One Year Update

Last Winter

We’ve been in a year now.  What I can report is that the house lives up to ALL my expiations.  In winter there are no cold spots or drafts of chilly spots.  In 40f outside nighttime temps we may not run any heat at all.  We find the TV and appliances is enough to heat the great room and kitchen to around 68-70 degrees. and over night with our body heat plus Joe’s (our Border Colie) the bedroom temperature will go up, about two degrees over night.

On cold days and nights 20 to 40 the one mini-split in the great room is enough to heat the whole house (a 9,000btu @ 30.5SEER unit). When it’s below 20 in the afternoon, around 4:00PM as the sun is setting, like most house you feel a chill. So we run the bedroom mini-split for about two hours, then the one mini-split in the great room handles the hole house for the rest on the time.

Now, we didn’t have a very cold winter, I don’t think it ever got down to 10 degrees.  Our total energy costs for, Dec, Jan, Feb & Mar was just $383.  In the old house the EL cost was $583 plus about $3000 in propane.   A $3,200 savings just in winter.

I do need to build little shelters/roof for the mini-split’s condensers to keep the snow off.  One big snow storm buried them.

The hot water heater runs on  “heat pump” only mod, we’ve never had to let heating elements run.

Spring & Fall

The house just holds it temperature and nothing else needs to ne done,

Summer

The house holds it’s temperature, cold or warm.  So if its 68-70 in the morning just close the windows and it will stay there. If it goes into the upper 80s the house may gain a few degrees.  My may kick the great room mini-split on. With the outside temps at 90 plus we will run the great room mini-split up to around 10 PM, then off for the rest of the night.  We’ll run both the bedroom and Great room mini-splits when the humidity get uncomfortable .   The bedroom one for just about 2 hours.

In April our electrical bill was $6.08 with no credit generated, In May, June and July  the Electric charge was $2.89 (the grid linked fee) and we generated a 394 kW credit. I expect this month and maybe Sept the same. Plus We’ve created 4 SREC’s so far. I should get about 7 for the year.

I have a generated and a usage electric meter.  Both were installed late November when I was allowed to active the solar system.  So the generation was at it’s lowest point: last half Nov, Dec & Jan.  But in the next few days the generation meter will pass the usage meter.

HERS Rating

Because our life style doesn’t fit the model our HERS rating was only a 16.  My belief because there is only two of us living in the house our usage is below what the model predicts.  Since NJ is a net meter state (they pay us retail for our excess electric generation)  they’re not happy if I over generate to much. So I tried to match our solar system to our usage.  With the numbers I’m seeing I believe we will be very close to Net-Zero by our year end, Nov 30th.  I have the room for 4 more panels if I want to bust the out put a little or add an electric car.

Summary

So the house was 100% success.  My first goal was a comfortable house. And it really is in all aspects. The second goal was the energy savings and it looks like it will be close to a Net-Zero, thus around a $5,000 per year savings over out last house.

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