WHAT IS NET METERING? Review from a 4-year-old Solar Customer! (Last 2021 quarter)
Net metering is the ability to sell energy back to the grid and build up credit with your local utility.A couple of years with solar power, what is my honest review? Make sure you read through to geknow the best way you can save in your bill(2021)Solar panels are now required in all new homes in California, so that is about 80,000 new homes each year that are getting solarIn October of 2020 California ranked as the highest solar power generating state in the nation, producing enough solar capacity to power 8.4 million homes in the state. And in 2020 the SEIA estimated that California will increase its solar capacity by over 19000 megawatts over the next five years. Second behind texas at 20,000 Megawatts. (See Power Texas energy crisis, winter of 2021)And I happened to get my solar panels at my house just over 4 years ago in March 2017. and in that time I’ve learned a lot. My solar panels set up at my house contains 16 panels and generates just over 5kilowatts of peak power. These 16 panels feed into a string inverter in my garage that converts the DC energy into AC energy that my house could then use. I also have two-tesla power walls and a smart panel from span giving me a really complete home energy system that’s pretty advanced. But if you want to learn more about those other systems check the link here. And where I live in California, we have NET Energy metering, which means that I can actually sell energy back to the grid and build up credits with my local utility.If you are in the United States, you likely live in a state with net energy metering but if you are not sure I will put a link to an article that will guide you with more details on this topic.Basically, the sun comes up, it generates energy, any excess that I am not using at that exact moment goes back to the grid. The question now is after 4 years, how is it going? How much energy have they generated, and is there anything I would do differently?Let’s start with the most important question you probably are wondering about. Is it worth it financially?Since being installed back in March 2017, my solar panels have generated 35,480 KwH, Which costs an average of 27cents. where I live, except now in 2021 is 31 cents thanks to our rate hike for our local utility company, and when you multiply those two you get $9,683.60 in energy savings. This is how much the energy is worth that my panels have generated over the four years that I have them, and looking at the net cost of the system, right around 14,000usd minus the power walls we find that I m about 70% paid off from the initial investment in just four years. And that is good news because the original quote I had from the installer had us right around 9200usd worth of energy at this point, not 9,600usd. So we are a little bit ahead of schedule when it comes to these panels paying themselves off. And then if we forecast that from here looking at our yearly average consumption of 8500KwH and the new energy cost of 31cents per kilowatt-hour. we see that they should have paid for themselves in about year six, we are half a year ahead of schedule from our initial estimate. Again, that’s partly aided by the energy price hike from my local utility but this is just how things go. Every year the prices go up just a little.
Now if we extrapolate that for the next 25years we are looking at about an estimate of 85k profit, -0.4% PV Reduction, +5% Annual Cost. Read this again, can you believe it?Assuming that the annual reduction in photovoltaic production is around 0.4% and the annual utility rate increase is 5%So are they worth it? TOTALLY, but It doesn’t mean that I didn’t make any mistakes along the way. When I first started this journey I used Powur to find my solar. The way it works is by submitting your electric bill to one of the solar energy experts, name, phone, and email. We will make a study to reveal the orientation of your house, if there is any shade or anything nearby, then getting a quote from various installers without them getting your personal information, which means no one is going to be calling you or stalking your or trying to sell you something.
If you pay an average of about 400usd a month on your electric bill, this is what you can save:
With winter coming in Texas, having solar panels is a great idea to avoid what happened this year in February due to the winter and the old and rusty grid. Check it out!Again there are no obligations, you sign up, you get the information, and that’s all. There is no cost to install and there are plans where you will pay your first bill in 18 months! Even if you have quotes from other people I would highly recommend you to get a second opinion just to see what kind of deals and what kind of quotes you can get.The biggest thing that I have learned over this time that I would do differently is that there is a fixed cost to even getting one solar panel on your house. The way it works when you get this process going is that you have an installer design a system for you, which basically means where are the panels going to go and how they are going to connect to the grid. The installer there has to submit those plans to the city or your local utility or whoever has jurisdiction in the area and get them approved. this is all to be done before you can actually move ahead with the install. So if you want one panel on your house to be added, you’d have to follow all these steps the same as if you want 50 panels installed.The lesson here is that you should probably have as much solar energy as you think you would ever need not just how much you need now but how much you might think you need within the next 25 years. If you think you might get an electric car or 2 within the next 25 years or maybe you are going to be working from home and your kids are going to be home when they should be in school and your energy needs are going to go up because of that? Yes, you might want to get more panels now than you think you need, in the next 25 years chances are your energy needs are going to go up. A lot of appliances in our house are switching over to electric and overall we are just going to be using more and more energy. So my recommendation, the thing I wish I would have done differently is just got as many panels as my roof could hold, that of course is within reason. I am just suggesting when you do the layout of you have room for 4 or 5 extra panels like I did, go for it, because the cost of adding those 4-5 panels now is going to be far cheaper than trying to have them later.
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