Actually electronics are more efficient at colder temperatures; solar panels work more efficiently in colder temperatures because excessive heat can reduce the output voltage. While more sun hours will indeed generate more electricity, advances in modern solar efficiency allow solar panels to produce energy in low light situations still. For example someone in Illinois would require a more extensive array then somebody living in the desert of Nevada. Still, the Illinois Shines Program typically covers so much of the system cost that solar comes out cheaper than in most of the western states.
Thanks to a policy, adopted by some power companies, known as “net metering,” excess solar production will roll over in the form of a credit to reduce future electric bills. With net metering, throughout the country most solar systems will overproduce in the summer to account for the winter months. Old meters only go one direction to monitor the amount of electricity being pulled from the grid. A “net meter” spins in two directions allowing electricity sent and drawn from the grid. If your meter nets zero, you will not be charged for any power pulled from the grid.
The traditional “off the grid” solar system has quite a few moving parts, which does require some maintenance. Solar systems interconnected to the grid require little to no maintenance. If your panels collect dust, Mother Nature will naturally clean them off by rain. Solar panels are not hot by any means; However, they do have heat to them, which allows the snow to melt and slide off. Please do not break your back brushing snow off the panels as we have already calculated snow load into your custom solar design.
Hail, high wind, and tornadoes are all considered “acts of God” which are covered by your homeowner’s insurance. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, CO, conducted a study between 2009 and 2013 and found that only 0.1% of all solar systems have been affected by severe weather. During 2018 a hail storm struck the National Renewable Energy Laboratory with hail reported as much as 2.75 in. in diameter. Amazingly, out of the 3,168 solar panels on the laboratory’s roof, only one sustained damage during the storm.
If a hail storm does manage to damage a solar panel, you are going to have substantially more damage on your hands than just one broken panel. Your solar system removal, re-installation, re-roof, and additional costs would all be rolled into the same claim. Your homeowners’ insurance may slightly increase; however, the small increase will be greatly outweighed by the savings associated with going solar.
The 30% Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) covers anything and everything to help you go solar. If you need to upgrade your distribution panel, remove a tree, replace your roof, or purchase additional materials for a ground mount, the tax credit will cover a portion of eligible associated costs. We are partnered with local roofers and can assist in replacing your roof prior to your solar installation without you paying anything out of pocket.
Solar panels will extend the life of your roof and create an additional layer of insulation which can provide extra energy savings. Solar panels are often installed on the south side of the roof, which receives the most amount of sun, heat, and weathering. Your attic acts as a natural oven and can often reach temperatures as high as 160 degrees during the hot summer. With the panels now absorbing the sun, your solar system can provide further savings by cooling your attic allowing your air conditioning to function more efficiently.