A photovoltaic solar power system in our home
began August 5, 2003 to gather renewable energy from the sun to suppy our household electricity.
Electricity powers our refrigerator, double-oven, stove top, microwave -- even coffee foam maker -- clothes washer and dryer.

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.
Recent full-year "true-up" bills in our 2,000 square foot home have been $133, $142, $122, then $156 in 2014 and 2015.
Higher energy costs increased our annual electricity bill to $263 in each 2017 and 2018 -- still only 75 cents per day.

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.

Also in 2014, our NATURAL GAS usage decreased 50% after eliminating heating duct leaks and using a 10% higher efficiency furnace.
WATER use decreased even more -- 67% -- by (1) saving shower heat-up water for toilet flushing and (2) saving washing machine water for bushes and trees.
We saved 23,936 gallons of water during the first four summer months.

Understanding Solar Use and Billing

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. . . and guess what our friends, the McGlashans, down the block did.

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. . . and after that, guess what our new friends, the Bettis family, did here in San Mateo.

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. . . and in 2012, in Wayland, Massachusetts, our friends Margie & Tony Lee made their home solar-electric.

"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."

Wayland, a Solar Leader. Solarize Success in Context
Published by Transition Wayland - December 2012

Also read about our energy-saving, tankless hot water heater, at:

. . .and energy-saving, hybrid Toyota Prius, at:

. . .and vegetable garden, at:

. . .and home water conservation, at:

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