Tuesday, December 1, 2009

First Negative Electric Bill

We received our first 'negative' electric bill yesterday.

We've produced more power than we've used since late August. I already knew that but the power company estimated our meter readings for the previous bill so I didn't have it in writing from them. I also figured they'd nickel and dime the surplus away with fees and charges (which are a surprisingly large part of the average electric bill) but it still came out way negative.

Credit Balance - Do not Pay $ 100.38 CR


Anonymous said...

I linked to your site from SREC's blog and read some of your posts. Congratulations on your 9.12 kW system and on getting the best financial incentives as possible.

On my end in Maryland, I have a 3.68 kW PV system, on a 2324 square foot home, with my yearly usage of 5800 kWh - I generate about 80% of my usage. For 5 months out of the year I run a credit balance. I also have solar hot water, 85% CFL usage, programmable thermostat set low in the winter and high in the summer, energy efficient windows and higher insulation.

I have three questions - how much electricity do you use in an average year? And how many square feet is your home? Have you deployed any other energy conservation items in your home?

With a 9.14 kW system I would think you would be negative for 12 months out of the year. You produce alot of energy but you must use alot as well.

dave c. said...

Sorry, I've been busy.

It sounds to me like the long and short of it is that you have a much more energy efficient house. We'll most likely run a credit balance for 9 months out of each year. During the summer we run the air conditioner and the pool filter and because of we go in the red.

I'll check to confirm but I think we use more like 12000 kwh per year. My house is roughly the same size as yours.

We had an energy audit last June and they made some recomendations. We figured we'd get the system running this year and maybe tackle that list or recommendations next year.

Thanks for the info.


Anonymous said...

Hey, great blog, I haven't looked at all of it, but figured out most of what I needed from your titles. Since I live in VA, there is no SREC market as far as I can tell, so I'd assume that I have to sell to an adjoining locality like MD or DC - this leads me to think that I can probably get about 250-300 per SREC. This is significant because otherwise I am looking at 20 years to even break even on a new system.

The question I have for you is your energy bill, when you have a negative bill or low bill, do they only credit you the generation piece so you're still paying all the usual infrastructure costs and they give you a credit for the power produced? Or is it comething else? Is your infrastructure piece reduced by your lower consumption?


dave c. said...

Hi. Great question. It could vary among utility companies and from state state, I suppose. But the power company here used the credit to wipe out all other fees, taxes and charges that they would normally have assessed. It really was a negative bill.


Steve said...

You are lucky if your utility company is giving you a one for one credit for kWh that you return to the grid. My solar system in central NJ just got installed early December. My utility company put in a net meter which shows both energy flow from the grid to my home and energy flow from my home to the grid (when we are producing more than we are using). My first post solar bill looked funny to me. PSEG charged me for the kWh that a received from the grid but did not give me a credit for what I returned to the grid. So of course I called. I was told that on the anniversary of my new meter installation I would get a credit for the energy sent to the grid at a rate of approx. .07 per kWh. However, I pay between .17 and .18 for energy I take from the grid. So, I am only really saving when I use the energy that my panels produce. When the days get longer, it won't be so bad but right now we use more electricity when we are home at night and are sending what we do produce to the grid for less than a 1/2 credit. Thank goodness for the SRECS!

dave c. said...

Hey Steve,

That's weird. You know, sometimes I wonder if they're just making it up as they go along. I've never heard that about the different rates, or the one year anniversary. We didn't have a new meter installed so I guess I don't know much about that either.

I definitely received a credit for power generated, but I just assumed that it was at the same rate as we were charged for power we took from the grid. I better take a closer look at the bill. If I find anything interesting I'll post about it.

Thanks for the information. I am learning something new about this every day!