It might come as a surprise, but fall and winter are a great time to install solar panels. Despite fall and winter not being as warm and sunny as spring and summer, this time of year is one of the best times to install solar.
Not only are there financial benefits to installing solar panels in fall and winter, there are several other significant benefits to installing solar in the colder months.
Why should you install solar panels in the fall and winter? Let’s find out! Here are the top 5 reasons to install solar in the fall and winter.
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INSTALL IN TIME FOR PEAK SOLAR SEASON
Most people think spring and summer are the best time to install solar panels. However, by the time you install your solar panels in spring or summer, you have missed out on A LOT of potential energy production. All those weeks and months securing financing, finalizing permits and inspections, and finally installing are all lost sun and lost energy production.
A wiser idea is to install solar panels in fall and winter in preparation for spring and summer. By installing solar panels during the cold and dark months, your solar system will be ready to soak up all the amazing spring and summer sun. As a result, your solar panels will begin saving you money quicker and jumpstart your solar payback.
And don’t worry. Your solar panels won’t be sitting idle during the fall and winter. Even during the cold and dark months, solar panels still produce energy! While this energy production will be lower, it can still make a significant impact on your winter energy bills. This impact will only increase as the days get longer and sunnier and your solar panels take full advantage of the bright and sunny weather.
SOLAR INSTALLERS ARE LESS BUSY
Another huge advantage of installing solar panels in fall and winter is the installer’s lighter schedule and workload. Spring and summer are the busy seasons for solar installers. The nicer weather makes installation much easier, and it’s the time of year when lots of homeowners are taking on home improvement projects, such as installing solar panels.
However, this busy spring and summer workload can mean longer timelines and more delays for your solar installation. Solar installers’ schedules fill up very quickly during this time of year. That means your solar install might be scheduled months later than you hoped, and potential delays could push that back even further.
That’s why installing in fall and winter is a wise idea. During the colder months, solar installers’ workloads are normally much lighter. That means greater flexibility for solar installers to fit you into their schedule and to resolve any issues in a timely manner. This adds up to a quicker solar install and a system that is ready to start pumping out energy come spring and summer.
Want to see what solar would look like on your roof? Contact us today for your free solar analysis. It includes your estimated savings with solar, as well as a 3D model of solar panels on your roof.
PERMITTING AND INSPECTIONS ARE QUICKER
Fall and winter are also slow seasons for many permitting and inspection departments. As building projects slow down during the cold months, many towns and cities issue fewer and fewer building permits. The same is true of inspections by town and utility officials, which slow down considerably as construction projects slow.
This lighter workload for city clerks and inspectors can be great if you are installing solar panels. Permitting and inspections can be one of the most time consuming aspects of a solar install. Some town and city permitting departments can take weeks to respond to permit requests. And scheduling an inspection can be cumbersome as well.
But if you install solar during fall and winter, these permitting and inspection headaches are much smoother. Instead of permits taking weeks or months to be approved or denied, and inspections being scheduled several weeks out, these times are cut down significantly. Just one less hurdle on your way to your solar install and solar savings.
Want to know how much you could save with solar? Try our Solar Calculator. It takes just 30 seconds and provides an estimate of your solar savings.
SOLAR TAX CREDIT ADVANTAGE
Installing solar panels in fall and winter can also have tax advantages and allow homeowners to capture valuable solar incentives for that tax year.
By installing solar panels at the end of the year, you can take advantage of the 30% solar tax credit offered by the federal government for that tax year. The solar tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction in your federal tax liability and includes the entire cost of your solar install with no maximum limit.
The solar tax credit is HUGE savings for those who install solar and a great way to kickstart your solar savings. And as long as your solar install is up and running by Dec. 31, you can claim the solar tax credit for that tax year. And don’t worry if you don’t have a federal tax liability for that year. The solar tax credit can be carried over for up to 5 years.
Also, the solar tax credit can be stacked on top of numerous other solar incentives. These solar incentives can be combined to save you thousands of dollars on your solar installation and save you even more alongside your energy savings. See which Oregon solar incentives you qualify for.
To learn more about the solar tax credit and see if you qualify, read our Solar Tax Credit Guide.
BUSINESS EXPENSE, DEPRECIATION TAX ADVANTAGES
The tax advantages of installing solar in fall and winter also extend to businesses. Not only can businesses take advantage of the 30% solar tax credit, they also have access to special solar incentives and tax benefits.
One major tax accounting strategy businesses can utilize with solar is end-of-year expense timing. If a businesses is sitting on a large profit for the year, that income is going to be taxable come Jan. 1. That’s why many businesses will make large purchases in fall and winter to utilize unspent funds for investment back into the business and avoid taxes on that income.
Installing solar panels are a great way to utilize these funds while also investing in huge long-term savings. By shifting end-of-year profits, businesses can avoid taxes on their income, invest that money in improving their bottom line and look forward to fantastic savings on their energy bills.
And the tax benefits don’t end there. Businesses can also depreciate the cost of their solar panels through the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS). As a large purchase that will be used overtime, a solar system’s cost can be deducted from taxable income via a so-called 5 year ‘depreciation’ (rather than 100% immediately as a direct ‘expense’). While 30% of the cost is recovered directly as a credit against tax liability for the year of installation (via the federal solar tax credit), 85% of the full system cost can also be deducted from taxable income over time via ‘depreciation. Depending on the tax bracket, roughly 12-25% of original system price may be recouped this way.
Combined, these tax benefits make a strong case why businesses should install solar panels in fall or winter. By adjusting the timing of their solar installation and related expenses, businesses can benefit from large tax deductions and other incentives while also investing in huge long-term energy savings. And because they are installing solar panels during the off season, businesses’ solar panels can be installed quicker, with fewer delays, and operating just in time for peak solar season.
Want to know if solar is right for your business? Contact Green Ridge Solar today and speak with our solar experts. We track down every commercial solar incentive you qualify for and provide top-notch service throughout the entire solar process.
You can also use our Solar Calculator to estimate your solar savings.
FALL AND WINTER ARE GREAT TIMES TO INSTALL SOLAR
While spring and summer are popular times to install solar panels, fall and winter might be better seasons for solar panel installation.
By installing solar panels in fall and winter, you can avoid the busy solar season when solar installers’ schedules are packed and permitting and inspections can take weeks or months to set up. This means your solar panels can be installed quicker and just in time for spring and summer, when solar panels produce the most energy.
The benefits of the solar tax credit and other solar incentives are also quite attractive for fall and winter solar installs. By installing solar panel later in the year, homeowners can take advantage of the federal solar tax credit that year and have it carry over to next year if their tax liability isn’t sufficient. And the solar tax credit can be stacked on top of numerous other solar incentives, which greatly reduce the cost of going solar.
And for businesses, fall and winter solar installation is ideal. On top of the benefits mentioned above, businesses who install solar panels in fall and winter can also benefit from end-of-year expenses that can be deducted from their annual taxes. Plus, businesses can also depreciate the cost of their solar panel installation, further decreasing their tax liability while also investing in the long-term savings and budget stability of their business.
To find out if installing solar is right for you, contact Green Ridge Solar today. Our solar experts can provide a free solar analysis outlining the expected costs and savings from your solar panels. We also provide a 3D model of solar panels on your home and answer all your questions about going solar.