First quarterly Solar Energy results are in

posted in: Simple living, Solar Power | 0

Wow, has it really been 3 months since our Solar Panels were installed? By a wild coincidence we had our meter read just a matter of days before the install, so that means we have had it running for practically the whole billing period (3 monthly). So, how did it go?

As I previously discussed, there are 3 components to our attack on our power bills….

  1. Make sure we use as much power as possible during daytime – run the washing machine, dishwasher, do the ironing etc. This power is free.
  2. Reduce the amount of power vampires, by turning off at the wall the televisions, amp etc so that we aren’t paying to run those little red lights.
  3. Keep an eye on our ratio of daily usage vs how much power we are buying. The price difference between Import and Export means that we have to export about 1.3 times as much power as we buy to offset the cost.

We have been trying to balance our excitement with the fact that this is summer, and our power generation will not be this high any other part of the year. However we have to admit that we are really overwhelmed with the system so far.

Over 3 months, we

  • GENERATED: 2887.32 kw/h
  • EXPORTED: 2062 kw/h
  • IMPORTED (Purchased): 690 kw/h
First Electricity Bill details
First Electricity Bill details

Taking into account the off-peak electricity to run our Heat-pump Hot Water Service, which came in at approx $40 for the entire 3 months, and the rather unattractive supply charge of $70.

Our overall bill is a credit for $180.92!

Our first Electricity Credit, thanks to our Solar Panels!
Our first Electricity Credit, thanks to our Solar Panels!

So, to recap, our system is 5kw in size. It is facing almost directly North, and over November-December it averaged 30.87 kw/h daily, with a record high of 38.74 kw/h while our lowest was a rather embarrassing 9.4 kw/h. I started a fresh spreadsheet for 2013, so far for the year we are averaging a very generous 31.33 kw/h and our lowest figure so far has been 12.64 kw/h with our highest at 37.26 kw/h.

Sadly, the school holidays and all the 40 degree days have taken a toll on our average consumption, which is sitting around 17.65 kw/h per day. Getting that down is my next priority, especially with the cloudy days of winter coming. However, overall, the system is performing impressively, and I’m so glad that we saved the extra money up to get as big a system as we could possible afford.

The bills are getting very high for many people, and I’m sure that a few simple steps could help a lot of people save some money. What other ideas do you have to share for saving power?Happy Crafting - Cassie.

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