Best Direction for Solar Panels to Face

Best Direction for Solar Panels to Face

There was only one direction that solar panels could be pointed in the past. It was the direction of the sun. The south-facing solar panel can capture more sunlight and produce more solar energy because the sun is directly above the equator.

Each house is unique and has its own orientation to sunlight. Every solar installation will present unique opportunities and challenges. It is important to place solar panels so that they not only capture the maximum amount of sunlight but also that it strategically saves homeowners money on their electricity bills.

South-facing panels offer another benefit for homeowners who have access to Net Metering. This allows homeowners to be reimbursed for the power they send back into the electric grid. When there is lots of sunlight, the south-facing orientation of solar panels collects the greatest amount. Because everyone is off work or school, the home’s energy consumption is usually lower during this time. This means that there is plenty of solar-generated energy left to return to the utility.

However, not all homes are in the southern direction. And even if they were, there are many variables that could affect which direction your solar panels face.

Your SunPower dealer will first inspect your home to identify any obstacles, such as trees, chimneys, or higher buildings, that might block sunlight from reaching your panel. Although a home with poor orientation or other sun-blocking obstructions can still produce enough solar power, it will require more panels than a roof that is perfectly aligned and has no obstructions.

Solar panel dealers are also up-to-date on local regulations and rules that could have a significant impact on the direction of solar panels. These regulations can affect homeowners’ ability, among other things, to use net metering. California, for example, added a new wrinkle to its net-metering plan in 2017. It is called the “time of usage” (TOU), and this change directly impacts solar panel placement.

Prior to the TOU rate, homeowners were reimbursed at the same rate for power sent back into the grid. This was regardless of whether the power was generated at 10 a.m., or 4 p.m. To meet their greatest demand, utilities turn to TOU rates.

This post was written by Daniel Massaad, owner and expert solar technician at! ESD is one of the top solar panel companies in Florida! Our licensed and certified contractors are masters of their craft; with years of experience servicing the great Tampa Bay area and beyond, the choice is simple. ESD excels at offering you the best in solar value!