Why Fall Is the Best Time to Install Solar Panels
It’s the middle of the summer and the temperatures are flirting with 100 degrees Fahrenheit. In an attempt to combat such intense heat, your air conditioning unit has been running nonstop. Through your HVAC’s dutiful efforts your interior feels nice and cool, but you rip open your utility bill only to see that the cost is more than double what you were paying just months before. Ouch.
Neighbors all around you have installed solar panels on their roofs, so you call up local solar companies and begin to gather quotes. You know that the high upfront cost is worth the energy savings, but you’re disappointed to learn that you’ll have to wait at least six weeks for your rooftop solar to be installed, if not more.
Luckily, there is a solution to this problem. Like you, many homeowners don’t know that fall is actually the best time to install solar panels. From significantly shorter wait times to a more personalized installation experience, installing solar in the fall truly has it all.
Top 5 Reasons Why Fall Is the Best Time to Install Solar Power
The sun may not be at its peak, but fall is the best time of year to complete your home improvement projects and install solar panels. Not only will your solar installation process go more smoothly in the fall, but you’re actually more likely to get a better deal on your panels. Here’s why.
Shorter Installation Wait Times
In peak seasons, some solar shoppers have to wait as long as three to six months to get their solar panels up and running. This is due to overbooked solar contractors and long backlogs in the offices that handle permitting and inspections.
So if you wait to start your solar research in the summer, there’s a good chance your panels won’t be inspected (and therefore won’t be turned on) until the summer months are over.
Fall, on the other hand, is most often one of the slower seasons for panel installation, so homeowners will experience shorter wait times, quick permitting and more personalized attention from solar providers.
Ideal Weather for Solar Panel Installations
Summer may offer the best season for harnessing solar energy, but it’s not always the most optimal time to install solar panels.
During the peak of the summer season, especially in areas where solar is popular, asphalt roofs can reach scorching temperatures of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. If roofs reach this dangerous degree, it may put your renewable energy project on hold.
It can also be wet and rainy in both the spring and summer, which is not ideal for solar panel installation. Alternatively, the fall is the best time of year to install solar panels because the weather is mild and in many places, it’s dry.
Better Deals from Solar Panel Companies
Summer is notoriously the most expensive season to buy solar panels because it’s top of everyone’s mind. However, homeowners can get a much better deal if they install panels in the “off-season.”
During the fall, winter and spring months, many solar energy installers look for ways to combat seasonality, so they are far more likely to offer discounts and rebates, which can save you thousands on your solar panel cost.
Lock In Solar Incentives Before Year End
Fall is the usually the last season of the year to install solar panels, which means it’s the last opportunity to lock in any local incentive programs that may be expiring. Although the Inflation Reduction Act extended the federal investment tax credit (ITC) through 2035, your state or even local city may offer expiring incentives. Many programs change for the new year, so you’ll want to lock in rates before they increase.
If you install your panels in the fall, you also guarantee enough time for your solar project to be completed before the year is up. This ensures that you’ll have sufficient time to claim any solar tax credits or incentives for your tax season.
More Time for Decision Making
In the heat of summer, you might feel pressed to make a quick decision about your solar panel installation. High energy bills combined with expiring quotes can lead to rash decisions. But remember, even if you sign a contract in mid-summer, it’s unlikely your system will be operational until early fall.
By waiting until fall, you can take your time to compare quotes and research different solar panel companies. This extra time allows you to develop better relationships with your solar providers, get the best price for a solar system and make sure you install the right system for your home.
If Fall Is Better, Why Are So Many Solar Systems Installed in the Summer?
Now that you’ve learned the many benefits of shopping for solar in the fall, you’re probably wondering why so many homeowners install their solar systems in the heat of the summer. There are a few reasons for this phenomenon: high summer energy bills and increased solar marketing efforts.
Let’s start by exploring the former. With your air conditioning system running at full blast all summer long, your utility bills will skyrocket and you’ll start to wonder what you can do about these high energy costs. One solution? Install a home solar system. Before you know it, you find yourself researching clean energy solutions for your home and calling local companies.
The second key reason why more people install solar panel systems in the summer is that solar companies know homeowners are looking for energy savings. Since more people are interested in solar, solar providers double their efforts to market their products.
You might see more online advertisements for solar energy systems, receive flyers in the mail or even get stopped by a traveling salesperson as you walk your dog. There’s more demand for solar energy savings, and solar providers meet this need head-on by offering their company as a solution.
With this knowledge in hand, start your solar shopping this fall. Shopping in the fall allows you a better deal, a smoother installation and more confidence in one of the more important investments you can make for your home.