In the 10 years from 2006 to 2015 our household has spent nearly $20,000 on electricity (averaging $2,000 per year). 10 years is a long time, but $20,000 is also a lot of money, especially given how much I have to show for it.
2016, our first full year with solar panels and smarter energy usage, came in well below the average, thankfully.
I have no one to blame but myself, however, as I didn't pay any attention to increasing electricity costs or their effect on the household budget until some time during 2012. The dip in 2013 was due to running only a single computer 24/7 rather than two.
At the beginning of 2014, in order to get this symptom of undisciplined lifestyle inflation under control, I started taking electricity usage statistics twice daily after being unable to answer two key questions I was asked when I first inquired about solar:
- How much power do you use?
- How is your power usage split between day and night?
2016 is a refreshing change, showing the stark cost difference that solar panels (and smarter energy behaviour and more efficient lighting) make.
Before we get into analysing the ups and, more specifically, the downs, it's worth looking at how the spiralling costs relate to actual electricity usage.
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