I am the victim of daylight robbery. Daylight highway robbery, even! I am, literally, being robbed of daylight by my electricity company!
Say what?

Suffice to say, in December 2010 we contracted a builder to construct us a new house. The contract included the installation of solar panels. There has been a bit of back and forth on solar power, and what benefits people with solar panels get, here in my State of New South Wales. Last I heard, solar panel owners were to no longer receive 60c/kW for solar energy generated, but only 20c/kW. Now I didn’t consider that unreasonable so I had no issue. 60c was always far too much in my opinion. 

So construction was completed in December 2011 and we moved into the house just before Christmas. In January, we received our first electricity bill… and there appears to be no allowance for the solar power we have generated. So I call the electricity company and this woman says to me…

‘We don’t pay for solar energy.’

‘What, nothing?’

‘That’s right.’

‘You have got to be joking!’

Deadpan. ‘No I am not.’

So, basically, my electricity company is stealing my solar energy and selling it to other people! I was so pissed off, I even briefly considered if this was reportable under the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW). See that? See the way my brain works? See my Twitter profile – ‘Cross at own peril?’ Connect the dots?

I decided it probably wasn’t reportable, or even if it was, the police would find my complaint laughable, or just wouldn’t know what to do with it. Plus, I’m sure they have more important crimes to be worrying about.
So I find myself in a situation where I’m shopping around. The best deal I can get is $0.06/kW for the electricity I generate and it costs me something like $0.22/kW, so there’s a bit of a gap there. 

Apparently the house uses the electricity we generate first, but it can’t store the energy, so if we don’t use it as it’s generated, it goes back to the grid – at no benefit to me! And of course, the house generates energy during the day, and no one is home five days a week, so our day energy use is really low…

I am determined to use as much of my solar energy myself as I can. So I run the dishwasher now as I leave the house, instead of at night. I schedule my washing machine to come on in the afternoon so I can hang the laundry out when I get home. And of course, now that our ginormous spa is hooked up, it should be drawing our solar energy to heat the spa and power the filtration system. 

Hopefully this sucker will guzzle my solar energy before my electricity company can steal it!
But for now, I have to wait until next bill to find out how much daylight has been stolen from me this quarter….

This is part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge Series. If you missed the previous posts, you can find them here – A, B, C.

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