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.

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