I hit refresh on the browser for at least the 10th time only to get the same result as before… nothing. “Why won’t they bill me?!?!”, I thought.
Yes, I was anxiously hoping to get a bill. I had officially entered Bizarro World.
I’ve been writing about my solar journey for about a year now. This may be my last post for awhile. After getting solar installed and it starts paying, the hope is that I am in the “happy ever after” phase… until there’s a problem. I’m going to be optimistic and presume that I have no problems to write about for a long while.
My wife and I learned one very important thing this month, but I’m sure you don’t want to read it now… we’ll get to it later.
Back to the bill. I would have to wait until the next morning.
When it came, it was almost exactly as I had expected… almost. The bill was for $-87.68. Yes that’s a negative. Not only did I get all my electricity for free… the electric company owed me money. Our solar panels produced 1035 kWh and we used only 458 kWh. We had a credit of 577 kWh… which was worth $87.68 after a few taxes and fees were subtracted out.
Why was it only almost as I expected? When we buy power from the electric company there is a delivery charge of a few cents per kWh. When we produce our own power we don’t need to pay that. However, we don’t get a credit for delivering any extra power. Thus when our credit of 577 kWh is converted into cash, it doesn’t buy as much power in the future… that cash has to pay for delivery as well.
That’s not a big deal. It was unexpected, but not exactly a game changer.
Now for the reveal of what my wife and I learned. We conserved power like never before.
The Spring months are the best time to build credit. We aren’t using huge energy draws like air condition. We are also producing a lot of power (as you can see).
We spent the month with a special mindfulness towards our electricity use. I’m not sure if it will carry into the future. I feel like it might because each day I check to see how much power our solar panels are producing. (For May, we are on pace to produce nearly 1200 kWh.)
That mindfulness is one of the hidden advantages in going solar.
So that’s where we are today. We’ve eliminated our electricity bill (replacing it with a solar panel bill) and are even earning a sizable credit for this winter.