Solar Update: January 2018

Back in 2013, my husband and I went the solar route for electricity. We prepaid our lease (note: learn from us and buy outright if you can afford it), so our only bill comes from the electric company. Since then, our electric cost has averaged about $200 a year, with the usual being $13-ish a month until January, after the electric company cuts us a check for the excess electricity and starts us at zero again. In the dead of winter, when our system definitely produces less than it uses. Oh, well, as complaints go, this one is minor and only costs us about $40 a year.

We’re still connected to the grid, and even though our electric company put on the solar brakes as soon as it made its renewable quota, we’re grandfathered into the old (best!) solar plan. All the newbie solar owners have to pay more in fixed costs, and they have a Time of Use (TOU) rate that increases prices from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. (which is not nearly as hard to avoid now that you can easily add batteries).

After 4 years and 5 months, we’re almost halfway to our break-even point (and it will take less time to finish the other half because of the latest utility rate increase). However, since we invest the extra money, the better measure is the point at which we are better off with the solar than without, and that will happen in…

…drumroll, please…

…June of this year.

From that point on, it’s all gravy.

Now you know why I get excited and happy when the bill arrives.

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