Delaying on installing your solar system can cost you more than you think.
Quick Read - 4 Minute Read
Solar panels continue to operate throughout the four seasons and can be cleaned by snow.
It can be easier to have solar installed in the winter as opposed to other seasons.
The process to for solar panels to be installed and fully operating can take up to 90 days, and starting it in the winter can have systems ready to go in the spring.
First come first served incentives means those who install sooner save more money.
Do Solar Panels Work In The Winter?
Yes! Solar panels are designed to operate in multiple climates, and while the environment does directly affect the power generation of panels, they’re never fully shut down by it.
Few however, draw the correlation between solar panels’ design of absorbing sunlight for energy, causing the panels to warm which in turn melts the snow off. The combination of snow landing on your panels and melting once the weather breaks can actually act as a cleaning service for your panels, washing away any dirt or debris that accumulated from previous seasons.1
With high utility bills sweeping across New York state the offset solar panels can provide for energy bills is now more important than ever. New York State Net Energy Metering ensures that excess energy produced by solar panels can be credited to a utility account. This means the excess energy produced by solar panels in the summer can cover energy costs in the winters.
Can I Get Solar Installed In The Winter?
Yes you can! Kasselman (like most solar companies) installs throughout the year. The installation crew will clear any snow that would prevent it from being properly done. The equipment we use and install are weatherproof (including the sealant we use for the brackets, it can literally cure underwater) and you’ll find many solar installers actually prefer installing in the winter as opposed to the summer. Our team always says that a cold breeze can be countered with multiple layers, but there isn’t much to be done to counter a hot summer day.
On top of arguably better working conditions, the question of scheduling is easily answerable in colder months. Solar customers misconceptions often keep solar companies installation schedules open (hence why we’re are writing this article) meaning those who do choose to get installed in the winter have the ability to get installed faster than those who wait until the spring or summer, giving them more flexibility for scheduling.
Even for those who choose not to get installed in the winter, starting your solar process in the colder months have significant benefits. Few potential solar customers realize the full process that goes into installing and turning on a solar system. The process includes many steps including permitting, utility approvals, financing, incentives documentation, engineering, and then finally scheduling.
While none of this is the responsibility of the potential customer, they should be aware the entire process can often take anywhere from 45-90 days2 depending on the situation (we’ve seen some go upward of 12 weeks depending on your township). These processes often go faster in the winter as well, as in general the industry slows down in the colder season. This means customers starting their solar journey in early January are the ones being installed as winter breaks for spring.
Time Is Ticking
The moral of the story is waiting to get solar installed in a big mistake. As the global economy continues to recover from COVID-19, the familiar story lines of global supply constraints and labor shortage rear their ugly heads once more. If supermarkets are having trouble keeping your favorite type of juice in stock, imagine how hard it is for us to get solar panel materials from around the world consistently.
Nonetheless, solar deployments are expected to increase 20% more than 2021, which was a groundbreaking year for the industry. New York solar incentives being the highest the state has seen in over 7 years combined with 2022 being the last year that the Federal Tax Credit (ITC) is at 26% present strong calls to action for those interested in going solar.
Finally, the first come first served structure of the NYSERDA block grant4 rewards customers who install solar faster than those who wait. This grant is not going to last very long! It quite literally has the potential to be exhausted within the next 60 days of this article being published.
Bottom line is: Getting installed in the winter or in the very least starting your installation can save you money, time, and a lot of headaches. The early bird catches the worm, so get ready to catch those sunrays once winter breaks. If you wait too long in the year to get started, you’ll most likely be installed in the winter anyways.