Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Going Solar - The Third Year

Third year of solar ownership: shown below is a table with a summary of my HEL payments as well as payments to my electric company, JCP&L.  Also shown as credits, are the amounts I receive from the sale of the SREC’s generated from the solar array.  As before, this post will be updated periodically to reflect these payments and credits as they happen.

Date
HEL payment
JCP&L 
SREC’s
Total Solar Payments
Mar. 10, 2020
$148.45


       $148.45
Mar. 23, 2020

$2.78 (connection fee; 108 kWh credit)

       $151.23
Mar. 21, 2020


–$220.00
       –$68.77
Apr. 10, 2020
$148.45


         $79.68
Apr. 29, 2020


–$215.00
     –$135.32
May 1, 2020

$2.78 (227 kWh credit)

     –$132.54
May 10, 2020
$148.45


         $15.91
May 29, 2020

$2.78 (503 kWh credit)

         $18.69
June 10, 2020
$148.45


      $167.14
June 16, 2020


–$217.00
      –$49.86
July 1, 2020

$2.78 (969 kWh credit)

      –$47.08
July 10, 2020
$148.45


      $101.37

As before, I have listed how fast I am accumulating solar renewable energy certificates (SREC’s; 1 SREC for every 1000 kWh’s generated), which are listed in the table below.

Date kWh
Observed
Date
kWh
Recorded
in GATS
Date SREC
Received
kiloWatthrs (kWh)
Total # of SREC’s
Sold price
Date SREC
direct deposit received
  3/4/20


    17006




   3/5/20

    17038





 3/13/20
    17431
          1
$220.00
3/21/20
4/14/20
 4/14/20

    18001





 4/22/20
    18391
          1
$215.00
4/29/20

 5/13/20

    18816



5/19/20


    19030




   6/4/20

    19535





 6/11/20
    19969
          1
$217.00
6/16/20
6/18/20


    20016




   7/6/20

    20575




Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Second Annual Return on Investment (ROI) Calculation

Using the following investment formula:

ROI = (Gain from investment – cost of investment)/cost of investment

It is easy to calculate ROI for the second year of solar usage.  

First, the cost of the investment: 
(I will assume $23 for home insurance as it was the year before since my insurance company did not break out insurance for the solar array separately)

Home insurance                                                 $23.00
12 HEL monthly payments                            $1781.40
(Mar. 2019-Feb. 2020)
electricity costs to JCP&L                                 $33.10
                                                                       $1837.50

This cost is balanced by the money received from the sale of 8 SREC’s = $1764.00

Let’s assume that my electrical costs for Feb. 2019 – Feb. 2020 would be the same as what I paid for electricity in 2017 (before I had my solar array), which was $1124.21.  My gain from investment is:  $1764.0 + $1124.21 = $2888.21

Plugging into the formula shown above gives us:

            ROI = ($2888.21 - $1837.50)/$1837.50 = 0.572 or 57.2%

Now that we have gotten past the initial costs of the first year, this investment in solar energy is really starting to pay off!

Another way to look at it is that without solar, I would expect to pay $1124.21 for electricity.  With solar, I had a total cost for the second year of $1837.50 - $1764.00 = $73.50.   My net gain is $1124.21 - $73.50 = $1050.71. 

It’s like having someone give you an extra thousand dollars a year.  No, it won’t make me rich, but it is definitely a welcome addition to my annual budget.

As before, my solar array produced slightly more than 8000 kWh as expected (8 SREC’s were obtained and sold).  We got smarter at monitoring our electrical usage and put our Halloween and Xmas decorations on timers this year, as opposed to 2018 when they were on pretty much 24/7.  It did make a noticeable difference in our electric bill.  We had a slight excess in kWh at the end of our solar year (Feb. 2020), so JCP&L gave us a credit of $3.30 (excess kWh are credited at the wholesale rate, which is a lot less than the retail rate that consumers pay for electricity).

Lastly, I will note that our solar array has not required any attention or any kind of repair thus far.  Celebrating two years of trouble-free operation!

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Going Solar - The Second Year

As I begin the second year of solar ownership, shown below is a table with a summary of my HEL payments, as well as payments to my electric company, JCP&L.  Also shown as credits, are the amounts I receive from the sale of the SREC’s generated from the solar array.  As before, this post will be updated periodically to reflect these payments and credits as they happen.  Note that thus far, the solar array has required absolutely zero maintenance.

Date
HEL payment
JCP&L 
SREC’s
Total Solar Payments
Mar. 11, 2019
$148.45


       $148.45
Apr. 2, 2019
     
   $8.50

       $156.95
Apr. 10, 2019
$148.45


       $305.40
Apr. 29, 2019

$2.83 (connection fee; 219 kWh credit)

       $308.23
May 4, 2019


–$224.00
         $84.23
May 10, 2019
$148.45


      $232.68
May 31, 2019

$2.83 (413 kWh credit)

      $235.51
June 6, 2019


–$220.00
        $15.51
June 10, 2019
$148.45


      $163.96
July 2, 2019

$2.78 (866  kWh credit)

      $166.74
July 8, 2019


–$220.00
      –$53.26
July 10, 2019
$148.45


        $95.19
Aug. 1, 2019

$2.78 (828  kWh credit)

        $97.97
Aug. 5, 2019


–$222.00
   –$124.03
Aug. 10, 2019
$148.45


        $24.42
Aug. 30, 2019

$2.78 (726  kWh credit)

        $27.20
Sept. 7, 2019


–$224.00
   –$196.80
Sept.10, 2019
$148.45


     –$48.35
Oct. 2, 2019

$2.78 (660  kWh credit)

     –$45.57
Oct. 5, 2019


–$222.00
   –$267.57
Oct. 10, 2019
$148.45


   –$119.12
Nov. 1, 2019

$2.78 (810  kWh credit)

   –$116.34
Nov. 10, 2019
$148.45


       $32.11
Nov. 21, 2019


–$217.00
  –$184.89   
Dec. 2, 2019

$2.78 (803  kWh credit)

  –$182.11
Dec. 10, 2019
$148.45


    –$33.66
Dec. 31, 2019

$2.78 (610  kWh credit)

    –$30.88
Jan. 10, 2020
$148.45


    $117.57
Jan. 21, 2020


–$215.00
    –$97.43
Jan. 31, 2020

$2.78 (395  kWh credit)

    –$94.65
Feb. 10, 2020
$148.45


      $53.80
Feb. 21, 2020

$3.30 (0 kWh credit)

      $50.30

As before, I have listed how fast I am accumulating solar renewable energy certificates (SREC’s; 1 SREC for every 1000 kWh’s generated), which are listed in the table below.

Date kWh
Observed
Date
kWh
Recorded
in GATS
Date SREC
Received
kiloWatthrs (kWh)
Total # of SREC’s
Sold price
Date SREC
check received

3/10/19

        8602



3/24/19


        9016




4/10/19

        9510



4/29/19


      10000





4/30/19
      10024
      1
$224.00
5/4/19

5/10/19

      10242





5/31/19
      10840
      1
$220.00
6/6/19
6/4/19


      11020




6/7/19

      11092





6/28/19

      1
$220.00
7/8/19
7/7/19


      12034




7/11/19

      12151





7/31/19
      12822
      1
$222.00
8/5/19
8/6/19


      13007




8/11/19

      13179





8/31/19
      13735
      1
$224.00
9/7/19
9/11/19
9/11/19

      14013





9/30/19
      14525
      1
$222.00
10/5/19

10/11/19

      14727



10/24/19


      15000




11/7/19

      15219





11/14/19
      15349
      1
$217.00
11/21/19

12/11/19

      15679



1/8/20
1/8/20

      16006





1/14/20

      1
$215.00
1/21/20

Starting this month (Nov. 2019), PJM Energy Information Services, Inc. has started issuing SREC's five days after enough kWh are submitted to your pjm-eis account.  So it's now a little faster to monetize your SREC's, which is a positive development.

I'd also like to thank those people who took the time to post kind remarks under the "comments" section.  It is my hope that people who are considering solar (particularly in New Jersey) will find this information helpful.  If you're just checking in from another part of the country or from another country to get an idea of how much electricity a given set of solar panels will generate, keep in mind that your results will vary depending on the solar potential of your location (of course, for optimal performance solar panels should not be shaded by tall trees or buildings).  For a map of the Dept. of Energy's solar potential map for the lower 48 states, see https://www.energy.gov/maps/solar-energy-potential.