Finally, our solar panels are up and running

Yesterday, March 29th, 2022, was a momentous day. Our bi-directional meter was installed, allowing us to send any extra power produced from our solar panels back to the grid. Our solar panels are fully up and running!

The gentleman that installed the new meter said my panels had already been supplying power to our house. I was a bit surprised and happy, as we have had a few good days of sun recently that I thought we missed. I downloaded the mySunpower app, which allows you to see production by day, month, year, and lifetime. The solar panels saved us $24 in grid electricity in 3 short weeks.

mySunpower app showing our solar production in March 2022. Source: smilingdad
mySunpower app showing savings for March 2022. The app tracks C02 saved, fully grown and planted trees, car miles not driven, and equivalent gasoline saved.

Perhaps more importantly, the climate economics of the panels is 1 ton of C02 saved, the equivalent of 10 fully grown and planted trees, avoiding driving for 1,435 miles, and the equivalent of 65 gallons of gas saved. Take that, Russian oil and gas complex!

Some observations for those considering solar.

  • At every step of the way, keep pushing. Push your home owners association to approve, follow up to make sure they have what they need, push the solar installation company for an appointment, push for a company inspection, push for a utility inspection, push for the bi-directional meter.
  • I’m happy with Sunpower and Freedom Solar. I would happily recommend them.
  • Modern houses are not built with solar in mind. Home builders do not consider how to best increase solar panels or solar production on the house, or how to connect it to the meter. Everything is an after-thought. A first principles re-design of houses to be fully electric and self-sustaining is needed.
  • Such living spaces would incorporate vehicle to grid technology, which would allow you to charge your big electric vehicle battery in the day, and use the battery for power in the night. Electric vehicle batteries are far cheaper and larger than standalone batteries today. The new Ford F-150 is a great example of vehicle to grid.
  • Finally, yes finally, the impact to your wallet and climate economics, cleaner air, and not supporting autocracies and dictators makes solar worth considering. It’s interesting to note our solar cost per kWh will go down in the summer, with greater production and fixed costs, and our grid cost will go up in the summer, due to lower variable and higher fixed costs. It looks like the opposite will be true in winter.
  • The lead time to get panels fully working was 5 months. I expect shortages in the supply chain to make this worse over the coming months.

Thanks for reading. What are your thoughts on getting solar?

With peace, hope, and love,


Published by smilingdad

My story is one of tragedy and redemption. We've made many mistakes along the way regarding our money. Our goal here is to show you how to take care of your money life long, and as much as we can, help the Earth along the way. I call it sustainable personal finance and ethical capitalism. Currently, I am a part time writer for Cleantechnica and part-time licensed financial professional, along with being a full-time dad.

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