So you want to go solar but you may be wondering, what time of year is the best time of year to make the switch? Should you wait until the Fall or should you go solar in the Spring or Summer? Let’s take a closer look at the benefits each season has for going solar.
By getting your solar panels installed in the Springtime or early Summer months (when the days are longer and solar potential is at its greatest), you can build up on the solar credits you obtain through net metering. Net metering is a billing mechanism available to residential and commercial solar customers.
When you go solar, you’ll have a meter built into your system that tracks your energy usage. The net meter captures the energy you consume and the energy you send back to the grid when your solar energy system produces more power than you use, like during the day when you’re at work. At the end of the month when you get your utility bill, the utility company will bill you based on the net power used; this is the power you pull from the grid subtracted by the power you sent to the grid when your system overproduced. You’ll notice that the meter runs backward which is the sign that you are generating credits to hedge against the power you use from the grid when it’s cloudy or at nighttime.
When you get solar installed in the Spring or early Summer, your system will capture and produce more energy than you use which means you would sell a bigger chunk of that electricity back to the utility and build credit. This bank of credits gets used later on during the cooler months with less sunlight thereby reducing the cost of your electric bill with the credits you built over the sunnier months.
Net metering saves customers hundreds of dollars on their electricity bills every year.
Having your solar installed in the Spring and Summer months also gives you plenty of time to ensure you take advantage of the solar investment tax credits available to you from the federal government as well as from the state. In New Mexico, the solar market development tax credit is available on a first-come, first-served basis with an annual allotment of $12 million. The sooner you get installed, the greater the likelihood of tax credits still being available to you.
Fall is another great time to have your solar installed. Solar panels are very efficient in cooler weather, as they can lose efficiency in extreme heat. That means that your solar panels will have more efficiency in the Fall which again allows you to build on the credits you get from net metering and use those credits in the winter. It is also still a great time to take advantage of those solar tax credits available to you. To qualify for the solar tax credits, your system must be installed and operable before the end of the year that you are filing your taxes for. Installing in the late summer or early Fall gives you an ample amount of time to get your installation completed and running.
Since the warmer months are the most popular time of year for many New Mexicans to go solar, it can also be the busiest time of year. Switching to solar energy in the winter can result in faster installation times. It can also be a great time to get installed and connected before the times when you tend to use the most electricity as temperatures spike in the Spring and Summer months. If you’re installing toward the end of December, you’ll be making the switch just as we begin seeing more daylight hours. The more daylight, the more solar energy production. Think solar panels don’t work well in the winter cold? Not to worry, just like in the Fall months solar panels become more efficient energy producers in moderate to cooler temperatures.
As you can see, there’s never a bad time to go solar. Each time of year has its own advantages for making the switch. However, it’s always important to factor lead times into the equation. It can take an average of 60-90 days from signed agreements to permission to operate, so it's important to remember this when making a decision.
If you’re considering going solar now, or any time of the year, contact us and request a proposal from Positive Energy Solar today!