June 2018 Solar Savings

by Ben N on July 6, 2018

I’m weird. I know it. I look FORWARD to getting my electric bill. On the other hand, it’s gotten much easier to take knowing that it’s most likely that the power company OWES ME!

In this month’s electric bill, not only did I NOT have to pay, but the electric utility owes me $18.07. That’s on TOP of the $60.92 they owe me from previous months. So, as it stands now, I have a nearly $80 credit while having NO electric bill for the past several months.

My garage solar array is 24 photovoltaic panels, each rated at 260 watts. Each solar panel has an Enphase brand M215 micro-inverter on it to convert the power directly to 240VAC. That power is used in my house, my garage, and charges my electric car. Any excess power goes back to the grid, where I get credited for it.
You can actually see live power production from my system at: https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/pv/public_systems/PqBp1213167/overview

I designed my system so that on average, it should produce about 600 kWh of energy per month. That’s about how much we use in an average month. The whole idea was that on average, we would PRODUCE as much energy as we CONSUME. In my area, electricity is $0.13/kWh. If I produced 600 kWh of energy, that’s a direct $78 savings. Overall, we’ve been saving closer to $100 per month. Often, that means no electric bill and a $20 credit.

Spring has some of the best solar production. Solar panels actually produce more power when they are cooler than when they are hotter. March has surprisingly good solar production! Not only that, but in peak summer, we are USING more electricity by running air conditioning. Spring and fall are the best times of year for us to minimize electric use.

For more information on the solar garage, please see this link.

If you are interested in how I designed and installed the solar panels, start with this video.

As I write this, it’s already been a year since installing the solar panels. That means my 6.5 year return on investment only has 5.5 more years to go! After that, it’s all gravy, essentially PRODUCING $100 a month for me for the life of the system.

Until next time, stay charged up!


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Don July 7, 2018 at 4:30 pm

March didn’t have any days like April 28th and 29th – More than 40 Kw both days. Very impressive!!

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