Why Solar? Why now? Save money, save the environment. Why not Solar now?

When we bought our home, there was a woodstove in the house. My father had a woodstove in his house on the farm (it was in the wrong part of the hosue honestly). This one is sitting in the middle of our living/family room (the previous owner had made the basement family room into a true home theater with blackout curtains and blackout paint on the walls). The wood stove actually heats most of the hosue (other than the basement). The basement stays relatively warm due to my technology that runs all the time (routers etc). I wish now, that the woodstove was actually in the fireplace cut out in the basement as it would heat the entire hosue. As it is, on days that get down into the 30’s with day’s in the high 60’s we can leave the furnace off and heat the house with the wood stove.

So, for roughly 300 bucks in firewood I can cut my power bill by roughly 500 or more dollars per year (my gut is probably way more than 500). Add to that the reality of non-snow covered solar panels and I can cut my overall power bill by 1000 or more per year. That is after subtracting the cost of the solar installation and firewood. That is sadly without trying to save. If we were trying to save there are a number of other things we could reduce.

Now, if we look at the heat produced by the woodstove, we lose a percentage of that because it is in the middle of the house not the basement. The same is true of solar – we lose the major production mid-day because more is produced than we consume. That enters the future world of Transactive energy where energy produced becomes energy paid for. A study released in August 2016 found that there was more solar power than coal power produced in the US as of 2016. So, President Obama’s dedication and investment in solar power is beginning to pay off.

Still on nights when it is cold outside, a nice warm fire makes a difference. That and having one of my mother’s couch quilts. Before solar my average power bills in the summer are in the table below – with the new bills to compare.


Before Solar (woodstove only in winter

After Solar (still using wood stove)


Gas 45 Electric 120

Gas 45 Electric 80


Gas 20 Electric 350

Gas 20 Electric 250 (worst month)


Gas 60 electric 150

Gas 60 Electric 90


Gas 150 Electric 150

Gas 150 Electric 90

So far total monthly savings: 120 dollars in spring. 300 dollars in the summer. 180 dollars in the fall and 180 dollars in the winter – 780 dollars per year just having solar in savings.

The path to a better tomorrow lies through Transactive Energy. Good part of the path does. We still have issues that clean energy doesn’t solve.


Transactive Energy Fan!