A couple months after Loyd Case from Extreme Tech installed solar panels on the roof of his Californian home, he's gotten his first monthly bill. Case's old electricity bills were routinely in the range of $300 a month. How much was his first solar assisted electricity bill?
Eleven frickin' dollars.
Over the course of a month, Case's system averaged 37.14 Kilowatt hours per day. Loyd goes into minute detail about the figures, and admits that this bill was in the middle of a cloudless summer and will certainly go up in rainier autumnal months. There's also the issue of ongoing maintenance: unlike just sucking in your electricity from the power company, solar panels need to be periodically washed free of dust, leaves and even (in forest fire season) ash. Even so, it seems hard to argue with Case's conclusion:
Given the power bill I've just received, though, I've become a fan of solar power. Sure, it's expensive, but the timing was right, at least here in California. And the money I once paid into electric bills is now going into an asset. So while my cash flow hasn't changed, I certainly feel better about where that cash is going.
We'll see what he has to say for the system in the winter months.
Going Solar Power: One Month Later [Extreme Tech]