Solar electricity keeps humming at my house

main bank of 23 panels

I just got my second full month electric bill after going solar. The surplus generated this month was 97 kilwatt hours (kWh) versus 276 kWh during the last billing cycle. I described that bill in an earlier blog post. So my bill was $0.00 again with the surplus to be used when I consumed more electricity from the grid than I generate via solar.

The August bill puts me 373 kHw to the good over the two periods. I could get a check according to National Grid, my utility, but I’ll leave them as credits given we are moving into shorter days and less intense sun. I am in West Newbury, Mass., by the way.

I remain satisfied with my 7 kilowatt system (29 240 watts panels) and it feels great to be using the power of the sun. My system cost just under $7,000 for a 20-year lease. Since the system was switched on June 12, I have generated 2,664 kWh against an annual performance guarantee of just over 7,000 kWh, which I should easily beat.

Anyone with a south facing roof in good shape is crazy not to consider these leases for which you can put nothing down and pay the installer monthly just as if they were the utility except that solar promises to be 20% or so less. I opted to pay everything up front.

My installer is Solar City, but I would bet lease costs have come down given the appearance of more competitors such as AstrumSolarSunrun Home Solar and others. Just make sure they are going concerns with a future.

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