My families energy usage, mid-2018 to mid-2019

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I wrote up a post; check it out!


Of course we have a 5Kwh solar setup on our house which goes a LONG way.

What! Tell us more! Or do you already have writeups on it? judytuna is not a search engine


I have not! So here it shall be.

It came with our house (we purchased in 2018), was installed in 2014. Apparently we are very fortunate as this is still the best system on the market.

  • Roof system
  • 20 250W panels
  • microinverters on each panel
  • electricity flows to our home, excess is sent to PG&E
  • We have an ‘energy bank’ with PG&E, so we can get our excess back for free at any time.
  • Uber bummer of the system is, if power goes out, system detects and SHUTS off all panels. This is because the microinverters cannot currently throttle the amount of power they allow. it would mean we’d still be sending power through the PG&E lines, which is very dangerous for maintenance crew thinking it’s shut off.
  • Feb 2020 upgraded microinverters are coming out that will allow us to use our generated solar power even in the event of a power outage; they can intelligently throttle generation to match our usage.

WOAH COOL! I think you’re the only person I know who has solar on their house and actually uses it in practice! Thanks for the graphs!

Is there any word on improvements to the microinverters to allow shutting off power through PG&E lines and instead only providing power to your house?

Well that’ll teach me to start typing excitedly before I finish reading the post. Just kidding, I’ll never learn! I will type excitedly before reading FOREVER!

I hope they do come out with that improvement in 2020. How will they roll that out? PG&E crew coming to your house?

I think this is a really interesting melange of DIY (-ish) (where it was installed by the homeowner) and, uh, whatever you call PG&E (centralized authority?) working together to implement changes to the system. It’s cool that your house has been a success story since 2014 and will even continue to receive improvements.


It will be a thing I need to have a solar company install and swap out the old ones. I’m guestimating ~$3K for it, but it’ll be worth it! Saving up mah pennies now.

Yeah! I have a system tracker thing that lets me see historical usage too. Since June 2014, it’s generated 45.5 megawatt/hours!!! I typed out megawatt because it’s such a good word!

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Who is developing it? A private solar company? The same one that will perform the install probably? Again, this is a super-fascinating-to-me blend of private and “public” institutions driving this forward.


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Yes, it’s the same company that manufactures the panels we use. They are unique in the field, supposedly, because of their microinverter technology. Do I remember their name? No. :blush:

Without every panel having a microinverter, one would be stuck with a single inverter for the line. A by product of that is, if any of the panels is totally in the shade and producing no electricity, the entire thing is shut off for a reason I can’t remember.

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