I shared this picture on Facebook already, but just HAD to post it here, as well.
This is a portion of my ACTUAL electric bill, reflecting our electric usage over the past year. There is even one bar on the graph showing our usage for the same month two years ago, which was right before we got our solar panels installed.
Notice the difference? In addition to putting in solar panels, we have adjusted our habits to be more frugal - turning off lights, etc. Now, hubby complains if I take more than 5 minutes to blow-dry my hair, and I have long contended that his TV habit is costing us FAR MORE in electricity than my efforts to have an occaional good hair day. This bill may very well prove me right!
See the columns that go below the zero line? That means that in those months, we generated more electricity than we used! We only had two such months in 2009, and they were BARELY on the side of the line we like......but this year, every month except for January has yielded this very desirable surplus...even though we had a cloudier than normal winter and spring (and early summer).
Even with LESS sun, we are banking MORE unused electricity.
So how is this possible?
Well, Hubby will call it a coincidence at first, but will eventually have to recognize that he started workups in January.....and was barely home in the months of February, March, and April. Then he deployed May 5. I still blow-dry my hair, and the kids and I do still watch TV, but we no longer have 2 or 3 televisions on at the same time.
Just one more silver lining in the cloud of deployment - we get to save money on our electric bill, AND *gasp* I get to be RIGHT about something! That almost never happens.
Oh, and if you own your home and are considering going solar, please email me so I can refer you to the awesome company that did our panels 2 years ago. A friend of mine is having her panels installed next week, and I get a cash bonus for referring her! YAY!