Does Solar Power Work During A California Winter?

Does Solar Power Work During A California Winter?

Yes, solar energy panels will still work during the wintertime.


How Does It Work?

The solar panels convert light (photons) to electricity (voltage) through the photovoltaic effect. The same way you can still get a sunburn on a cloudy day, the light waves still work to power the solar cells inside the paneling.


The only change between seasons is the hours per day of sunlight. In SLO County, there will be a 5-hour difference in daylight hours between the summer months and the winter months. Even with the 30% decrease in daytime hours, there will still be 10 to 14 hours of sunshine to power the solar cells.


Solar Is An Investment

You live in your home all 12 months, so you should think about your electric bill on a 12-month cycle. A solar energy system produces electricity during the daylight hours. The addition of solar power to the local electric grid means you will generate electricity for the entire system. This means electric power stations can produce less energy.


Adding electricity to the entire grid means there’s a credit to your energy bill. This is called net energy metering (NEM) since it is measuring the total energy input and output of your home or business. Over the long term, NEM calculates your energy savings over the entire year.


Electric Companies Don’t Care What Time Of Year It Is

Electricity providers will still raise their electric rates despite the drop in temperature. Even if you use less electricity in the winter, the electric company could still increase the cost of electricity. Don’t let electricity price increases cost you. You can start saving money now by installing solar panels in your home or in your business.


By the time the summer comes around, you will ready to lower your energy bill even more.


Take Advantage of The Federal Tax Credit

The 2008 government bailout had a provision in it trying to increase long-term investment in solar energy by homeowners and businessowners. There is an investment tax credit offered by the IRS to reduce the cost of installing solar paneling in your home or business. The tax credit is 30% of the total system’s cost. But this deadline ends December 31, 2016 to apply for the credit this tax year. The credit runs through 2019 at 30%, then in 2020 it drops to 26%, then in 2021 to 22%. So get your free solar proposal started today if you want to make it in time to get the tax credit this year.


According to Go Solar California, this is a one-time credit that may be carried forward for both residential and commercial income taxes, depending on the property’s purpose.


Depreciation Credit For Business

Residential and commercial property owners can both benefit for this solar tax credit, but  business owners might be eligible for a MACRS 5-year Accelerated Depreciation. Instead of depreciating your solar energy equipment over a long period of time, you can receive a larger tax deduction. This is intended to increase the incentive to invest in this renewable resource.


The IRS does require that the property with the solar panels must be involved “in business or in an income-producing activity” to be eligible for the depreciation credit. Consult a tax professional to take full tax advantage of the end of year deadline.


Speak With Our Solar Specialists

AM Sun Solar is the highest rated solar company on the Central Coast. We can size your solar energy system with you in mind. We can compare different equipment options to fit the needs of your business or home. We offer a free energy rate analysis. It only takes 10 minutes.


Give us a call, or fill out our form and let’s get started.


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