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OUCH, I just looked at my SonCal Edison bill

OUCH, I just looked at my SonCal Edison bill

Where on Earth is the $.11 per kwh average rate everyone refers to when talking about "fuel" costs for the MS?
My Tier 1 rate starts at $.13 and hits $.36 at tier 5. I average $.28 per kwh each month. Edison just upgraded all of the meters in my neighborhood to support "time of use" billing. Should I switch over once I get the MS ? Any Edison customers here to help?

Tesla-David | July 26, 2013

@Docrob. Ok, I started on my discussion three posts ago to share information on how solar has worked for me, and what kinds of things that others may try to reduce their electric usage especially with the Tesla charging. I acknowledge that a 5 kwh array will produce everything a normal home owner may need for Tesla Charging and some home useage. I considered doing that amount of solar, but decided I wanted to balance out my net electric use with production, not just the net economics on how much of an electric bill I would have. I wanted to go further, and am prepared to admit that it might be more than is needed for most people. I was not trying to impune you for doing less than that. You are the one that came after me for over building. I have been generally very pleased with the solar system I have installed at our home, and have no regrets about what I have installed. I am frankly surprised that more people in the northwest aren't actively considering doing some solar.

TikiMan | July 26, 2013

Tesla-Dave,

That's amazing that in cloudy WA, you are producing that much solar energy! :-)

We just bought a 8.86 kwh system for our home in Orange County, California. It is currently producing around 42 kwh a day (when we don't get our typical 'June Gloom'). Our avarage use with my Tesla (140 mile a day commute), swimming pool, and 2300 sq ft home, avarage is about 71 kwh per day. Being I am charging my MS after midnight, and also running my pool at the same time, I hope to break even, or at least drop down to Tier 1 status (a rebate would be amazing!)

Either way, a home solar system is a fantastic investment (even more so with an EV).

Docrob | July 26, 2013

I certainly was not intending to "come at you" my apologies if it came off that way. I was simply expressing surprise and questioning what seemed like an unusually large array size. Partly I worry people reading may think 13 Kw is what is needed for a standard home and then will look at what a 13 kw array costs and freak out. If that's what you need then fine it just seemed odd. One of the fantastic things I have found about going solar is that it gives an even stronger incentive to increase efficiency, when I installed my array it covered about 80% of my usage, so then I found myself finding ways to cut the usage to match the production. Swapping lights out for LEDs and swapping my electric water heater to a heat pump have now brought my consumption down to the same level as the array. Next goal is to get down a bit further so that the array produces enough to charge my Model S when it arrives.

Docrob | July 26, 2013

Tikiman, it is impressive output, one of the lesser known sweet spots in solar production is cold sunny locations, that is a very powerful combination if you can find it. People often picture sunny desert locations when they think of good solar locations however the heat is the enemy of solar output, if you can match good sun hours with cold air temperatures then the result can be astonishing.

oildeathspiral | July 26, 2013

fluxemag

Have you seen or tried the 40w and 60w Cree LED bulbs being sold exclusively at Home Depot? They are great in all respects: performance, form and price at only $12.

Tesla-David | July 26, 2013

@Docrob. No harm, no foul. To all reading this post that are considering solar, start small, a 5 kwh array should suffice for most homes, and certainly should cover all your Tesla charging needs. My system is not for everyone, but I am decidedly happy with it non the less. I may produce more than we use, but I am ok with that. If solar works up here in rainy, overcast Washington State it will work anywhere, as long as you have a home with good solar exposure. We actually spent 6 months looking for the right home up here, as most homes we considered had serious tree shading issues making solar untenable. The house we found was brought with solar in mind, so things have worked out.

@TikiMan. Thanks, frankly, I have been pleasantly surprised. Although, solar production really sucks during the late Fall and Winter, but takes off from May through early Fall. It looks like our production today will be in the high 70's. We produced 79 kwh yesterday, and have been in the high 70's all week.

TikiMan | July 26, 2013

Docrob,

Yes, I am one of the lucky few who has a situation like that. Cool ocean breezes, in sunny Cal. We are lucky enough that we only need A/C few weeks a year, the rest of the year is mostly between 60-75 degrees on avarage.

Unfortunately, on the downside, we are stuck with Southern California Edison Power, which has very high rates, and bases our rate on 'Tiers' (the higher the Tier, the more $$ per kwh). Thus, we benifit greatly the more solar generated power we can sell back to the grid during the day, during summer months (when their inland customers are running their A/C's all day).

Tesla-Dave,

How much did your system cost, before tax rebates?

Tesla-David | July 27, 2013

@TikiMan.
We did two phases, the initial 9.84 kwh (41 panel) system was ~$65k before tax incentives. Phase II = 3.36 kwh (14 panels) was ~$18k. We brought Itek panels and Bluefrog microinverters made in Washington State, which cost a bit more, but also give us the maximum payback incentive @ $0.54/kwh selling back to the grid. Washington State has no sales tax on the system, and we got a check for $2.5k from our utility provider for signing up for net metering, and the 30% federal tax credit reimbursement ($18.6k). I decided to go with the phase II after monitoring Tesla charging requirements for four months, indicated we were using about 260 kwh/month x 12 = 3.12 kwh/year.

Docrob | July 27, 2013

This may be the most offensive thing I've said yet Tesla-David, but we here in Australia laid $8,299 for our 5kw system, that was after a $2,500 rebate from REC's and the system is offsetting power we pay at a retail tariff of 27c/Kwh. It is puzzling how badly the US is behind on the falling costs of solar. Not that it's not worth it, but it should be a hell of a better deal, the rest of the world has seen costs plummet in recent years, the US has seen a slow downward dawdle.

Docrob | July 27, 2013

Paid*

Brian H | July 27, 2013

More demand in the US, sellers don't need desperation discounts?

Docrob | July 27, 2013

We are about to crack 20% of all Australians home having a solar array, the demand here is unbelievable and 4-5 times what was predicted in government reports just 2 years ago. WE recently surpassed our Government's 2020 expectations made in 2010 for total` installed capacity. Demand is not an issue here.

Colasec | July 28, 2013

@Docrob

I had no idea that solar is so popular in Australia. It makes me happy to know that you guys are doing so much good for the environment.

Tesla-David | July 29, 2013

@Docrob

No offense in your comments. I am delighted to hear that solar is doing so well in Australia. I know we are behind, but attended a Solar-Energy Festival here this past weekend at one of our local Community Colleges, that was very well attended, so interest in clean energy is picking up in Seattle, and more people are considering solar. But I agree, the costs need to come down. If we could implement a carbon tax here, we might have a better chance to make clean energy alternatives more cost competitive with the fossil fuel energy sector. Even with the costs being what they are, my system will pay for itself in less than seven years, and owning the system will have all my energy needs taken taken care of. I hope the U.S. can follow Australia and Germany's lead on solar installations. Very impressive statistics on your country doing the right thing for the planet.

asriram | July 29, 2013

LED light bulb prices have dropped significantly now. At home Depot it has dropped to $9.97

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