Solar panel systems generate power all year round, but they’re more efficient at some times than at others. Here in Southern California, the weather is still warm and the sun is still shining, but the days are getting shorter and shorter.

Time to Fall Back

We set the clocks back on November 1, and less daylight means that solar customers will notice a decrease in energy production from their solar panel systems. But rest assured, this is perfectly normal.

Solar panel systems are most productive between April and August, when the days are longest. In fact, solar panels generate roughly two-thirds of their total annual KwH output during these months.

From September to March, the days are shorter and the sun is at a less favorable elevation in the sky. As a result, solar panel system production drops during these months. It’s also common for solar customers to receive some smaller electric statements from their utility company.

What to Expect from Net Metering

Most solar energy customers have net energy metering agreements stipulating that their electric bill is due just once a year. In most cases, when it comes time to square up accounts, customers with solar panel systems will see that the credits generated during high-production and low-use months will offset any statements from the utility company during lower-production months.

It’s Still a Good Time for Solar Panel Installation

Even though solar panel systems aren’t producing as much energy right now, you can still benefit from starting your solar project now. For one thing, you’ll be eligible for the solar investment tax credit. If your solar panel system is installed before the end of the year, you can claim a Solar Investment Tax Credit of 30 percent of the amount paid for the solar panel equipment on your 2015 federal tax return. And by getting your system up and running now, you’ll be ready to produce plenty of energy once April rolls around.

If you have any questions about how solar panel systems work when the days get shorter, please contact us.

And remember, at RC Energy Solutions, we’re more than just a solar company. We can help stay warm and cozy in your home once El Niño finally hits–you could benefit from new windows or additional insulation. Our goal is to make you comfortable all year round, no matter what the weather is like outside. We offer free, no-hassle consultations for a wide variety of energy-efficient home improvements.

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