Mar 3, 2023

Smart Home

Green Energy in Alberta Winters

Do green energy home improvements work in the winter? Here's what you need to know about solar and EV in Alberta.

Winter blues got you down? Let 300 days of Alberta sunshine lift you up! We might not have leaves on the trees or living grass all year round, but you can still go green with solar panels or a new electric vehicle. Don’t let those frigid temperatures hold you back — green tech is Alberta winter ready!  

Here are the top considerations and benefits Rümi experts want you to know about how your greener choices can stand up to the elements in Alberta:

Let’s start with solar panels

Frigid temperatures, snow and ice buildup

In areas with freezing cold temperatures and heavy snowfall (sound familiar?) solar install experts know how to prevent harmful buildup. This can be done by tilting the panels at a steeper angle, or by installing a heating element to melt snow and ice. The slope of the panels and the natural heat they generate, as well as wind action, removes much of the snow naturally. You don’t need to worry about clearing them off yourself. Our Rümi experts will assess your property and insure the panels are installed appropriately.

Fun fact: cold temperatures actually increase the efficiency of your solar panels! Because solar panels need light, not heat, the efficiency is significantly higher at -25 degrees Celsius than at +45 degrees Celsius.

You don’t need to worry about the elements damaging the panels either. The PV (photovoltaic) materials installed by Rümi are built to withstand all types of severe Canadian weather. Even golf ball-sized hail flying at 100kph! So your solar panels will be happy with a good ol’ dump of snow or a deep freeze, even if you’re not.

Let the sunshine in

Canadian climates often have shorter daylight hours, especially in the winter, which can limit the amount of solar energy that can be generated. Fortunately, we live in one of the sunniest regions in Canada, so even short days can produce lots of energy. Plus, the amount of daylight we get in the winter months will be offset by the solar energy production in the summer months. If you find that you’re still not getting enough, you can also add a few extra panels.


Regular cleaning and maintenance of solar panels is important to ensure they continue to function properly, especially in cold climates where snow and ice can accumulate. That’s when you give your local Rümi experts a call and schedule a tune-up — they’ll be happy to help you make the most of your solar panels all year round. With proper installation and care, your system should far outlast the warranty.

Cost and environmental benefits

Solar panels can help reduce electricity costs by generating power during peak usage times. Think wintertime when we're blasting heat, or summer when you have the A/C pumpin’. ​​Everyone’s system and energy habits are unique and so their solar energy savings will be too, but the average home in Alberta uses about 6,900 Watts per year. That means average homeowners can reach net-zero with just 22 solar modules!    

Additionally, upfront costs might not be as significant as you’d think. The Government of Alberta offers various incentives for residents and businesses who install solar panels. This encourages the adoption of renewable energy sources. Winter install schedules are easier to accommodate since most people opt to install during the summer.  

Now let's talk about the real impact. Solar power is a clean and renewable energy source. Get peace of mind in knowing that you're doing your part to reduce the province's carbon footprint. By generating your own power, you’ll become less dependent on the traditional power grid. You won’t be as impacted by rate hikes and surprises on your bill that come during wild winter weather swings.

Electric Vehicles (EV)

Power up

Colder temperatures can reduce the range of an EV's battery, so it's important to plan for longer charging times and shorter driving distances throughout the winter months. The good news is that the network of Alberta EV charging stations is increasing all the time. You won't have to worry about running out of juice on your next winter road trip.  

Your best bet to staying on the road with your EV every day is with the installation of a home charging station! Leave it to Rümi professionals to bring the convenience of a charger right to your parking spot or garage. Having the ability to charge your EV overnight will ensure that you always have a fully charged battery in the morning. Whether you park inside or out, EV chargers can handle temperatures ranging from -40 °C to 50 °C. The casings are resistant to corrosion, dust, rain, snow, sleet and ice.

Heating and defrosting

EVs don’t have a traditional heater that relies on the engine to produce heat. Instead, it has an electric heater which can be turned on even before starting the car, so your cabin will be toasty when you get inside and you won't be polluting while idling. Just keep an eye on the clock while warming up, as this can deplete a charge, reducing the range of your vehicle.

Less fuel, less $

Have you heard? Canada wants everyone driving EVs by 2035. You can be ahead of the curve and start lowering your fuel costs right away. Saving at the pump? Priceless. But it doesn't stop there…you’ll also save money on maintenance! EVs have fewer moving parts than internal combustion engines (traditional vehicles). They require less maintenance and have a lower risk of breakdowns during bad weather, when roadside assistance can take hours or even days.

But what’s even better than saving money? Saving the environment, of course. EVs produce no tailpipe emissions, meaning they do not contribute to air pollution or greenhouse gas emissions. Score!

Instant power

Never call to have your battery boosted again! With an EV, there is no risk of freezing car batteries from extreme cold or lack of use, making them much easier to start in the winter. They’re also incredibly safe to drive in the winter, since electric motors produce maximum torque from a standstill. This makes them feel more responsive and quicker off the line. Your EV will be the perfect match to Alberta’s cold, slippery winter conditions.

Don’t wait for warming temperatures to spring into action. If we haven't already proven to you that solar panels and EV are up for the challenge of Alberta winters, give Rümi a call! They’ll talk you through all of your options for solar panel and EV charging instillation —  get booked in for installation before the ground even starts to thaw!