How to have an 8 dollar electricity bill in Santa Monica – I did it, so can you.

by SM mom on October 29, 2009 · 0 comments

in Green Living

DSC08674 300x225 How to have an 8 dollar electricity bill in Santa Monica – I did it, so can you.

Almost free energy from the sun

With very little effort involved, I have a cheap electric bill and am doing something good for the planet at large.  It’s easy and you can do it too.  Here’s how:

My family and I purchased a great home in Sunset Park a few years ago and one of the selling points was that it has a 1 KW photovoltaic solar system producing what they claimed was 30% of the home’s energy needs.  Because it was a ‘traditional’ home, very little had been done to it to bring it into the 20th century – the prior family never even had a dishwasher!  Agast!

Desperately needing it, we underwent extensive energy efficient upgrades with Energy Star appliances, low flow everything, super insulation, high efficiency heaters, and even installed efficient ceiling fans to avoid A/C.  And in the end, we are using approximately 50% of our needs from our panels.

So what’s my bottom line?  I pay approximately 8 bucks a month to Edison.  Last year when my final assessment came in, I had a bill for $700.  FOR THE YEAR.  I know a guy North of Montana who pays $600 a MONTH in electricity.  Why he doesn’t go solar is beyond me.

DSC08681 300x168 How to have an 8 dollar electricity bill in Santa Monica – I did it, so can you.

yes, that's a real bill

With Edison, you can choose to be on a Net Metering System, where they monitor your energy usage and then re-assess at the end of the year.  The basics are, your panels are generating energy during the daylight hours when you typically aren’t home and then pumping it back to the grid.  The average home uses the most energy in the early mornings and evenings, when we require lights, dishwashers, laundry, etc, so the solar owner purchases back electricity from the grid.  This exchange is constantly in flux based on the homeowner’s needs, hence the need for Net Metering.

Now, imagine if I had a 3 KW system!  I would have no bill at all.  I’d be generating enough for my family and probably enough for some other people too.

If you are living in Santa Monica, or considering a move here, you should look into the Solar Santa Monica program.  They will send out a qualified solar professional to assess your home’s electrical needs.  Then they can provide you a qualified estimate for what it would cost to install a system, using their preferred vendors with whom they have created an alliance and a preferred rate.  You can even look into financing options if you need it.

Let me know if you need some assistance getting started or want to check out my home’s system.  It’s all pretty easy to understand and implement.  Being a certified Green professional has its advantages and I love to help others out when it comes to helping our planet and ourselves.  Talk to you soon.

From the latest email I got from Solar Santa Monica:

If you are a business with solar, or considering it, and you are on a GS2, GS3 or TOU-8 rate, switching to Edison’s new “Option R” rate may significantly improve your ROI.

Reconsider Solar: Breakfast Briefing

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

8:30-10 a.m.

Solar Santa Monica Office

1212 5th Street, First Floor

Space is limited.  RSVP: (310) 804-8449

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