How do solar panels work in poor weather? What is net metering?

Solar panels require sunlight to generate electricity, so they do not work at night or when snow is covering the panels and work only moderate amounts in the case of cloudy or rainy weather. However, solar systems do have storage which allows homes to still have energy supply at night, during storms, or when the temperature and weather isn’t ideal.

Because solar panels can only produce power when there is sunlight, net metering and solar-plus-storage technology allow your solar panel system to access energy when solar production is dormant. This occurs through either connection to the electric grid or to a battery. Because of the grid connections and solar energy storage, solar panels are sustainable for consistent energy solution. Your solar energy system will work because of its stored energy.

The ability to store solar energy for later use is important because it helps to keep the balance between electricity generation and demand. When your solar panels produce more electricity than you need or use in a certain time frame, the energy gets stored. Simply put, a solar-plus-storage system is a battery system that is charged by a connected solar system, such as a photovoltaic one.

Net Metering

Sometimes your panels produce more electricity than you need. This is where net metering and solar-storage comes in. Net metering is an agreement between solar customers and their utility company, where the utility company agrees to buy the electricity produced by their solar system as long as the system is less than 1,000 kilowatts. When your panels produce excess electricity, this causes your meter to run backward, earning you bill credits for the excess, which roll over month to month. At night or on cloudy days, you can use those credits to redeem your power.

At SUNation Solar Systems, we design panels for your roof, your budget, and your life. For a free estimate on SUNation solar systems, contact us today!


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