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I've had my solar system for 2.5 years. For the first year or so my electric bill was $2 a month, and at the end of the year I got a $75 check from SCE from the extra power I produced. Now they raised the min monthly bill to $10 a month.
I've heard that SDGE is actually starting to limit the number of solar systems they approve mainly because lots of people are going solar.
The 20 cents a KWh is pretty inline with the average in CA it seems. Wish it was more in line with what the nighttime rates were of 14 cents. At least the system is there if you need it and a full charge is still going to be less than a tank of gas since gas prices are on the rise again. Expectantly with the new tax that got added this month. Just filled up this morning for $3.199 a gallon. Same station last week was $3.079. But still a lot better than it was a few years ago when I was paying nearly $5 a gallon.
I still can't wait to never step foot in another gas station again.
Our minimum monthly bill here in Arizona (APS) is around $10-$11 per month as well. We always over-produce, but that's as low as the bill can go. Still, it's not bad for the use of power at night when our solar panels become dead weights.
And to go a step further, if you are inside city limited, many cities have municipal code requiring homes to be connected to the grid to be considered habitable. Without being on the electrical grid, the city could condem a home, even if it had the ability to be 100% electric independent.
I'm glad that what I heard is not true. I don't live within SDG&E bounds, so I was going off by what my father in law told me about a year ago when he was looking into getting a solar system. Maybe he was talking about the net metering cap that there was some news articles a year. I guess now you have to go to a TOU plan vs staying on a standard rate plan.
I'm basing it on the fact that I got a LEAF in mid-2011 and have put 100,000+ solar-powered miles on it, saving me about $2,500 a year in gas. That plus the $1,000 or so per year for home electrical about equals my $15,000 cost for the 5.1kW system (after all rebates). And after 7+ years, I'm still slightly energy-negative (I've sold more to the utility than I've consumed from them).
And yes, if they succeed in removing the feed-in tariff, I equate the result to electricity theft as well. But of course, the utility doesn't see it that way.
Perfect use for a powerwall. Most people don't understand that if the grid goes down with a standard solar system you'll still be out of power. I've been reading that there is actually a company that is making micro-inverters that can actually supply power to the house with the grid down. But I still think a battery system is a great addition to a solar system.
My 7KW solar array has totally eliminated my electric bill. I own both a Leaf and a model S P85 that run on sunshine. My electrical provider pays me $0.116 per kWh on every one I supply to the grid. My balance with them is over negative $300.00. The provider is Green Mountain.
Pika Energy had an inverter that did that, but they have since discontinued it as it wasn't reliable (the concept, not the electronics). At some level you are always going to need at least some batteries.
While it does seem that way, I believe there's a option that avoids the issue and is exactly what I plan to do in a couple of years. I plan is to install a generator transfer switch, put a Powerwall on the generator side of the transfer switch and add 5 more kW of solar to charge the Powerwall. When the weather is agreeable and I'm making enough to cover the usage, I will have the transfer switch on the generator side and when the solar production is not sufficient, put it on the grid side. I will put more effort into the design when the time comes, because the limiting factor will be the output of the Powerwall's built in inverter. It may not cover every load.