The Solar Payoff: Our Electric Bill Fell By 91%!

Solar EnergyWe recently received our first monthly power bill since we decided to install solar panels on our roof.

As I posted previously, we did not expect our electric bill to actually go to zero.

But our results were pretty much as good as we could have hoped!

As it turned out, our power usage last July and this July was almost identical. We used only two kilowatt hours more energy this year than we did last year.

Despite the tiny increase in our power consumption, our electric bill declined by an awesome 91% compared to 2016!

We generated more energy than we actually used, so from a consumption perspective, our bill was zero. As I mentioned in the past, however, we’re not allowed to offset the daily charge to connect to the power grid, or some fees, with power we generate, so we will always have a small monthly bill to pay.

But if our solar energy system performs as expected, we’ll pay well below $200 a year to the electric company in the coming years to power our home.

And so far, performance is in line with our expectations.

Since we generated more power than we actually used, we also built up almost $50 in credits with the power company. We’ll be able to apply those credits towards our electric bill over the winter, when we’ll be generating much less solar power because the days are shorter and the sun is lower in the sky.

Given that July has historically been one of our most expensive months for electricity usage (because of running the air conditioner), the fact we still built up credits to use over the winter was positive.

While the payback on our system will likely be around a decade, I am pleased with our initial results, and still feeling good about our purchase. We’ve potentially increased the value of our home, and replaced one of our larger monthly expenditures with a small one, which should serve us well as we move down our path towards financial independence and early retirement.

A home solar energy system is probably not the right financial decision for everyone, but early indications are it was a good long-term decision for the ROMT family and our finances.

4 Comments

  • Mr. Robot

    August 31, 2017

    Those are some amazing results. Unfortunately we are not able to place solar panels due to the fact that we have a very low amount of suntime (in general) and lots of trees blocking the line of sight.

    Reply
    • ROMT

      September 1, 2017

      Sorry to hear that solar wouldn’t work for you Mr. Robot.

      The feasibility of roof panels can be very site specific. It worked well for us, with a roof positioned almost perfectly due south, and few tall trees close to the house. Solar was not practical for our next door neighbors, however, who have a lot more tall trees near their home, and a no direct slope facing south with their roof positioned east-to-west.

      Reply
  • DivHut

    September 10, 2017

    That’s awesome that you were able to reduce your electric bill by so much. It’s important to share these real world milestones as I find it to be the truth and not some government made up stats or power company lie. Real world results from an actual user is the most valuable kind of resource there can be. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    • ROMT

      September 10, 2017

      I’m glad you find the real world results useful. It will be interesting to see how our solar production drops over the next several months as we head into fall and winter. My hope is that we can avoid digging into our pockets for anything but the charges to stay connected to the grid and some small monthly fees over the course of the full year, but the proof will be in our results!

      Thanks for visiting and taking the time to write!

      Reply

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