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Why I Went Solar: A True Story

| January 1, 2014 | 0 Comments

By Michael Wong

13-1 PGE graphTake a good look at the letter I regularly receive with my PGE bill for November, 2013 (below left). Take a really good look and pay attention to the red circle. It’s reads “Your net usage for this month was 0 kWh”. In fact, I ended up generating back to PGE 5 kWh (256 consumed vs. 261 generated) or 102% efficiency. Needless to say, being November, I was happily surprised. In August, for example, being the peak of Summer, that percentage could soar to well over 120% and then during the rainiest months of January through March, that efficiency would drop to less than 10%. Sure it’s not much but the credits that PGE gives me for my net generation during the Summer months helps to subsidize these months so that my year to year savings on electricity has made my choice to go solar well worth it.

So the first question I’m always asked is about monthly savings and now you know. The second question: how much did I pay for the system? The answer: $0. Yes, I have 18 panels on my roof generating close to 4 kW DC and because I chose to go with Solar City (see ad next page), I could take advantage of their leasing program. $0 down, $31/month for 15 years. So even if I add this to my monthly PGE bill I still come out way ahead but you know what, even if I just broke even, I’d still do it just to be able to say ‘I’m doing something’ and that’s important to me. I did have other options however and just like with a car, I could take out a loan or pay outright and with all the incentives, both are worth looking into.

13-2 PGE solar billSo why did I go solar? Save money, go green and oh, did I mention that the value of my house went up by $10k? Why not!

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Category: Beaverton

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