We were fortunate to escape the Texas heat and drought for a month. Our electricity needs were minimal, with the house AC set to 78° F (25.5°C). Even with only the AC running, our solar production was eclipsed by running the AC through the night. This is due to high night time temperatures. The current panels cover about 45% to 50% of our daily energy usage.
I’ve spoken to Freedom Solar, SunPower’s installer. We are in the process of adding more panels. I don’t expect the panels to cover our full energy needs for the summer. But, the new cost is locked in for 25 years at 1.99%. Summers will get hotter for longer. Temperatures will remain elevated at night. Costs for Texas energy will surge higher due to grid mismanagement. This seems like a good hedge against a changing, warming climate.
In the winter, we can use the extra electricity to run room heaters, and minimize use of the central gas furnace. We’ll save on natural gas usage.
The Inflation Reduction Act will support other measures to transition to green electricity. We’ll discuss what it means next. I’ll keep all of you posted as the new panels get ready. We have the final design ready. Here’s a look where the new panels will be situated. Orange is existing, blue are new.
Photo by author, from Freedom Power Design document. Featured image are our existing solar panels on our roof.