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East-Facing Solar Panels: Making The Most of The Sunrise

Feature image for "East-Facing solar panels". It shows an image of a house with rooftop solar panels on the east-side during sunrise.

You probably already know that the direction your solar panels face is crucial to how much energy they generate. Heck, you might even know that north is your most optimal option. But what if your roof is facing east? Are east-facing solar panels a viable option, too?

Well, absolutely! Installing solar panels on an east-facing roof comes with its own set of advantages, particularly if your home’s energy consumption peaks in the mornings. And, with most of Australia being so sunny, you’re sure to generate a hefty amount of solar energy.

I’m sure there’s more on your mind than just the viability of an east-facing setup, though. So let’s talk about them. The list below shows all the topics I’m covering. Feel free to tap on any of the bullets to skip sections.

Yes, you can install solar panels on an east-facing roof

If north isn’t a good option for your property, whether that be because of your roof’s orientation or shading issues, east is also a good choice.

Why? Simply because the sun rises in the east. This means panels mounted facing this direction will be more effective at capturing that early morning sunlight.

So, if your household uses most of its energy during the daytime hours, an east-facing setup’s energy production could work great for you.

For example, maybe your whole family prepares for work and school during the morning. Maybe you run the dishwasher and the dryer during this time, too. This orientation gets you solar energy early in the day, making you rely less on the grid and lowering your power bills.

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Solar panels installed facing east aren’t perfect, though

East-facing panels typically generate 15-20% less energy than their north-facing counterparts. So, if you have the option to install your panels facing north and you want the most amount of energy, then by all means do so.

That being said, installing a solar panel system facing east can be strategically better than facing north. And, again, this goes back to how your home consumes energy.

If your energy consumption pattern is heavily tilted toward the wee hours of the morning, an east-facing solar system might still save you more money despite producing less energy.

Recommended: What time do solar panels start working?

You can also install your solar panels on a west-facing roof

If east-facing panels generate more energy during the day because of the sunrise, west-facing solar panels are the exact opposite. They produce more energy during the afternoon because that’s where the sun is going to be as it sets in the west.

This is particularly great if you use more energy later in the day. For example, maybe you come home from work in the afternoon, and that’s when you start your household tasks, like cooking dinner, running the dishwasher, vacuuming, etcetera.

Needless to say, west-facing panels are a great option if they fit your specific needs. You know what could be better, though? Combinations, which brings us to our next discussion.

Consider the combo of east and west-facing solar panels

This setup creates more robust solar systems capable of turning sunlight into energy from sunrise to sunset. For those of you with roofs that face both east and west, you might even generate more electricity than your north-only counterparts.

On that note, your combinations don’t have to just be east or west either. You can have your solar panel installation on either side of your roof, even if that means east-north or west-north arrays.

Heck, with today’s solar panel technology, even south-facing systems can generate more power.

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With enough roof space, south-facing solar panels are an option, too

Although not the ideal orientation here in Australia, south-facing solar panels are still viable due to advancements in solar technology. So don’t talk yourself out of this investment if you have a south-facing roof.

Modern panels are significantly more efficient than panels from even just a decade ago. So, even if it’s not the most optimal orientation, a south-facing roof can still get you a substantial amount of green energy, especially if you have enough space to install more modules.

Conclusion

In conclusion, yes, you can install your panels facing east. It gets you 15% less solar energy than north-facing panels, but your production will also peak early in the day. This makes it a great setup if your home uses more electricity in the morning.

You have more options than just north or east, though. A west-facing array can also do wonders for your energy bills, particularly if you use more energy during the afternoon. Or, better yet, a combination! East-west, east-north, west-north, or even the supposedly suboptimal south-facing roof panels!

Wherever your roof direction is, or whatever combinations you pick, it’s more than likely going to work. Modern solar panel efficiencies say so. Now, if you’re ready to make the switch, we have a network of pre-vetted solar panel installers who can help. Just let us know, and we’ll get you 3 FREE quotes right away.