Chicago — Summer is over and daylight hours are shortening, but the benefits of solar power aren’t seasonal.
While many people assume solar panels are only effective on long, sun-filled summer days, installing a solar energy system in the fall and winter can save homeowners money.
Jared McKenzie, CEO of Headline Solar explains how:
1. Improved Efficiency = More Power from Less Light
“The quality of solar panels continues to improve exponentially, meaning they can generate more power with every hour of daylight. If the sun is out, even behind clouds, you’re generating power. Germany has some of the highest usages of solar power on the planet, but they have long, dark winters.
Solar panels produced there are top quality and American homeowners can benefit from that. Plus all electrical systems are more efficient in colder weather.”
2. When Construction Season Slows, Prices Drop and Permitting Speeds Up
“As long as there is no snow on the roof, a good installer can get a solar system in place. In fact, most workers prefer cooler temps compared to a rooftop in July. Because overall home construction slows in the winter, most municipalities are able to process permits faster in the winter as well.
But the biggest benefit to homeowners is that most solar panel installers are less busy in the winter and willing to offer great deals.”
3. Let It Snow…and Slide Right Off
“If your home and attic are well insulated, snow stays on your roof. That’s a good thing. But solar panels are not insulated and in fact generate some heat which means the snow slides right off. And that’s a great thing.
For overly-eager solar power producers, there are snow rakes and brooms with long extensions that can be used to clear off panels right away and the panels are plenty durable.”
4. Be Clark Griswold and Let Your Lights Shine
“Summer is certainly the peak electric-use season when air conditioners are running, but most homeowners still use a lot of power in the winter. Shorter days mean you’ve got the lights on longer.
Colder weather means you’re inside longer and just want to Netflix and Chill. And if you’re that guy who cranks up the holiday lights from Thanksgiving to Valentine’s Day, you can certainly cut your electric bill with solar panels in the winter.”
5. Federal Solar Tax Credit End December 31
“This is absolutely the number one motivator for winter solar panel installation. The federal government will credit 30% of the cost of your solar installation but that offer expires this year.
The installation doesn’t need to be done by New Year’s Day, but the contract needs to be signed and a 5% deposit needs to be paid. (Most homeowners finance the rest of the install cost.) This is often about $10,000 in savings, so it’s a fantastic Christmas gift to give to yourself.”