On sunny days in San Mateo, California, solar energy provide more than we need. Then the meter goes backwards.
Our 2.5 kilowatt system feeds electricity back into the power grid to serve other energy needs of the community.
Each month our electricity bill is $5.95, the minimum service charge, as we often generate more energy than we use.
Our most recent full-year "true-up" bills in our 2,000 square foot home were $133, $142, $122, then $156 in 2014 and 2015.
Beginning October 2016, we changed from PG&E to Peninsula Clean Energy for cleaner electricity at lower rates.
When the sun isn't shining, 50% of our electricity will now come from renewable sources – wind, solar, geothermal, and hydropower.
"After years of serious envy of our friends' solar installations, we cut down 6 huge trees surrounding our house and installed 28 solar photovoltaic panels.
We have a net meter, so on really sunny days the indicator spins backward and we pump KWH into the grid. The system cost us $10,000.
We recovered our initial $10,000 investment in under 3 years through a combination of energy savings and solar renewable energy credits (SRECs),
and have received an additional $8,000 to date. We produce 8% more kilowatt hours of energy than we use and transfer the excess credit to a neighbor.
We initially made the investment for environmental reasons, but it has turned out to be the best financial investment we ever made."