We’ve been pleased with the solar panels and their production at the house in Texas. Several years ago I started seeing tons of solar panels in MO – way more than I see in Texas. When I was telling Vince about how many places I was seeing with solar panels, he kinda blew it off, thinking a good salesman had come through and convinced a lot of people to do it.
We were pleased that this house had solar panels. Vince would probably not have added them since he felt like this part of the country didn’t get enough sun to justify it.
We were a bit disappointed with the way the electric company buys back power and heard that just north of here, it’s a much better deal but, even though what they pay for power they receive is way less than what we pay (in Texas it’s the same – they pay us the same for what we send back as what we pay for what we buy but here, we pay about 13 cents for what we buy and get back about 3 cents for what we return), the way they calculate it makes it work better for us.
Here, our house is over twice the size of the Texas house. Half the house is basement and there’s not much energy that goes into heating or cooling that area but the main level has lots of windows and is about 1,900 square feet compared to almost 1,700 in Texas. We do have three freezers and three fridges there, where we have two fridges and one freezer here. Our HVAC unit in Texas is about as energy efficient as we could get four years ago. The one here is good but not top of the line.
We have a 9kw system in Texas and I think the one here is 11kw so a bit bigger system but still a whole lot more house plus in Texas we had propane heat, water heater, stove and dryer. Here we’re all electric.
I think the way they do it here is this: Say we use 1,000 kwh of power from the power company and send back 1,100 kwh. In Texas, they would charge us 1,000 x 13 cents, then pay us back 1,100 kwh x 13 cents for a net gain to us of $13.
Here, we thought they would calculate it the same way they did in Texas and charge us .13 x 1,000 ($130), then they would pay us back 1,1000 x .03 ($33) so we would owe $97. But that’s not how they do it. They take the 1,000 kwh of their power we used, subtract the 1,100 we sent back and then they pay us for the 100 kwh extra, so we’d get a $3.00 credit.
If we had used that same 1,000 kwh and only sent back 400 kwh:
Texas: 1000 x .13 = $130. 400 kwh x .13 = $52. So, in Texas we would have owed $78
Missouri: 1000 used – 400 sent bac
k = 600 kwh net x .13 = $78
Even though it sounds like it isn’t a good deal . . it doesn’t always work out to be the same but it isn’t bad.
I’m not sure what MO currently has for incentives but in the past, they’ve had some pretty awesome incentives. In Texas, there were none other than what the federal government was offering. So, the solar panels here seem to be a better deal all around but . . once the snow begins to fall and I’m here alone, I doubt I get much benefit from the solar panels . . til the snow melts!