Friday, August 7, 2009

Cheaper Summer Electricity

July 2009 had record setting high temperatures in the Northwest US. Sunny skies and the absence of onshore breezes set the stage for the most severe heat wave in the region since 1981. Record highs were set in Portland and Seattle and many places in-between.

July 27: Portland International Airport (PDX) hit 103f, breaking the old record set in 1958. Vancouver WA also hit 103f to beat the 100f record set in 1998 by three degrees.

July 28th was 106f, breaking the 1998 record and setting a new all-time high temperature for any day of the year in Portland.

With all the heat, our air conditioner has been running more than ever and we just got our July electricity bill and it is lower than December. All the heat means that the solar panels have been pumping out the kilowatts. Which is more than enough to offset the seasonal use of the AC.

Before getting the solar panels, our summer electricity bills were 2-3X of our winter bills. Our electricity bill was still not zero. Remember the solar panels are sized to fuel my electric truck driving, not to take us off-grid. But it is nice that we no longer have spikes in the summer electric bills.

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