Thursday, August 21, 2014

A Year Of Electricity Cost About Negative $200

$387.15 is how much I'm being paid for the electricity generated by my photovoltaics for the last year. That's not bad! although there are a lot of details.
Because of the vagaries of meter reading, the period is 6/4/2013-6/29/2014; it's a bit more than a year so my yearly cash would be more like $360, which is still nice.
Electric bills were about $8 a month, of which almost $7 was the administrative fee. I actually drew only about a net $1 of electricity from the grid. Still, the administrative fee has to be paid, so subtract about $72 and I'm still $288 to the good.
The photovoltaics were financed with a 14-year loan. The loan covered roofing as well as the PV, so the cost of the loan for the PVs are a little hard to figure, but it's on the order of $100 a month. This is comparable to a normal electric bill. And the thing with the PV system is that it's a permanent asset (guaranteed for 25 years, likely to continue into the indefinite future) so paying for it is less of an operating cost and more of an investment.
And that's not counting the tax credits. Sweet, sweet tax credits!
This 15 cents per Kwh is the incentive the utility pays me because my little solar power plant kicks in juice at times of peak demand - 10am to 4 pm. Thus the utility has ever so slightly less pressure to invest in another power plant. A thousand homes like mine and they'd be off the hook for a 2.5 Megawatt plant!
People are always asking me about the cost of the system and how it's paying off for me; I just haven't gotten around to putting together the spreadsheet (...because no one's bribed me with beer, brownies or bacon --- any of that will do. Hint!) Still, here's some raw data that I how will be encouraging.

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