Solar Sister’s energy rank rises dramatically

My sister and her husband’s solar system was recently connected to the grid.  Their text message and embedded image nicely summarize what they think of their system:

Sister neighbor efficiency rank

              “Here is a great shot of our home energy report.  Thank you solar!”

An astronomical rise relative to their neighbors, from near the bottom to near the top.

When I received this image, I was reminded of a TED talk by Alex Laskey.  Laskey found that people are more highly motivated to save energy if they know how much energy they use relative to their neighbors.  Using human behavior to motivate energy conservation is a simple yet powerful idea.

And now that I see my Sister’s report, I wonder what motivated her and her husband to go solar:  the fact some of their neighbors also installed solar systems, my happiness with solar power, being able to make serious money by selling SRECs, or was it being ranked 98th out of 100 back in February???

Solar carport finished and commissioned

To see how much power we are producing click here.  The monitoring software tracks energy production hourly, daily, monthly and yearly.

Finished solar carport

A view from above

The final inspection and connection to the grid was fast (took 4 days).  The solar guys then came out to commission the system on 10/30/2012.  Basically, that means they made sure everything was wired properly, they installed the wireless monitoring card and then they turned the system on.

I have to say, solar power is pretty incredible.  From the moment the system was turned on, I could see from the inverter screen that power was being generated.  The system makes no noise as it basks in the sun, converting photons to electrons (electricity).

Based on the first few days of use, most of which were cloudy, we generated more electricity each day than we use on average.