If there are somethings that benefit us but not Savvy Steve, these fucking panels are some. As we know by now, Savvy Steve does not bother what we do with his house as long as we pay our dues at the end of each month, unlike Slutty Susan somewhere else who decide to be a bitch to all her 99 year leasers. Therefore, it makes no sense to me not to install a solar power system on the roof above.
The total bill came out to be $3,100 inclusive of GST. That was painful for a pissed poor peasant like me. Top that up with a couple more hundreds, it will buy the good ol' Honda Jazz I am driving to work everyday. Unlike the car, this solar power system is an investment I expect to recoup my capital on.
Though there was a minor hitch in the beginning, they didn't take too long to finish the installation. By 10.30am, the system was up and running. The Missus told me I could download an app on my mobile phone and check its status anytime so I did. I was like a boy with a new toy, poking at my phone every hour to check how the hell the system worked.
It is good to know the system can generate around 3kW at its peak, which is actually at 100% efficiency. I am happy with a 90% efficiency at peak so I am not complaining here. The app even shows a daily income, which is nice for a change. That income is generated after the deducting the household's consumption of energy by selling excess energy to the grid. The selling price used to be good but it isn't fantastic anymore. Still, every cent counts for a pissed poor peasant.
So effectively, we are achieving a free energy consumption and not buying any electricity from the grid during the day and a small income by selling excess energy to the grid. These two factors will determine if I can recoup my $3,100 and how soon.
I took this screenshot at 6am in the morning on the third day of installation. That is why it is showing 0% because the system is not generating anything. My system would have been working for 1.5 days by now. As the graph shows, a lower energy generation on the first day because installation took up a few hours and the second day shows a rightly higher generation for a full day.
Have the system already generated $21.98 for me? It sounds too good to be true. The only way to verify the savings, as well as income is to wait for the next bill. In the meantime, I am sure we are saving energy.
With this, I will have to start changing my family's lifestyle to capitalise on this. Instead of aiming to sell more energy by using less, I need to use more energy in the day and sell less. The reason is very simple. Say if you sell energy at $0.60 and buy it at $3.00 from the electric company, it makes sense to use as much energy as possible at the right time to reduce usage at $3.00.
So for example, I will charge up the power banks in the day with solar energy without drawing from the grid and use the power banks to charge our phones, laptops and other devices at night when the system is not working. Thus energy consumption that would have been required at night for this purpose will be totally eliminated. Using a slow cooker to make our meals during the day will also reduce my gas consumption. I can set that on timer, return home with a meal ready and know it does not cost me anything in electricity or gas. I'll cook with the oven in the day and the stove when the sun is down. Clothes can be washed during the day on timer and sun in late afternoon when we return from work. A dryer can be considered if we stagger the usage of main power drawers carefully because a 3 kW system is probably unable to run everything at the same time. The possibilities are endless, these are just the beginning.
After a few bill cycles, I'll review and see if my strategy works. I plan to recoup my $3,100 in less than 3 years. If I could do that, it would be a 30% ROI a year. I will not be able to find many ways to get that kind of ROI with $3,100. Stay tuned for the review in 1-2 months time.