Given the chance, I do like to remind people hooked up to the grid just how incredibly cheap their hydro is. A brief mental calculation about how much power an appliance requires for its operation, multiplied by the current cost of electricity, usually reveals it to only be pennies per use.
Strangely, I have never looked at how much we are generating or consuming and seeing what the actual value of it would be. It’s a simple calculation, and here it is…
Our 690W of solar panels generated 466 kWh over 437 days (my charge controller has a small server built in which tells me these sorts of statistics). Current peak residential charge for Ontario is thirteen and a half cents per kilowatt per hour. Thus:
466 kWh * $0.135 = $62.91.
After spending many thousands of dollars on the panels and batteries and controllers and such, that $62 is money in my pocket!
Truth be told, we actually consumed probably twice that amount, the other half being created by the generator.
I at least can take solace in wondering how many people have a have a hydro bill of less than $10 per month.
|Our Generating Station|
I still believe it makes sense for *us* to be off grid – it would likely have cost us more up front to hook up to the traditional grid than it did to install our renewable energy system. Now we are no longer subject to arbitrary outages, and worse, price increases. More importantly, we philosophically wish to promote the use of renewables.