When is the best time of year for a solar installation? - Maine Solar Solutions

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There is no wrong time to go solar, but is there a best time?

If you’ve ever had to make upgrades to your home, you know some home improvement projects are best completed during certain times of the year. For many, summer is the time to start home renovations and remodels. However, when upgrading your home’s energy to solar power, there are many benefits to installing solar just as the snow begins to melt.

Spring is the Best Season to Go Solar

When it comes to maximizing a solar investment, it might surprise you to know that spring is one of the best times of the year for an installation. Maine winter’s days are short and dark, so it’s natural for people to wait to think about going solar until the sun starts to shine. But you certainly don’t have to wait for the sunny weather to enjoy the benefits that solar energy offers. Having a solar energy system installed on your home during the spring is actually more financially beneficial from the start than waiting till summer to start the process.

If you’ve been considering going solar, read on to learn why now is the best time to get started.

Reason #1. Spring is the beginning of Peak Power Production

Crisp sunny days, the sun moving higher into the sky, and more significant hours of sunlight combine as early as March to kickstart the most productive months of the year.  These all add up to your solar panels getting a head start in producing energy for your home. Summer is also the time of year when electric bills can spike, air conditioning use has been increasing to cope with hotter summers (especially with many of us still working from home). Installing solar this spring could mean eliminating your electricity bill this summer and banking kWh credits for the winter months ahead.

The reality is if you wait until you get your first summertime bill to get started with an assessment, you’re already too late to capture the peak production of the spring and summer of that year.

kWh production for portland maine
kWh production for a Portland, ME install. This location has a south-facing roof and 35-degree pitch.

#2 Shorter Solar Installation Wait Times 

As more and more homes switch to solar, installation companies like ourselves are getting busier. Here at Maine Solar Solutions, we’re in the highest demand in the summertime and fall. Why? 

For starters, once those long days of sunlight are upon us, people remember that solar works in Maine.  Secondly, as the year draws to a close, our installation calendar fills with folks hoping to lock in the 26% tax credit by the end of that year.

In the winter months, when there is lower demand for free solar site assessments in your neighborhood, we can get to your house quicker, which means we can get you on our installation calendar faster. Whereas during the summer, you might find yourself at the end of a long line of homeowners waiting for free solar assessments, which could push your install into late fall or even winter (read on to learn why this matters).  In fact, by the end of December, our solar installation schedule is already booked into late February! Getting started early is the best way to be sure that you are ready for the summer sun. 

Reason #3. Bank Your Excess Energy Credits for Winter

Maine home and business owners also have the opportunity to earn energy credits from their electric company for any excess solar energy to help them offset their winter bills thanks to net metering. 

Net metering (NEM) is a solar incentive in Maine that allows you to send excess solar energy back out to the grid, where you can build up a kWh credit to offset or even eliminate your wintertime bills. Simply put, net metering is a billing agreement between customers like you and your utility company (like Central Maine Power). It enables you to receive credits on your electricity bill when your solar panels produce excess electricity and send that electricity to the power grid.

With the right size solar electric system, you will produce enough electricity to match your home’s electricity usage for the entire year. 

However, the amount of electricity your solar panels produce can vary throughout the year. Most Maine solar customers generate more solar power during the sunnier spring and summer months than they consume (even with all those air conditioners running). When your solar panels don’t get enough solar power to meet your electricity needs (like during the winter or at night), you use the net metering credits you’ve accumulated in the spring and summer to help offset your utility bills. These credits are built up and “cashed in” daily, but the credits are accrued and credited on a rolling 12-month period, allowing greater summertime electricity production to offset greater wintertime use. So not only are you creating your own electricity with your solar energy system, but you are also saving money on electricity you draw from your utility. A great deal! 

If you want to be ready for your first winter with solar, it’s important to have your system operational in the spring so that you capture the long days of summer and have credits to draw from when the shorter winter days arrive.

Reason #4: Rising Electricity Bills

It is no secret that electric bills are on the rise. Utility companies will continue to raise prices, and homeowners will have no way to get around expensive electricity bills. According to the Energy Information Administration, residential electricity rates have increased nationally by around 15% in the last ten years. Even if your electricity usage doesn’t increase, your bills will still end up being more expensive. Going solar is a great way to combat rising energy bills because your panels produce energy independent of electricity prices.‍

Solar technology has advanced remarkably over the years, and as more people have seen the benefits of installing solar electric panels on their homes, prices continue to drop. Due to the lower solar costs, most residential solar systems pay for themselves within 7-12 years. Solar manufacturers offer a 25-year power production warranty, so you can be confident that your system will produce electricity at a certain capacity for the warranty’s duration and fix your electricity cost for your system’s lifetime.

Going solar is easier than you think.

Regardless of the time of year, going solar sooner is always better.
However, if you want to make the most of the season, the best time to go solar is in the spring before summer begins. Not only will you get the benefits of your solar panels sooner, but you’ll also get it done quickly before the demand increases. 

Request your free quote from one of Maine Solar Solutions’ non-commissioned Solar Consultants to get started. We’ll assess your roof’s solar potential, learn more about your energy goals, and provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision about solar. 

With all of the benefits of going solar such as the 26% tax credit, avoidance of rising electricity costs, and financing options with interest rates as low as 1.49%, why wait? Schedule your free solar site assessment today

Interested in learning more about our process and what it takes to go solar in Maine? Contact us or call (207) 464-8084 today.

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(207) 464-8073

491 US Route 1 Suite 20
Freeport, Maine 04032

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