We researched the solar energy offers of eight companies and decided finally to work with Tom Harriman, who visited our home for a detailed analysis and again for more detailed evaluation of our options. We agreed on a 34 panel solar system with two 10 KWh backup batteries. The system was calculated to be able to supply the house with all essential power for the case of a multi-day loss of power from the grid. The county inspector, reviewing the final installed system, congratulated us on selecting a good installer. Harriman’s team did an excellent job of installing the system within the timeframe promised and the first test showed that it was up to the task to provide 24 hour power for the AC, refrigerator/freezer, TV, lights, security, computers and coffee maker, while generating enough extra power to charge the batteries to run everything during the next night.
The system is running now for more than a year, so that we can compare power usage from the grid and the cost savings through the solar system. Our yearly power consumption from the grid was 22.8 MW, which included extensive heating of a 20,000 gal pool as well. In its first full year, the solar system produced 17.2 MWh. Supported by better energy choices through the SolarEdge monitoring system, we had a net consumption from the grid of 83 KWh or $ 9.45 worth of energy. We are paying nearly every months only the $9.00 connection fee to FPL and enjoy currently a reserve of 911 KWh energy, which we delivered more to FPL than they delivered to us. At this rate of system production versus our earlier power cost, the solar panels pay for themselves in 9 years. The backup batteries allowed us to not buy a backup generator, which would have cost about the same to get installed. Our system works quietly, fully automated with no need for expensive maintenance or refueling of a loud generator. Considering the power losses of transporting electricity through the grid, generating our most of our power needs is much smarter from a total balance perspective, better for the environment and the right choice for the future.