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Get in shape for summer – prep solar plans in winter to maximize energy payback all year

The sun shines year ‘round, so why does timing matter when it comes to designing and installing a solar energy system for your home or business? As Danny Chiotos, our Director of Product Delivery, explains, cold weather months are the best time to take steps towards adding solar to your home, farm or business. The goal, he said, is to be ready to generate electricity when the sun is shining brightest.

Danny Chiotos

Summer offers the most solar generation potential from your panels, giving you a chance to “overproduce” energy – generate more energy than your home, farm or business needs. 

In areas where homeowners can sell Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs), that extra energy can generate funds over and above the free energy you gain for your own use. But even in states that don’t offer that benefit, covering your own energy usage through solar generation translates to instant savings. In summer, our customers see their panels working at their top performance, building up the “energy bank” to offset lower production months.

Sizing a solar energy system, setting up financing, securing permits and installing the components doesn’t happen instantly. “The process is months long,” Danny explains. The ideal time to get in touch with mtvSolar is when winter has settled in. That will allow solar panels to be installed early in the year, and turned on to capture the sun as production capabilities start to rise.

“There are noticeable rises in production from March to September and October,” Danny said.

Production graphs show the monthly solar output of a 9.45-kilowatt roof-mount system in Jefferson County, WV.

As he explains, if a home solar energy system produces more than a customer’s electricity demand in a month, a customer has no energy costs (other than the fixed fee from the electric utility) and can have additional kilowatt hours that roll into the next month. In mild months like September, a home system could still be “building the bank” of excess energy, since there is generally lower energy demand – less need for air conditioning a home and only occasional days that require heat.  Even with lower solar energy production of fall, the system has still put the homeowner ahead.

Solar production is at its lowest rate in the winter and energy demand goes up. It’s a predictable cycle, and one that mtvSolar’s consultants build into their custom plans for each home, farm or business.

If solar energy is on your list of priorities for the year, now is the optimal time to get in touch with us. Tell us your energy goals, and we will design a system that can meet them. Taking a few steps now will make it possible to capture the full potential of the summer sun, and put it to work for you as the seasons unfold.