Solar Energy Update: Another Bill Bites The Dust!
The ROMT family is now over two months into our solar energy adventure, and the results continue to impress as we move down our path towards financial independence!
For the month of August, our electric bill dropped by 95% from last year! This followed a 91% reduction in our electric bill for July!
Part of the improvement in August was driven by the fact we used a lot less power this year compared to last year. It was much cooler in our area this August, so the central air had to work a lot less, and I’m hopeful our recent move to LED lightbulbs throughout the house is also paying early dividends.
All in, we used almost 30% fewer kilowatt hours of electricity this August relative to last August.
But that still doesn’t explain the 95% decline in our electric bill. The most significant reason for the massive year-over-year improvement is clearly our new home solar energy system.
Somewhat surprisingly, our solar energy production was 23% higher in August than it was in July.
Normally, the shortening days and less direct sunlight of August would mean less energy production than during July. Fortunately, this year our skies were so much clearer and sunnier in August than in July that we more than overcame tilting a little further away from the sun as each day passed here in the Northern Hemisphere.
Because our weather was warmer and sunnier, we also ended up using more power than we did in July, but when all was said and done, we still generated enough energy to more than offset the expenses for all of our electrical consumption. As with our July bill, the only charges we ended up being responsible for paying were the daily cost to connect to the power grid, as well as a few relatively small fees. Those items cannot be offset with solar energy credits in our state.
We also earned more than $30 in additional credits to apply to future electric bills in the coming months when we won’t be generating as much solar power. Right now, we’ve banked over $80 in credits towards future bills, which will be very helpful as we head into fall and winter. Despite our strong power generation numbers for August, science will ultimately win out as the days get shorter over the coming months, and our solar energy production will decline as we head towards the winter solstice in December.
At this point, our home solar energy system is performing in line with our expectations. We still seem well on our way to an annual bill of less than $200 to power our four bedroom home. Our significantly reduced monthly payments to the electric company will be a nice tailwind for us as we continue traveling down our path towards financial independence and early retirement!
While I’m all about the numbers, some of the potential positive environmental benefits of using solar power are starting to add up since we installed our system, as the following diagram from our solar dashboard shows:
While I certainly won’t declare victory until we actually see how our home solar energy system performs during the winter, at this point it still appears our investment in solar was a good long-term decision for the ROMT family and our finances.