When is The Best Time to Use Solar Electricity?

Comprehending the prime moments for utilising solar energy, alongside maximising the efficiency of your solar panel setup, is crucial for those looking to decrease their power costs and minimise the environmental impact of their home.

Solar panels are most efficient when the sun hits them directly instead of at an angle as it rise and falls. That would be between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm each day.

The first step towards energy freedom is relying less on electricity imported from the grid and using clean and free solar energy.

The middle of the day, between 9 am and 3 pm, is the best time to use electricity generated from your solar panels because the sun is strongest then. This, of course, can vary depending on the orientation and tilt of your solar panels. Also, the area you live in and the time of the year is essential.

Factors that affect you solar

The “best time to use” your solar-generated electricity depends on

Roof/solar panel orientation

In Australia, north-facing solar panels usually provide the most energy output because Australia is in the southern hemisphere and experiences a sun that is mostly directed from the north.

  • North-facing panels reach their peak from 9 am to 2 pm,
  • West-facing panels reach their peak from 2 pm to 5 pm,
  • East-facing panels reach their peak from 8 am to 11 am.

The optimum range

Pitch is also important. The optimum range is 20 to 30 degrees for optimum power generation, but you could go down to 10 degrees without losing much efficiency in energy production.

A minimum of 10 degrees is recommended so the panels are self-cleaning when leaves fall and when it rains.

The electricity plan

Having a plan for when and how you use your solar power throughout the day is very important.

This is the so-called “electricity load profile”, which is essential to maximize your savings. Your solar system will be most effective if the most solar electricity usage is during the hours when your solar panels are at their peak. Energy efficiency appliances will significantly affect the work of your solar system since they will reduce the energy demand.

Best months of the year to use solar?

The area you live in is essential here. Also, your proximity to the equator determines whether your solar panels will produce more or less electricity compared to seasonal changes.

However, solar panels will produce the most energy when the days are longer and the sun is available for longer. See the infographic below to see the best months of the year in your state.

Average energy output - seasonal shifts

The table below will show you the differences in the seasonal shifts in your state.

State Energy output
(Autumn to Summer)
Energy output
(Winter to Summer)
Energy output
(Spring to Summer)

The results in the table show that the winter energy output for the WA is 0.49 which means that the average energy output in WA is 49% of the output in summer.  Or, there is 51% less power generation in winter compared to summer. 

Average daily sunshine hours in Australia

The table shows the average daily sunshine hours in various Australian cities.

January 11108988
February 1098877
March 986877
April 765777
May 654667
June 543567
July 544577
August 554688
September 765888
October 976888
November 1087988
December 1197988


Contrary to popular belief, solar panels don’t need the heat from the sun. They don’t have insulation and therefore lack protection from excess heat absorption.

This is usually detrimental to their functionality and that’s why they can work optimally during the cold season.

Indeed, solar panels work most efficiently during summer, but it’s not because of the extent of the heat during that season. It’s usually because the sun shines for longer, and brighter and hits your solar panels on the best angle for maximum absorption.

For example, if your solar PV system is in the shade most of the day, it will not generate as much solar power even on the hottest day.

Panels do not have to be pointed in just one static direction.  A homeowner can buy a device called a tracker that will pivot the panels, like a sunflower, so they always face the sun!

A tracker can raise the output of a panel by 45 per cent. But installing trackers will cost thousands of dollars, and require detailed structural engineering, and council approval. For residential houses, trackers rarely make financial sense.

Changing the orientation of an existing solar panel is possible, however when the cost of having the array shifted is considered, it usually makes more financial sense to buy additional panels or battery storage.

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