Do Solar Panels Work In The Winter? What You Should Know About Solar And Snow

Winter can be tough on many things. But solar panels aren’t really one of them. In fact, solar actually performs better in the winter.

Some homeowners worry that solar energy would be a bad idea for colder states with harsher winters or rainy weather. 

But solar panels were created with sun, snow, and stormy weather in mind. 

In fact, Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey (all colder states with harsh winters) are in the top 10 states for solar installation. And a large majority of these installations happen in the winter (better off-season deals). 

Winter weather shouldn’t keep you from saving money and reducing carbon emissions. Solar panels absolutely work in the snow. Here are some details you should know.

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Solar Panels Produce Plenty Of Electricity In The Winter

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Solar panels actually generate energy better in cooler temperatures (heat is tough on electronics).

And the intensity of sunlight on the white snow actually helps reflect more light and improves your solar panel performance in the winter. This intense energy generation makes up for the shorter winter days, stormy weather, and less sunlight in general during the winter.

The further north you are, the less daylight hours in the winter. Which does shorten the time you’re generating electricity. But, on the flip side, you have longer days in the summer and will generate a lot of energy.

How does this help you in the winter?

Through net-metering of course. Net-metering is the process where you can “store” the extra solar energy you produce in the summer and use them for cloudy days or snow fall. Essentially,  you get energy credits for the power, and you use those energy credits when you’re not generating electricity. 

So even if you’re not generating electricity every day, that’s all right! You’ll still be compensated for the energy you produce and your energy credits should take care of the rest. 

Your solar pros calculate year round generation, so you can make sure you’ll have enough overproduction days for the under-production days.

What About Snow On Solar Panels?

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Snow happens.

And generally, you don’t need to remove snow from your panels. 

Your solar panels were researched and created with snowfall and cloudy weather in mind. You should be making enough energy on sunny days that credits will take care of the rest. 

Solar panels will generate enough warmth to melt snow off naturally. And most solar panels are installed on a tilt, which makes snow slide right off. 

While snow is covering your solar panels, your panels won’t generate electricity. But this is ok, because you’ll have enough energy credits stored from all your summer hours and intense winter hours to continue your low-$0 energy bill through blizzards

Do not remove snow from your solar panels with rakes, shovels, or brooms. Not only is it dangerous for you to be on your roof with snow and ice, you can also damage your solar panels. And if the panels are damaged in this way, your warranty won’t cover it.

That’s an expensive mistake to make just because you want your solar panels to squeak out some more winter hours. Even if you did get them cleared before the snow melted off them naturally, you’re only really going to generate about the same amount of energy as a partial summer day over a few days. 

If you really can’t wait for your panels to be cleared of snow, there are specific tools you can use for clearing your panels. So make sure to use those carefully. 

Get Your Free Quote: 888-653-4924 

Winter Is A Great Time To Get Solar Energy

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Solar works great in the winter. And you’ll have plenty of energy stored in energy credits to get you through snowy days and overcast weather.

Another reason winter is a great time to go solar is because of the deals. Some of the best solar energy quotes are given in winter because it’s their off-season.

When you get your solar energy quote before you install your panels, your solar professionals will take into account your home’s location, roof position, yearly weather patterns, and annual sunshine to help calculate how much you’ll save and how much energy you’ll produce. So there shouldn’t be any unpleasant surprises here. 

Solar energy is an investment that many homeowners in cold and cloudy states make. Winter weather shouldn’t keep you from saving money and reducing carbon emissions. Thanks to net-metering you should always have enough power to keep you covered.

TLDR; Winter, Snow, And Solar Work Great Together

  • Solar panels will melt snow off of themselves naturally (or the snow just slides off)
  • Solar works well in winter. Technically better in those short daylight hours. But the shorter exposure is made up by all the long summer-production and net metering. 
  • You can save money with solar anywhere
  • Your solar quotes will consider your home location, roof orientation, seasons, weather patterns, and they will estimate how much energy your system would generate. This will help you figure out how much you’ll save and make sure you always have enough power

Get Your Free Quote: 888-653-4924 

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Frequently Asked Questions about Solar:

Q: What is the ITC?

A: The Federal Government in the year 2019 will pay for 30% of your solar cost. That's like the Federal Government paying 30% of your electric bill for the next 30 years.

Q: Is there a solar program that is 100% free?

A: No. There are programs without any enrollment, install, or maintenance costs. However, you still have to pay the lower power bill that comes accompanied with your electricity use.

Q: What energy efficient program offers the most savings?

A: Solar offers massive savings to the homeowner. Especially as electric rates tend to rise year after year, and homeowners are using more power as they are adding in home automation, tvs, speakers, etc.

Scale of Solar Prices Over Time

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