I’ve been sitting this evening, reflecting on energy and the Dunn household. Since our solar system went live on April 17, it’s produced 2.28 megawatt hours of power (equivalent to 2,280 pounds of coal!). The potential production was probably 200-400 kWh more, as we don’t have net metering and the Powerwall was not installed until early July. Our consumption during this same period was 6.86 megawatt hours, so the solar system produced a third of the power used by the house. However, another consideration is that our all-electric car, a Chevy Bolt, used 659 kWh from home charging (about 3,000 miles of driving) during the measurement period. That’s less than normal, as we were traveling for several weeks during this period. If you factor this out, the solar covered about 37% of the other household consumption during a hot summer with the three air conditioning units running many hours per day. During the next 3 months, I expect the solar percentage to increase substantially as the air conditioning load drops, before heating season begins in December (hey, it’s usually mild here).
Whether you reduce your power consumption by changing to LED bulbs, installing new windows, doors, HVAC systems, or by generating some of the power you need, we can all help to reduce fossil fuel usage and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Climate change is real, and together we can make a difference!