Browse Tag: Solar Power

Solar Energy Update: Our Rapidly Shrinking Electric Bill!

Solar PowerAs the months go by, I am increasingly optimistic our family’s decision to install solar panels earlier this year will ultimately be categorized as a Smart Financial Decision.

For the month of September, our electric bill dropped by 93% relative to 2016! That follows declines of 91% in July and 95% in August!

Those results are as good as could be expected, and given recent  rhetoric out of Washington, the timing of our purchase may have been just about perfect. In late September, the U.S. International Trade Commission ruled that inexpensive foreign solar panels have had a negative impact on domestic manufacturers. This decision opened the door for President Trump to consider imposing a tariff on imported solar panels. The Solar Energy Industry Association believes higher tariffs could eliminate over 80,000 U.S. jobs, while another estimate claims tariffs could increase the cost of residential solar energy systems by 15%. Continue Reading

Solar Energy Update: Another Bill Bites The Dust!

Solar PowerThe 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. Continue Reading

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!

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The Hidden Costs Of Solar Energy

Solar EnergyLast month, I wrote a series of articles about our decision to purchase a home solar energy system, and my belief it will ultimately help us on our path towards financial independence and early retirement.

The first post outlined our decision-making process.

The second post discussed our solar installation.

And the third highlighted the initial performance of our solar panels.

Today, in an effort to share some additional information on the topic, I want to identify some of the potential hidden costs to going solar I found useful to consider, even though they didn’t show up in the quote from our local solar energy company or most of the research I did on my own.

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Our First Week With Solar Energy!

Solar Panel
We can track online how much energy is being produced by each of the solar panels on our roof!

Over the past week, I have written about our decision to go solar, as well as our recent solar installation.

Today we get into the fun stuff: how our new home solar energy system has performed during the first ten days of a (hopefully!) long and productive life!

Our inverter, which converts the direct current generated by the photovoltaic panels on our roof into the alternating current that can be fed into the electrical grid and used to power our home, is made by a company called SolarEdge.

While the science behind how the inverter works is no doubt fascinating, I am more interested in the impact the solar panels and inverter will have on our electric bill!

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Our Solar Installation: The Waiting Is The Hardest Part

 

Solar Energy
Solar Facts, courtesy of a nutritional sticker on our solar inverter!

One of my favorite songs by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers is “The Waiting.”

I’m not usually that good at discerning the meaning of lyrics, but in this case I’m pretty sure Tom was singing of his anticipation about the installation of a new home solar energy system.

Last week, I shared my thoughts on our decision to go solar.

The process took several months from start to finish, and the waiting was definitely one of the hardest parts!

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Should We Go Solar?

Solar Panels
Not a picture of our home!

Over the past several years, I’ve noticed the installation of more and more solar panels in the area we live.

I’ve long been intrigued by the idea of solar energy, but as someone who tries to base most of his financial decisions on facts and numbers, rather than emotions or peer pressure, it never made sense to me.

A local solar provider recently offered an incentive program through my employer. While the incentive was modest, it was enough to get me to seriously run the numbers, and do some further research about the pros and cons of solar energy for our family.

The verdict?

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