Should I remove snow from my solar panels?

Should I remove snow from my solar panels?

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

The short answer is: Do Nothing.

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.

Having said that, when you have snow on your solar panels, you may get a message from Enphase that says, "Microinverter Not Reporting" for every panel that's not producing power due to snow cover. Not to worry!

You get this message because microinverters use the power they produce to transmit their status to the Envoy, so a lack of power production will make the device unable to report. You can just wait for the snow to melt and the microinverters will report normally again. 

Remember that your solar installer gave you an estimate of 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.

What 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 and your rake can get stuck on the racking equipment.
  • No need to spray water or find another way to remove the snow

1 ipsun in 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 home battery system, 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 federal legislators to ask them to support solar energy by passing the extension of the ITC tax credits. Call the Capitol Switchboard to be connected: (202) 224-3121.
  • If your neighbor doesn't have solar yet, talk to them or refer them to us! We'll send you a Starbucks gift card if they give us a call for a free estimate-- a nice mocha would be good on a snowy day like this!

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