October was overshadowed by the events of the last week. Despite the best efforts of Hurricane Sandy we are safe and dry at Up Hill House. We had plenty of strong wind gusts, but not nearly as bad as the costal regions. We were prepared for the worst. We stocked up on water and easy to prepare meals. We have a small propane burner that can be used to heat water or simple cooking. We packed the chest freezer with ice. We filled the bathtub for flushing and the cistern was full for the farm critters. Thankfully the power never went out.
Fall weather arrived last month. More rain and clouds with cooler nights. We generated 883 kWh in September, down 15% from last month, but still about 37 kWh better than predicted. We generated on average 29.4 kWh per day.
We used 292 kWh, our lowest month yet. That’s down 7% from the previous month. We used the air conditioning only 2 days and heating for 1 day. We used 9.5 kWh for cooling / dehumidification, and 5.9 kWh for heating. Together that’s 5% of our month’s total usage. We generated a 591 kWh surplus this month, our 7th surplus month in a row.
I changed the format of the table a bit. Months now run down the table instead of across.
We generated 1,018 kWh in August, up 5% from last month. That is our best month yet, and our best daily average of 32.8 kWh per day as compared to the last two month’s average of 31.3 kWh per day. Typically solar generation starts to decline in August, with decreasing sunlight hours, more clouds and more heat, but not this year.
In our July performance post I stated that we were tracking our water usage and water pump usage to calculate the efficiency of the pump. Dan Gibson asked in a comment about our water usage, so I thought I’d cover that here. He says in his comment that there are not a lot of actual hard numbers on water usage and he’s definitely right. Most estimates I’ve seen online say 50 to 100 gallons per person, which seems both excessive and vague at the same time.
We installed water meters on the main line and the inlet to the hot water tank. We have usage data starting in January when we moved in.
We generated 970 kWh in July, up 3% from last month. That is our best month yet, but in line with last month’s daily average of 31.3 kWh. We used 319 kWh, 5% less per day on average than last month. We turned on the air conditioning for 3 days during a particularly humid run, and periodically for a few days the next week. We used 12 kWh for cooling / dehumidification, 8% of our month’s total usage. We generated a 651 kWh surplus this month, our 5th surplus month in a row and highest yet.
Last week the plumber roughed in the waste pipes and venting. Soon he’ll begin the hot and cold water supply lines. He asked what faucets we’re using to make sure he has all the right connections, specs, etc. This prompted a mini bath shopping spree, and an opportunity for me to share our bath plans.