John Brooks, a reader of my recent article in Green Building Advisor asked this:
You posted the Net Energy Balance for 12 months. I am curious how that relates to your actual Energy Bill….the sum of the checks that you write to the “power provider” over 12 months? (Including the base customer charge and difference in buy-back rates)
That’s a good question that others have brought up to us before. The short answer is that during the cold, dark days of our first winter, we paid small electrical bills. In the spring, when the sun came out and our heating needs diminished, we started generating more power than we were using, which showed up as credits on our electric bill.
After about fifteen months of living in the house, we currently have a credit of about $230 on our account. We had the option of requesting a check, but we decided to leave that credit on the books to pay our bills this winter. If our usage is like last year, that $230 credit should more than last us through the winter, so we probably won’t be paying anything out of pocket from now on.
Here’s a breakdown of our last twelve months of bills:
10/28/11 - 1/13/12: $90.01
1/13/12 - 03/14/12: $55.42
3/14/12 - 5/11/12: -$32.25 (credit)
5/11/12 - 7/11/12: -$125.07 (credit)
7/11/12 - 9/11/12: -$92.98 (credit)
9/11/12 - 11/9: -$12.29 (credit)