With sunny weather and the days getting longer, my solar energy production is greater with each passing week. During the past several days in particular I’ve been seeing more energy produced during daylight hours than I am using over the full 24 hour periods. This is really quite exciting, as it proves that my investment in solar was among the wisest decisions I’ve ever made.
The image above includes bar charts illustrating the amount of energy the solar arrays on my home’s roof has generated over the first 11 days of February, 2016, along with the amount of energy I sent to and drew from the San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) grid on one of those days. The green chart shows how much energy my solar panels produced. The blue chart shows both the amount of energy I pulled from SDG&E, and the amount of energy I handed off to the grid.
The blue chart is most exciting, as it shows the energy transfer in 15 minute increments throughout the 24 hour period from midnight, throughout the night, the day, and evening hours of February 9, 2016. The energy sent to the grid is shown by the upside down bell curve from sunup to sundown, with obviously more energy being produced mid-day.
During the course of that day my home also utilized energy, but 100% of that energy demand was more than satisfied by my solar panels. The excess energy was passed along to SDG&E for my later retrieval during the night, when the sun is not shining on my roof.
Lest you think we over engineered the system, it is on days like these that production will catch up on those days when we may have rain or cloudy skies and produce less energy. Also, my plan was to be able to accommodate charging an electric vehicle at some time in the future, and powering my air conditioning in the summer. Don’t worry, I’ll be able to use the energy the sun will shine down on my roof.
This illustrates Net Energy Metering (NEM) in action.
Net Energy Metering is the law of the land today, and will continue to be available long into the future. The extent of those benefits available under the law, however, are subject to change in SDG&E territory very soon. We will still have Net Energy Metering, but those customers who get on board later will not enjoy the same level of benefits available to the early adopters. Those who get in under the current tariff, before the coming changes go into effect, will be grandfathered for 20 years under the existing regulations.
A fuller description of the current and changing Net Energy Metering tariff regulations is presented elsewhere on this website.
If you have been on the fence, not knowing whether solar was all that effective, or whether it would work for you, feast your eyes on the image above to see how well it is working for me. My solar energy system will definitely pay for itself in a matter of a few short years. My Solar ROI is getting shorter as our days are getting longer. I can help you travel the same path to lower energy costs. Contact me if you would like to learn more about it.