Solar In The Dark
Another week, another addition to our Winter Solar Series! This is part 3 of our solar series and we will be diving into how shorter winter days and fewer sunlight hours affect your solar production. But first, if you haven’t done so already, be sure to check out last week’s blog post about solar versus snow here.
In The Dark
As explained in part 1 of our solar series, solar panels don’t convert heat into energy, but rather the electromagnetic radiation. In the dead of winter, however, Ontario’s peak sunlight hours dramatically decrease. With this in mind, how are solar panels still worth having in the winter time?
There are a couple of reasons for this: First, although there may be fewer sunlight hours, it does not mean your solar panels are not producing energy at all. Your solar panels are still producing energy, just at a lower rate. Second, with the help of Net Metering, you are still benefiting from having rooftop solar even in the winter time.
Net Metering is a government incentive that allows homeowners with solar to benefit from solar energy all year round. Surplus energy that a solar system produces during higher production seasons, such as summer, gets sent back to the grid in exchange for Grid Credits. These Grid Credits can then be exchanged during lower production seasons, such as winter, so the homeowner is still paying less for their Hydro bill during the winter even though their solar system isn’t generating as much electricity as in the summer.
The best part of Net Metering is that the homeowner does not need to worry about it. A bi-directional meter is installed into the home and it will keep track of how much energy a solar system is producing. The amount is then automatically reflected on the home owner’s monthly Hydro bill.
When it comes to solar in the dark, even the lack of sunlight can’t beat the benefits of having solar! With the help of Net Metering, homeowners can still save on their Hydro bill even during the darkest of days. Stay tuned next week for the final part of our Winter Solar Series!
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