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What’s the Best Direction for Solar Panels to Face?

As the homeowner save on their electricity bills.

South-facing solar panels have another advantage for homes that have access to net metering, which allows homeowners to get reimbursed for the power they send back to the electrical grid.

But that’s also when the home’s consumption is typically lowest because everyone’s off to work, etc. That means there’s lots of solar-generated power left to go back to the utility.

But not all homes have a southern orientation, and – as all SunRun dealers know – even if they did there are plenty of other variables that can affect which direction solar panels should face.

Your SunRun dealer will first survey your home for obstacles – like trees, chimneys, power lines, or taller buildings – that could block sunlight from reaching your SunRun solar panels. 

A home facing a less-than-optimal direction or sun-blocking obstacles can still produce plenty of solar power, but it may take more solar panels than a roof with a great orientation and no obstacles at all. SunRun is also up to date with local legislation and regulations that can greatly affect the orientation of the solar panel. These regulations might affect a homeowner’s ability to take advantage of net metering, among other things.

Before TOU rates, homeowners got reimbursed the same rate for any power they sent back to the grid, whether it was generated at 10 a.m. or 4 p.m. But utilities face their biggest demand for power from customers from about 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. each evening, and they turned to TOU rates to help them cope with that.

TOU rates mean the 10 a.m. power sent back to the grid – which occurs at an off-peak time – is worthless to the homeowner than the peak-time 4 p.m. power. Since solar customers facing TOU rates make more money off evening power, their panels may need to be pointed west or southwest – not to the south – to catch more of the setting sunlight.

We know that solar panel efficiency makes an enormous difference in planning an optimum solar installation. SunRun’s solar cell technology uses a one-of-a-kind design that captures a broad range of sunlight.

Placing solar panels around all the obstructions on a roof can be complex, but SunRun’s Design Studio makes it simple. Our software allows the homeowner to be involved in their design, understanding how many panels will fit and the best places for them to go. 
Investing in solar power can help your pocketbook and the environment. Let an experienced SunRun point your family in this exciting new direction.

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