In case all the squirrels hording acorns and geese flying south weren’t enough evidence, daylight savings time is now behind us, which points definitively towards the wintry season of short days.

With sunset arriving around 4:30pm in the Northeast, it’s tempting to put off thoughts of solar until next year.

Hold off!

Though we’re months past the summer solstice, there’s still plenty of reasons to love solar in the darker months.

We’re Not Norway

Just because the sun is lower in the sky and days are short doesn’t mean that there isn’t any solar energy to be captured.

In fact, even in December, the darkest month of the year, a 5kw grid-tied photovoltaic system will generate, on average, around $58 worth of electricity (assuming 368 hours of production and a utility rate of .16c per kWhr).

A solar hot water system, meanwhile, will function to pre-heat your home’s storage tank even if there’s not enough sun to heat it to toasty shower temperature. Your boiler will appreciate heating water from 80 degrees to 110 rather than from 60 degrees to 110!

To see for yourself what the sun is really doing these days, see this capture from the NAAP Labs Motions of the Sun Simulator (or play with the widget yourself)

Motions of the Sun Solar Tracker November