We've spent the last few weeks waiting for Xcel energy to come and trench in new electrical service to the house from the alley. We wanted to replace the old overhead wires (they tend to get burned when your neighbors garages start on fire or come down in storms) with buried cable. Even though we've been on the schedule - they never seemed to make it to our house to do the work. This has cause multiple delays and rescheduling of things and has generally been pretty irksome.
The crew of 6 showed up today - 5 guys to watch 1 work - and started in on the task, their brand new trucks at the ready. I tell you all of this just because in my heart, though I have been completely aggravated about their adherence to schedule - I am secretly amused because I know that in a few days we will be selling them energy that we've created on our rooftop through our solar pv array.
A view of the solar thermal panels behind the solar pv panels. The white roof membrane helps keep our house cooler in the summer by reflecting unwanted solar radiation away from the house. This will get covered up by our green roof system this fall.
We have the pv system also connected to a battery back-up system so that we can continue to have power even if the power lines go down in a big storm (not ours of course, because they're buried). This is a sweet little system that even Mario is jealous of. He must be at least a little proud of it because he brought a few folks by the house yesterday to look at it. Both the solar thermal and solar pv systems have a lot of nice gizmos and features that allow us to do different things including data tracking and energy production, use and efficiency monitoring.
Okay - so how much did we pay for these systems?
The solar thermal system (2 panel) was just over $6,000.00 (not accounting for federal tax credits) and features a payback period of about 12-14 years.
Leon the builder and Mario the solar guy discussing where to buy white socks.