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Should I remove the snow from my solar panels?

We receive a lot of questions about what to do when it snows.

The short answer is: Do Nothing.

Your solar installer gave you an estimate kWh of energy production for your solar energy system based on several assumptions: shading, orientation, tilt etc. The energy production estimate should also include days without power production due to snow. Just like your solar energy system doesn’t work during the night, it doesn’t work with snow covering the panels. The snow will melt and come off and then your panels will produce clean power again; snow is not damaging like hail. Most solar systems are built with a steep enough tilt to let the snow come off.

Cute home with solar panels in the snowWhat not to do:

  • Don’t climb on your roof covered in snow as it’s quite slippery. Yes, we want to have more clean power to save carbon emissions and save the planet, but hurting yourself for a few kWh is not worth it. Your system will produce power every day for the rest of the year for many years to come, that should be good enough.
  • No need to rake your panels as you can scratch your panels, your rake can get stuck on the mid clamps etc
  • No need to spray water or find another way to remove the snow

What to do:

  • Make a hot cup of tea, coffee, cocoa and enjoy your solar energy panels that work all year long and get a little break for a few days
  • If you have a Tesla Powerwall, relax and let it power the essential parts of your home
  • Check your solar energy monitoring system once a year (or more often) to make sure everything is working well
  • Instead of going outside to rake or climb on your roof, risking damaging yourself or the solar energy system, use that time to reach out to your local representative and talk about your solar panels. Find the contact info of your legislator at the non partisan non profit site Open States
  • Admire other solar systems online and provide feedback. Check our “Who said solar doesn’t look good” posts here
  • If you don’t have solar yet or if your neighbor doesn’t have solar yet, talk to them or read our Guide to go solar
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