Solar update: It works

Our rooftop solar system went live Nov.1, 2021.

This is an update.

Based on actual usage, our system was designed to generate 11,251 kilowatt hours of power a year, offsetting 92 percent of the power we once  bought directly from JCP&L.

That difference accounts for  night time, when there is no solar production, and cloudy days, when there is reduced solar production.

Solar is a substitute cost. We will be paying for a solar collector system for 25 years. But we would have been paying an electric utility for  the same amount of time. And more.

Because you are always going to use electric power.

The cost of our installation also included the removal of a tree that shaded our roof.

The tree was dying and growing in  manner that was threatening damage to both our roof and our  neighbors’ roof. We took it down a year early.

Is solar cost effective?


The installer will show you estimated long term savings – Our estimate was $52,000 over 25 years.

It is easier to show on a daily and month basis based in JCP&L billing.

It is more fun to look at the electronic meter on the side of the house that shows production vs. usage: When the arrows are pointing to the street it means we are “selling” power back to the grid.

Today, the meter said we had generated 6,270 kilowatts of power since Nov. 1.

We have used 3,045 kWh.

That’s a difference of 3,675 kWh.

Based on the average daily use recorded by JCP&L on our latest electric  bill – 8 kWh per day — that’s 460 days worth of electric power usage.

According to the  JCP&L bill we have “banked 4,040 KwH of power, or 505 days worth.

The historic usage chart on the  bill highlights the change.

Last July we used 1,250 kWh of power. In August (with AC) we used 1,600 kWh, and in September, we used 1,750, kWh.

Our average electric bill was in the range of $325 a month.

Our payment to JCP&L for the past five months has been $3.25 a month.

Yes, solar production changes seasonally during the year based on the changing angle of the sun as it crosses the sky: It is a lower in December than it is in July.

Still on those shorter low angle sun days were generating between 20 and 30 kWh of power a day. In June with full sun, were  generating 70 kWh a day, or more than a week’s worth of power in a single day – or enough to power our entire 8-house dead end street for the day.

What this opened up is possibilities.

Electric heat used to be the most expensive form of home heating.

With new technologies and solar power, it becomes a real possibility as a way to  get rid of the oil burner and oil tank.

And, how about a homebased charging station for an electric vehicle tied to your roof-top solar system?

And it not just homes.  Look at a WAWA the next time you shop or drive by: The company has been installing  solar on its stores for the past few years.

Joe Manchin, Vlad Putin, the GOP and the oil companies be damned.

Change is personal, one roof at a time.


About michaelstephendaigle

I have been writing most of my life. I am the author of the award-winning Frank Nagler Mystery series. "The Swamps of Jersey (2014); "A Game Called Dead" (2016) -- a Runner-Up in the 2016 Shelf Unbound Indie Author Contest; and "The Weight of Living" (2017) -- First Place winner for Mysteries in the Royal Dragonfly Book Awards Contest.
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