There is not much more beautiful than a fresh coating of snow! Vermonters are used to clearing these fun flakes from their cars, walkways, and driveways… so what about my solar panels?
Should I be clearing the snow off my panels during the winter in Vermont?
In short, no.
There are a few core reasons why it is likely a bad idea to scrape the snow and ice off your solar panels.
First, solar panels are dark. Similarly to hot pavement on a summer day, the panels attract and absorb more light than brighter colors. They will eventually gather enough sunlight to melt the snow which will then slide off the panel.
Second, your system is designed with Winter in Mind! It is hard to be a solar panel in Vermont during winter! Between shorter daylight hours, regular cloudy days, and of course snow, your panels will not be producing as much electricity as the summer.
While this may sound bad, in reality we have designed your system with this in mind. With Net Metering, you accrue credits when the panels are producing more electricity than is being used, and draw on these credits when the sun is not shining or the draw is greater than production.
Finally, getting onto your roof while it is covered in snow is at best, a bad idea and at worst a trip to the doctor! The last thing we would want is for a customer to climb onto their roof with the intention of cleaning their panels and end up taking a spill. Further, a shovel, roof rake, or even broom can cause accidental damage to your panels.
Overall, climbing onto your roof to remove snow from your solar panels just is not worth the risk to yourself and the panels, particularly because your array was designed for winters in Vermont.
Stay warm out there! If you already have solar, look into heat pumps for a low/no emission way of making your home more comfortable!