Sunday, February 6, 2011

True Up - True Dat!

This year was a relatively poor year for solar PV.
We were overcast for nearly the entire summer along the coast in So-Cal. Not that I am complaining.

In January we received our annual true-up from SDG&E. This is the bill for the entire year for our electricity usage for the home and car. In summer we generate far more than we use, in winter it is the reverse, so the true up is what’s left at the end of the year.

This past year to power our home and our Mini-E 16,000 miles, our bill was $410. In addition to that we have a $260 gas bill for our natural gas usage. Again it was not the best year for solar. Last year our bill was $185 for the year.

Our home is a net zero energy home. How can that be if we have a bill for $670 this year for gas and electric? Because the home also supplies the electricity to drive a car 16,000 miles. This offsets what would be a fuel purchase of 640 gallons of gas at a real world 25 miles per gallon. At the current rate of $3.49 a gallon this is an offset or savings of $2,233.

If we did not have the Mini-E, thus not using 4500kwhs from the home to power the car, our utility bill including gas and electric would be below zero for the year.

A similar 4500 foot house/guesthouse (I will not apologize for living in an estate home) with a temp controlled 450 sq. ft. cellar and similar amenities to our home would have a monthly gas and electric bill of $500 or $6000 a year, and a 25mpg car using $2,233 of gasoline for a combined home utility and car gas bill or $8,233 a year.

$8000 a year or $400 a year, it’s your choice America.

We are in year three of our solar pv world and year two of our electric car world. At the above savings, after 5 years total (we're more than half way) our total cost for home energy efficiencies (8k) and solar pv (30k) will be paid off in full simply by using the same money we are not paying the utility company and Opec.
After another 2.5 years, it’s free energy for the home and our electric car for the rest of our life.

True Dat!



  1. Hi Peder,

    Beautiful home that you have!! I like the style, siting, and eco-concious building and living you have chosen. Your Mini-E is right at home there.

    I'm curious what transit you find available and useful in your area. As a fellow San Diego County resident, I am only aware of NCTD Coaster train and Breeze buses. Typically, people find bus routes not convenient to cover large suburban distances (to many stops and traffic).

    I would love to see SANDAG abandon I-5 lane expansion in favor of a San Diego Trolley expansion north of UTC that runs east of I-5 where a majority of North County homes lie (perhaps down El Camino Real corridor). The idea would be to connect business centers (UTC, Sorrento Mesa, Carmel Valley) with homes. The Coaster is nice, but it runs rather infrequently, and is located just far enough from most homes and offices that it requires driving to the stations.


  2. Simple trick to cut your electric bill up to 75%:

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    so even if everyone else in your area (or even the whole country) loses power…you won’t.