Does Solar Energy Work The Winter Months?

In The Old Days

People used to think of solar energy as impossible in rainy Western Washington and Oregon. But thanks to a clever legal policy called “net metering,” Oregon and Washington are one of the best locations in the country for considering solar power.

So What Changed?

About a decade ago, lawmakers came together and created a legal policy that requires all electric utilities to pay you for any solar power that you produce at your property. This payment to you must be no less than what they charge you.


This Policy Is Called “NET Metering” And It Changed Everything.

Because of the “net metering” policy, electric utilities must keep a “running tab” on how much solar energy you generate and then remove that charge from your bills. Any extra electrical credits that you save up must be carried forward to the next month’s bill for a full year.

This means that you can bank up credits for solar power that you create in the summer, then use it in the winter when the sun isn’t shining so much.

This made Washington and Oregon perfect for solar because solar panels work better when it is cool outside –or when it is cold.


Total Annual Energy Is What Matters

Our cooler summers in Washington, coupled with long days north of the 45th parallel, make summer energy production extremely high in the state. As a result, solar energy investments can do very well here.

In fact, the solar energy potential of western Washington and Oregon is better than anywhere in Germany. And Germany is beating the US at solar energy production!

In addition, solar panels do produce a little bit of power when it is cloudy.  And even small breaks in the clouds can significantly increase solar production.

Now that you know solar is possible in Washington and Oregon, next is to determine whether it makes finical sense. Because each property and our customers’ situations are unique, we recommend consulting with one of our solar professionals, for free!