Solar is Improving the Value of My Home

According to a new study of home sales in California by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, not only can homeowners with solar PV recoup the cost of their solar investment though energy cost savings and sale of the home, solar PV actually increase the resale value of existing homes. SunRun created the infographic (below) based on this research study.

I know I live in DC and not California, but I have to assume there are some comparable lessons to be learned from this study. I wonder if my 4kw system would really return 16-20K?

Solar Production To-Date

I thought I should revisit my solar project now that it’s been up and running now for 4 months. According to Enphase Energy, the company that digitally tracks my house’s energy production, I’ve produced 1.72 MWh which is enough energy to power 57 houses for 1 day. Additionally, they say my carbon offset to-date is 1 ton or the equivalent of 30 trees. The Enphase meter reading system is pretty cool they gave me a little device that plugs into my router that displays my current energy production and relays that information to their website. I can view the energy production of each of my solar panels in real time and if one of the panels isn’t working correctly I’m notified immediately.

180.8 kWh February
436.9 kWh March
468.5 kWh April
580.3 kWh May

As you can see my production has only gone up since its dismal performance in February. Hopefully my system will continue to improve and at the end of the year truly produce 80%-90% of my energy usage.

Matte Black Side Table

My better half returned from work the other day with this great side table. It just needed a little love and fresh coat of paint. We decided to remove the hand carved piece at the base of the cabinet. It looks like it was an addition to the piece and it didn't really go that well.


Hardware removed, but still in its original condition.  Here you can see that hand carved piece at the base of the cabinet.

Let There Be Lights

Another thing I've been meaning to post is that we finally replaced a number of chandeliers on the first floor of the house.

First up we replaced the terrible florescent light in the kitchen with this beautiful school house light with a green stripe that matches the wall color.

Next we found this wonderful Danish Modern chandelier with five glass globes. It looks really cool and matches our bedside lights exactly.

Magnetic Spice Rack

As an avid house blog reader and cook I've seen a number of posts out there on spice organization. For along time now I've wanted to move all of my little bottles of spices out of the pantry and closer to my stove. The only problem is I don't have a ton of room for all the spices I use.

The best solution I could come up with was a take on post I saw over at Apartment Therapy (How To Make a Wall-Mounted Magnetic Spice Rack). First we went to Uline and purchased a few cases of glass jars with white plastic lids. Then we found some cheap, but strong Neodymium Magnets and glued them to the top of the lids. In my first attempt we used a hot glue gun to attach the magnets, but as we've used the spices we've decided that hot glue is not the best choice. The strength of the magnets and lack of strength of the hot glue has left me with several lids without magnets. So as the magnets separate from the lids we've been re-gluing them with crazy glue.

The end result is beautiful. It adds some great color to the dominate white side of the kitchen and also puts all of my spices within reach.

New Privacy Fence

So I finally scheduled the privacy fence installation. I had 4 different companies bid on the project and I settled on Capital Fence because they provided a reasonable quote and were more transparent about their process than the others. Also their quote for a cedar fence was the equivalent to a pressure treated fence from the other companies. In the end I'm so glad I chose Mike and his team. The guys he sent over were amazing and their work was perfect. Having a concrete slab isn't ideal for installing a wood fence. Your options for installation are to core drill the concrete to install the fence posts (first photo) or use metal brackets screwed into the concrete. I went with option one as it is much more secure and lasts considerably longer that the brackets.

First $0 Bill from PEPCO

I received my first $0 bill from PEPCO last month and let me say it was one of the best things to see on a bill. As promised here are few photos of the installation.

Solar Update: Approval!

We've been approved by DC for electrical and construction and are one step closer to generating power.

I had the guys at Clean Currents take a bunch of photos before, during and after installation which I will have up online as soon as I can.