Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Month 2 results are in.  My April PG&E bill arrived in my inbox today.  And boy, is it a shocker.  My total bill for the last 30 days was $98.81.  This is the lowest bill I have ever received from PG&E.  Not all of the savings was due to solar, the wonderful weather we had helped quite a bit.  Without solar, my bill for this past month would have been $181 or so, by my calculations.  So, solar saved me $82 and change.  However, had my 1 year of free solar been up, I would have had to pay $140 for the solar power, resulting in a net loss for the solar of $58.

That is only telling part of the story though.  In pulling the numbers together for last months analysis, I found out that PG&E offered a medical equipment baseline allowance.  Since my wife uses a CPAP machine for her sleep apnea, we were able to qualify for that.  This increased my baseline allowance from 28.6 KWh per day to 35 KWh per day.  This saved my an additional $1.32 on my bill, after the solar.  But, if I didn't have solar, the medical allowance would have saved me $84.92.  Too bad I didn't know about this 4 years ago when we first got the CPAP machine!

Without the medical allowance, and without solar, my total bill would have been $265.94.  My savings would have been $165.81.  Even after paying for the solar, this would have left a $25.81 savings.  The chart below shows my projections of what the costs would have been in the various scenarios.

Solar Med Cost Overall Savings Solar Savings
Y Y $98.81 $167.13 $82.21
Y N $100.13 $165.81  
N Y $181.02 $84.92  
N N $265.94    

Sunday, April 1, 2012

March summary

In Cameron Park, we didn't have much of a winter to speak of. Until I got my solar panels installed, that is. Of the 31 days in March, I had 6 days with terrible (<5 KWh) generation, 4 days with bad (<10 KWh) generation, and 11 days with excellent (>25 KWh production), and 2 days of good (>20 KWh) production. The remaining 8 days were somewhere between 10 and 20 KWh. That left me with total generation of 503.4 KWh in March. This is significantly lower than the 655 KWh that the website shows me is the estimated production for the system. Hopefully, April is better for me!