Thursday, August 1, 2013

How are we doing?

I picked almost six pounds of pole beans this morning. Three small tomatoes. Most of the garden is weed jungle. Morning glories in full glory, etc. Quite a few green bells on six plants, waiting for them and waiting for them. To turn red. Basil blooming. A lone surviving squash plant making one squash, not quite big enough to pick today. Don't know what's wrong with the black turtle beans, they are taking a long long time. Sweet potato plants look pretty good. Figs are coming in, picked for breakfast this morning. Judy has already picked a bag of apples. We may have pears this year. Gosh, I haven't even looked at the Japanese persimmons!

The TREC utility bill shows we used 338 Kwh last month. Compared with 452 Kwh for the same period last year (but one more day in the current bill, makes it even better). That 114 Kwh drop is a rough approximation of what the solar system is producing. About one-fourth of our total electric bill. Is that good? Well, of course. Sort of. Maybe $15-$20 a month saving. For an investment of close to ten grand. Go figure.

But try to include in your calculations an adjustment factor that will include the true costs of electric power, not just what's on the utility bill. You know, the "indirect" but real costs, the costs of the wars and the costs of the environmental damage done by fossil fuel-generation (heck, nuclear is even worse, considering the real long-term factors), and the extra health care costs, especially from coal power, which is what most Alabama electricity is made of.

What should the adjustment factor be? I don't really know. My guess would be at least 10x.

And hey, remember, when the grid goes down, we have electric power.

I'll probably have more to say about all this in a future post, stay tuned.

No comments: