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Why does solar energy production fluctuate between summer and winter?

One concern that consumers of solar energy can have is why there is such a great difference between your panels’ production in the summer vs. the winter. Is it as simple as the hotter the weather, the more energy production you’ll have?

It’s time to dispel that myth. One of the biggest factors in solar production is the amount of sunlight available, not the temperature. In the summer, days are longer, meaning more sunlight is available. In winter, the opposite is true. The difference can be stark, especially in northern parts of the U.S.

Using Columbus, Ohio, as an example, there were 15 hours and 1 minute of daylight on the 2018 summer solstice (June 21), and there will be 9 hours and 20 minutes of daylight on the 2018 winter solstice (Dec. 21). So in the heart of the Buckeye State, the longest day of the summer provides nearly 6 more hours of daylight to generate solar power compared to the shortest day of winter! The further south you go, the daylight difference between the two solstice dates isn’t as great because of Earth’s tilt, but the comparison still holds — there’s more daylight available in the U.S. in the summer months.

It’s important to note that the goal of your solar energy system is to offset your energy usage over an entire year, not any given day, week, or month. In the sunnier summer months, your system can generate more energy than you use, generating electric bill credits. In the cloudier, winter months, your system may generate less energy than you use, and you can use the credits you generated during the summer.

The inherent variables with weather are why Power Home Solar uses 25-year averages to make our energy production projections. And by looking at your prior 12 months of power bills, we can estimate the percentage that solar power and your energy efficiency package included with your install will account for your home’s overall usage.

Power Home Solar would love to be the one who you trust with your installation. Power Home currently does business in five states (Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina and Virginia) and is eyeing the potential of growing further. If you’re in our coverage area and want to learn more about solar, we’d love to hear from you. Call us today at 800-765-2715 or fill out the form below to see if your home qualifies. If it does, we’ll set up a free in-home consultation that can answer all your questions. And remember, wow your sales representative with your knowledge of the winter and summer solstices!

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