Goin’ Solar: June Update by Adam Caplan

Installing solar panels on your house is a massive decision and a time-consuming project. Adam Caplan keeps a “Goin’ Solar” blog that he posts on regularly to show the benefits of making this decision. He started the blog back in 2011 when he decided to make the decision to go solar. Take a peak at his blog to get more insight in making the decision, the next steps, overcoming the bumps in the road, becoming a solar home owner, and monthly updates to his installation. ASES will be sharing his new updates through our website as well.

Adam’s June Update

Photo Credit: Mountain/Ash
Photo Credit: Mountain/Ash

Since I was on vacation for the past week, I didn’t have a chance to post about the totals from my June bill and so I will combine that with the June actual vs expected.

To start with the simple one, June generation was 786.56 KWh, while expected was 938.  While there was only 1 day of low generation in June, the higher temperatures apparently lower the efficiency of the panels, so I never had a day above 28.5 KWh generated, and had only 1 day below 23 KWh (in fact, it was only 2 days under 25 KWh, with the second lowest day coming in just over 23 KWh).  So far, the total generated is up to 2865 KWh, while the expected was 3317.  When I called Real Goods last month to ask about this, they said the expected was too high and they would work with the web guys to get that fixed, but so far, it is unchanged.  According to my contract, the estimated generation from year 1 is 7545 KWh, while the guaranteed total is 7168 KWh.  There is no breakdown by month in the contract, so I don’t know if I am on track or not.  I am 4 months in, and at roughly 40% of the guaranteed number (and 38% of the estimated number).

Now for the more interesting part.  I once again used negative peak power (-18 KWh).  But, I used more part peak and offpeak power than last month (a total of 521 KWh vs 353 KWh), probably due to the increased temperature.  My total PG&E bill was $49.56 this month.  If I had used the same amount of power last year, the bill would have been $287.43.  The medical exception alone would have reduced that to  $176.20.  With solar, the medical exception doesn’t even kick in, since I stayed below the baseline.  Solar this month saved me $237.87.  So, it is right in line with the $90-$100 dollar savings I expected to have if I had to pay for solar ($141 a month next year, since the first year is free!).

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