February Electric Bill

by Ben N on March 8, 2019

I just got my February Electric Bill!
But how much will I save with my solar? February not only has short days, but it’s been terribly cloudy all month as well! At least the days are slowly starting to get longer!

I got my electric bill and opened it up. Drumroll please….. $72.71! Yipes!
I’m charged for the use of 633 kWh of electrical energy. That’s the NET energy, INCLUDING what I get credited for from my solar production. If I look on the back of my electric bill and do the subtraction, I can see how much power I exported to the power company.

In this case, the power I was CREDITED with the electric company was 194kWh. But that’s not even the entire picture. Remember, if I’m using any power at all at home while the sun is shining, I simply USE that electric power and it is NOT tracked through my meter!

I went to the Enphase Enlighten software and ran a custom production report for the dates of my electric bill. Total energy produced at the inverters came to 288kWh! (You can see my live solar production HERE.)
Multiplying that by my unit cost of electricity means it would have been worth $33.66. In other words, if I DIDN’T have solar, my electric bill would have been $106.37!

Although my $72.71 is the highest electric bill I’ve seen in a year, I’d still rather save over 30% and NOT pay a $100+ electric bill! Even though I’m not making too much solar in February, it’s still saving me money.

If you want to learn more about solar, do a search through this blog. I’ve posted information about my garage and one of my favorite videos on my DIY approach to solar can be seen HERE.

Adding up all the savings so far, the garage has produced almost 12 mega-watt-hours of solar energy and is on track for a 6.5 year return on investment.

Until next time, stay charged up!
-Ben Nelson

PS: So far, the solar has produced almost 12 Mega-Watt-Hours of energy at a value of over $1,500!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Don March 24, 2019 at 6:31 pm

Ben,
Do any cars actually fit inside your ‘garage’??
I see one garage door is now missing in action and I regularly see one or two cars parked out on the driveway during the inclement weather
What’s in the garage??
Do a video of what happened to the inside of a beautiful new garage which means the cars must be parked out in the weather!
Don

2 BenN March 25, 2019 at 8:47 am

Hi Don,

The garage is a 2.5, extra deep building. My house doesn’t have a basement or any storage, so the garage is for cars, workshop, storage, projects, and pretty much EVERYTHING else!

For the “Missing in Action” garage door, you might be referring to my Passive Solar Garage Door! I built a plexiglass door on the OUTSIDE of my existing insulated garage door so that I could open it on sunny winter days. The sunlight comes in through the plexiglass and lets in lots of light and HEAT! I’ve calculated it as being the equivalent of about a 3,000 watt electric heater. I’ve been very happy with the project. Works great!
https://www.instructables.com/id/Passive-Solar-Garage-Door/

The main thing taking up space in the garage right now is an electric pickup truck. This one was FACTORY-BUILT by Ford as a 1998 Ranger EV. This was the same era as the EV-1 and WHO KILLED THE ELECTRIC CAR. Fortunately, electric pickup trucks weren’t rounded up and crushed, but not many were made in the first place. I got wind of this truck and that the guy who had it needed to get rid of it. (He was in Chicago, only had a one-car garage, and was getting a brand-new Tesla the next day!) I essentially saved the truck from going to a scrap yard. It runs and works fine, but using non-original batteries mounted in a non-standard way. It would be great to upgrade to lithium, but otherwise leave as stock as possible for the interesting history of these vehicles. That project trumps garage space vs my daily driver.
https://300mpg.org/fordrangerev/

I also have a few electric lawn tractors in the garage that I’m working on fixing and selling, my Vectrix electric motorcycle, and my family’s bicycles. Besides that, there’s the typical garage stuff, and to a certain amount, untidiness. Almost exactly one year ago, I got hurt pretty bad in a traffic collision. Some of our living room furniture had to be moved to the garage. Although I’m MUCH better, there’s still a lot of “catching up” on various projects, home maintenance, etc. from over this last year.

Maybe I’ll shoot a Garage Tour sometime, but I’ll want to at least get it clean first!

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