Ever since I got my solar panels installed, I have noticed a troubling change in my behavior… I am excited to get my electric bill! Can you blame me? I’ve been getting the energy hook up from the heavens themselves and giving the proverbial middle finger to the utility company. It’s nothing to sneeze at.
However, things are a little different this time around. I am still losing sleep anticipating that electric bill, but the source of the anticipation is not the same. It is more of a nerve wracking anticipation than the joyful one I experienced with the looming summer solstice. The difference is that this time around, I am working with much shorter days and significantly more energy use to try and offset the nasty effects of the New England winter. This was my first full month of winter and also the first billing cycle when I did not have a left over credit from the previous month.
The daylight savings time kicked in and now the sun is fully below the horizon by 4:30 pm. Unlike the summer when it is bright until 9 o’clock at night, we no longer have 12 hours of sunlight keeping our appliances running. To make things worse, the last of the left over summer credits were eaten up by the December bill. But I did not have long to wait. My email pinged mid-day yesterday announcing that, with just a few clicks, I could find out if the cold and dark days of old man winter were going to keep burning a hole through our household budget or if renewable energy was worth the time and money we put into it. Lo and behold, our bill was $57 cheaper than it was this time last year.
Although $57 might not seem like a lot of money, we were saving over $150 a month by not having electricity costs all summer. If one of the colder months of the year can still yield us a $57 saving, I will put a check mark in the win column. Particularly since we haven’t even gotten our 30% tax credit yet.