Solar Panels in the British Winter: Myth-Busting Efficiency Concerns

29th Nov 2023

As the UK braces itself for the winter months, many homeowners with solar panels or those considering solar energy might find themselves pondering a crucial question: “Do solar panels even work in British winter?” It’s a valid question, given our fair share of grey skies and short days. In this post, we’ll bust some common myths about solar panel efficiency during the winter and provide practical tips to maximise their effectiveness.

Myth 1: Solar Panels Don’t Work in the Cold

One of the most persistent myths is that solar panels need warm, sunny weather to function effectively. In reality, solar panels can be more efficient in cooler temperatures. Cold doesn’t hinder their ability to generate electricity; it’s the lack of sunlight that’s the key factor. And while it’s true that winter days are shorter and often cloudier, solar panels can still harness the low winter sun. They don’t need direct sunlight to produce electricity; even on cloudy days, they can generate power.

Myth 2: You Won’t Generate Enough Energy in Winter

While it’s accurate that solar panels generate less energy in the winter than in the summer, it doesn’t mean they stop producing altogether. The UK’s winter daylight hours, despite being fewer, can still provide sufficient energy for your daily needs, especially if your system is correctly sized and installed.

Maximising Solar Efficiency in Winter:

  • Keep Them Clean: Fallen leaves, snow, or debris can block sunlight. Keeping your panels clean and clear is crucial. A simple sweep can massively improve their efficiency.
  • Optimal Angle: In winter, the sun is lower in the sky. If you have adjustable panels, tilting them to capture more sunlight can be beneficial.
  • Energy Storage: Consider a solar battery. Storing excess energy generated during the day means you can use it during peak hours or when the sun isn’t shining.
  • System Check-Up: Before winter sets in, have your system checked by a professional. This ensures everything is functioning optimally and you’re set to harness what sunlight is available.

Using Winter as an Advantage:

Contrary to what many might think, winter can be an advantageous time to assess the performance of your solar panels. It can give you a clear idea of the efficiency of your system and any adjustments needed. Plus, with shorter days, you’re likely more mindful of your energy consumption, which is a good habit year-round.

So, there you have it! Solar panels are indeed a viable source of renewable energy, even during the British winter. With the right setup and maintenance, they can effectively contribute to your home’s energy needs throughout the year. Don’t let the winter blues cast a shadow over the potential of your solar panels. Embrace these tips, and you might just be pleasantly surprised at how efficient your panels can be, even when it’s chilly outside.

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Reaching out to Sheerwater Solar is straightforward and hassle-free. Whether you’re interested in solar panels for your home or business in Woking, we’re here to guide you every step of the way. You can contact us directly by calling 01932 627 555 or by sending an email to

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In most cases, we’ll need to conduct an on-site survey at your property to assess the feasibility and provide you with a tailored quote. This visit allows us to understand your specific needs and explore the potential for renewable energy solutions. Following the survey, we’ll discuss the best options for integrating solar energy into your property, including detailed costs and the installation process.

We’re excited to assist you on your journey to renewable energy and look forward to hearing from you.