Our BC Hydro bill shows us both our net consumption, but also what we sent back to our neighbours. We get a full kilowatt hour credit for the solar power that we couldn’t use, so nothing was wasted.
Our solar system – 6.2kW in all, produced 38% of our electricity over the past 12 months.
Net Metered BC Home – A Case Study
Our family of four uses 19,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year. That’s more than the Canadian average of 11,000 kWh, but we do have two teenagers with all their electronics, a 100% electric car (Nissan Leaf), and a hot tub to keep Dear Old Dad going after his overzealous sporting activities. Not to mention warm floors in the bathrooms.
In BC the cost of electricity has risen 15% over the past two years, which equates to 13.4 cents with the 5% annual increase and GST. This is for all kilowatt-hours over 1132 per billing period, or about 8000 kWh per year. With billions of dollars needed for upgrades to the province’s electrical grid and an additional $8 billion needed for the Site C project, we expect regular price increases to the cost of electricity.
Our goal was to reduce our electrical purchases by 40% using solar, without a drastic change in lifestyle. The process started with a roof assessment. Like most Canadian houses, there are lots of smaller, non-solar-friendly spaces. There are many pitches, dormers, skylights, roof vents, and decorative pieces in lieu of a large, south-facing, 30-degree pitch. Oh well – we’ve got what we’ve got, so we worked with it. Continue reading