Fast forward to last summer. Solar panels started popping up on roof tops all over our community. When I had researched solar energy in the past, the cost had been prohibitive. We certainly didn't have $30,000 laying around for that. But, with all the rebates and credits available it was suddenly affordable.
I talked to some of our neighbors who had made the switch. They were almost giddy with pleasure at watching their electricity gauge run BACKWARDS. They said the rebates covered their upfront costs. So, I took a survey to measure our usage against the cost and it penciled out to be a wash -- or slightly better.
Our regular electricity bill has averaged $170 per month. We hardly ever use our air conditioner and are relatively frugal with our appliances and lights and such. However, we have one of these:
We use solar to heat the pool, but it still requires a lot of electricity to run the pump. And, we have one of these:
This is our "pond." It is a huge stock tank filled with water and a smattering of goldfish. It is the water source for the horses and donkeys. To keep the water sparkling clean, it has a very strong pump, large filter, and UV clarifier to zap all the nasty bacteria. All that equipment runs 24/7. The horses love the water.
|Winston: This hotel has great food and water. I hope I get to stay a long time.|
|Jackson: It's the Hotel California. You can check out but you can never leave.|
|Are you done taking pictures? It's dinner time for Pete's sake!|
At the end of the day, my electricity bill is pretty much the same. But instead of buying electricity, I'm making payments on a green energy source. Our down payment was our rebate money. So, no up front cost to us at all.
I'll leave you with tonight's sunset which is typical of what we see. We don't get much "weather"; no clouds to catch the sun's rays and bounce them around the sky in a spectacular show of color. In fact, if we get an orange sky we immediately think "Fire!!"
Not that I'm complaining. It was 70F today -- not bad for January. (and not typical but I'll take it -- and all the electricity we made).