Well, I did it.
As of 12-9-15 I am running on a grid tied solar power system. This is day one so I can’t report on how well it works yet but so far it looks pretty good.
I chose to work with Missouri Sun Solar for my system. Overall they were very good to deal with and I would recommend them to others looking to set up with solar power. I did a video review of the installation if you are interested in hearing more about Missouri Sun Solar.
So with only one day of use I can only give a very brief review of how well it works. I can say that so far I have produced 250% of the energy I used. This means I fed that back into the grid and it is credited to my electric bill. When I am not getting good sun and at night I run off of the grid and use up that credit. This is the most economical way of setting up a solar power system. The alternative is to get batteries to store the electric but that is significantly more expensive and you can add batteries in at a later date if you decide to. The only downfall to this system is that if the grid goes down I am without power as well. Luckily that happens rarely.
The way this worked for me was that the utility was required to pay me a rebate for switching to solar. Not sure how that worked out exactly but I was on the receiving end so I was happy to accept. I also qualify for a federal tax credit for installing the system. With the rebate and the tax credit paying for almost half the system it is much more affordable than in the past. Every system is different but for my system I am paying about $113 a month for the next 12 years (unless I pay it off early of course). This isn’t too bad really since i was paying $14o for electric service before. It isn’t a huge savings up front but I am locking in my electric bill for the next 12 years (we know it won’t drop anyway) and after that I own the system. It is guaranteed for 20 years too. Seemed like a no brainer to me.
My system is an 8.925 KW system. I can’t explain exactly what that means well enough to do it justice so in simple terms it is based on my past energy usage (you can look that up through your electric company) and it should produce enough power to offset all of my electric bill for the year. There will be times when I am using much more than the solar can produce (mid summer running the AC) but there will be times when I produce more than I need to offset it (like winter and spring).
I must say that I am incredibly surprised at how easy this went. Everyone I dealt with from the various Sun Solar employees to the city inspector and even Empire District themselves were all very friendly and very professional.
I will be doing some follow up posts as time goes on so keep following and let me know your experience with solar (or ask some questions). If by some chance you decide to go solar hit me up. I get a referral bonus if anyone uses me as a referral. 🙂
Week 1 Review
Well, it has only been one week since the panels were installed but since this is only a few days from the shortest day of the year and 3 of the last 7 days were cloud covered and raining I thought I would do a review of how things are going so far.
One thing that I am surprised about is that even with the heavy cloud cover my solar panels were still producing power. Not enough to cover my usage but still some power is better than none.
So far the results are pretty promising and I have produced about 10 more Kw than I have used from my electric company. Bottom line is, if things keep going the way they are, I should have no electric bill this month. I will provide updates at the end of the month. Check out my video to see for yourself.
Stay tuned for more updates. Please comment and let me know your thoughts on things or questions.