Many people dread the arrival of their monthly electric bill. Not us.

We recently received a $13.38 monthly bill from Alliant Energy for electricity used in March.  A day later Enphase Energy emailed us our March photovoltaic production. That’s correct. Thirteen dollars and thirty-eight cents.

Our bill is about 1/10th the national average homeowner’s bill and is small thanks to three actions. Here’s what we do:

  • Shut “it” off: We are stingy on both money and wasteful appliances being on. If we’re not using lights, computers, the television, toaster, radon machine (that we turn off when we happen to be gone), or other electricity consumers we turn them off. We never leave outside lights on all night. They are wasteful, advertise where you live, and diminish the night sky. The latter we are learning is more important to humans than realized.
  • Embrace efficiency: Our house is almost entirely lit by LED bulbs with a few fluorescents and no incandescents. LEDs use only a tiny bit of electricity to provide outstanding light, and when we purchase appliances, we choose those most efficient.
  • Installed photovoltaics. We installed a small system four years ago and reaped federal and state tax credits. As soon as the system went active our bills plummeted.
  • Of course, in order to do the above, one has to plan and save money by doing the simple acts of turning off electric sources and long-term spend on only what you truly need.
Solar panels

On sunny days solar powers our energy needs.

Every month Enphase Energy emails us a report of our prior months’ electric production. March 2021 was mostly sunny and clear and our system produced 283 kilowatts. February was a dark winter month and our system was blanketed with snow. The system only made 76 KWH. However, as days lengthen our nine solar panels will produce ever more electricity,  keeping our monthly bill low.

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