Colder, cloudier winter puts damper on electric bills of homeowners with solar panels

22 cloudy days in 2018 compared to 18 for same time last year

By Patty Santos - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - A colder and cloudier than normal winter is putting a damper on the electric bills of some solar power panel homeowners.

Oscar Jones said the panels were a selling point for him when he bought his home on the North Side.

“Whenever it’s sunny, I think we should be able to pull some energy from the sun,” he said.

Lately, he said, things have been a little slow-moving on his chart.

“I’ve gotten in the habit of checking every day, so these couple of days there hasn’t been that much production,” Jones said.

The bills of some customers are like a rollercoaster showing high peaks when the sun is out and low peaks the next day when the day was cloudy through the month of January.

Chuck Gonzales with Solar Electric Texas said it’s been a different kind of winter for San Antonio.

“It’s been unusually cold for more than one day. We've had multiple freezes versus one, two in previous years. Naturally, it's going to affect it,” he said.

The KSAT Weather Authority team said about 49 percent of the days have been cloudy. There have been 22 cloudy days in 2018 compared to 18 for the same time last year.

Gonzales said even through the clouds, some light still hits the panels and energy is still being produced.

“You may save 15, 20 percent. You're still saving something versus not saving anything at all,” he said.

Gonzales reminds customers the hot sunny days of summer are just around the corner and the panels will be back to full production.

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