My Solar Electric System, One Year After Installation

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I just got a $54 electric bill for my 3,000 square foot home. Pretty good, right? I’m walking the walk! Well, it’s not what I had hoped when I installed my solar electric system, but that’s because I’m wildly wasteful now (not that I’m proud of it). I was spoiled by the low electric bills that started coming after I installed my solar photovoltaic system, and almost immediately started wasting energy for luxury and convenience.

Anyway, it is still interesting to analyze my utility electricity costs year over year now that I have a full twelve months of data. I normalized the data by calculating the dollars per day I am still paying for service. The results appear below.

Solar Electric System Before and After

As you might imagine, my utility electric use went down substantially every month of the year. The summer still results in my highest bills, attributable to high temperatures and my old inefficient air conditioner that I plan to replace soon. My savings narrowed in the last two month, attributable to my gluttonous holiday spending (of electricity), mostly on heating and extended hours on my old incandescent Christmas lights. Clearly I am to blame – people use electricity, not homes.

Next year will be an interesting experiment. If my usage is above the green line, then I have truly become complacent — drunk on the power of having a low electricity bill (pun intended).

This year I’m targeting August. I peaked at over $8 per day in electricity costs before I installed my solar electric system, and still exceeded $5 per day after installation. Surely I can do better.

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