Solar Power

Update – November 30

I added some detailed charts and graphs about our solar power use.

Update – 15 June 2010

Our energy use is way, way down. Clearly, we were using a lot of energy for various reasons. All our appliances are Energy Star, all our light bulbs are CFLs, yet we still used a lot of energy because of the two fish tanks and our electric oven/stove.

Anyway, below is our energy chart for the past year.

Electricity use by month for the past year.

Nate's solar-powered house

Nate's solar-powered house

From March

I recently had a 5kW solar photovoltaic array installed by Alteris Renewables. It was financed by SunRun through a new concept of solar ownership called Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). Basically, I paid a $1,000 downpayment and will pay SunRun for the energy generated by the panels at a fixed rate ($0.177) over the next 18 years. During those 18 years, they own the panels, and (yay) maintain the panels. After 18 years, the panels are mine.

The system is grid-tied, meaning there are no batteries … the electric grid acts as my battery! During the day, my meter goes backwards (lowering my electricity bill) and in the evening it goes forwards (adding to my electricity bill).

Click the slideshow to begin, or click here to see the whole set