Friday, May 13, 2011

Solar power update

Various snippets of news ...

EDF have told us that the first FIT payment and payment for electricity supplied to the grid is about to be transferred into our bank account. A mere £19 or so, this being for the 45 units we generated from mid-December to the end of February - but you have to start somewhere.

The reading was requested in March, and I sent it on 1st March - incidentally, just before the system really started to get going. As I mentioned in an earlier post, EDF only undertook to make the payment within 90 days of the end of the month that the reading was taken - which would have been the end of June, basically. So it was reassuring to be told it would be arriving six weeks earlier than that. I don't know if had I taken the reading later in the month, whether I'd have got the payment at the same time.

The next payment will be for electricity generated from March 1 to the end of May, and will be somewhat more substantial - we're running at an average of around 7 units per day at the moment, and I think we'll be claiming for around 500 kWh for those three months.

The amount of electricity we are drawing from the mains is lower - and noticeably lower on bright days than on dull days. Several years ago, we seemed to be using an average of around 20-22 units per day, all year round. I think our usage is somewhat less than that now - partly due to the replacement of appliances with more efficient ones, and use of low energy lightbulbs, over the last few years; partly due to the feedback from the energy monitor that we have - in the last few months of the winter, it sometimes spiked at over 20 units per day, but the average was around 17. Less power is used for lighting and so on in the summer, so that would bring it down a bit further. But the seven-day moving average of electricity units drawn from the main has actually been below 10 since early April. For a few days in the clear, bright weather at the start of May, we were generating over 11 kWh per day, and the moving average of the amount we were generating was actually above the moving average of the amount we were using.

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