slide off so your panels will be producing efficiently again2. This is the case even for areas throughout the United States that get excessive amounts of snow, like Minnesota, Idaho, Colorado, and other northern states.
If you want to take matters into your own hands, some homeowners who can access their roofs safely choose to manually remove snow with tools specifically designed for solar panels. Roof rakes or large squeegees, or other options include blowing the snow off with a leaf blower or hosing the panels down3. If this is not a safe option for you, however, it will only take a few hours of sunshine for the snow to melt off on its own.
Thanks to the albedo effect, the light reflected off the snow on the ground can and will be received by your panels, adding a bit more energy into the mix4.
Winter months are the best times to take advantage of any net metering credits you may have earned throughout the year, especially in the summer months. Because the daylight hours are shorter, your system will naturally produce less energy in comparison.
These states currently have statewide net metering policies or another reimbursement policy for homeowners with solar5:
If you live in one of these states, you may have a couple of months’ worth of credits to use, which is a great way to keep your energy bills as low as possible. Keeping energy usage low will help in partnership with net metering.
General Energy Efficiency
It’s important to be mindful of your electricity usage, especially with holiday lights and the outside chill. Keeping your lights on a timer, checking up on your insulation, and bundling up inside are a few simple ways to keep your energy bills low, especially with solar panels taking on a larger portion of the energy production.
Blue Raven Solar: Experts in the Field
When you go solar with Blue Raven Solar, you set yourself up for thousands of dollars in savings, only made better by your own efficiency efforts. With us as your custom solar panel installer, you can be sure your system is set up for optimal energy efficiency, no matter what time of year it is. Our experts have years of experience creating arrays to meet your energy needs and keep your utility bills low.
Find out how much you can save by getting a free, no-commitment savings report today!