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Fall Weather & Solar Power: How Leaves Affect Renewable Power

Fall weather: leaves of all colors, cool wind, and too much pumpkin spice in the air.

Yep, I know. It's that time of year again.

Well, as many of us in the Northeast know, those red, orange, yellow, and brown leaves tend to litter much of the ground and rooftops throughout September and October. They're beautiful, but they may also have an unintended consequence.

Rooftop solar panels are one of the easiest ways for a homeowner to reduce their carbon footprint without doing any home repairs. They just sit up there, and you reap the rewards!

However, blockages from sun exposure, such as overhanging trees, debris from the surrounding environment like leaves and twigs, and even their position on the home, can affect the power output.

And as EnergySage reports, it may be best to cut some trees down near your home in order to maximize your solar power return.

"Ironically, maximizing those solar benefits may involve cutting down a tree or two... Branches and leaves can block sunlight from hitting your roof, which means your solar panels aren’t maximizing their electricity production potential." - EnergySage, 2019

And as for debris like leaves, acorns, and twigs, you should regularly clear them from your roof to avoid reduced power draw. But there are plenty of sustainable options for your removed tree and your lawn scraps, such as composting, so you don't have to feel too bad about taking your tree(s) down!

See the full EnergySage article here:

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