I received another feed in tariff cheque today which was for £96.88. This was significantly less than the first but was not surprising considering the shorter winter days and the cloud we have been having. However, it was still great to receive it.
It means that we have now had the solar panels for six months and so I did some calculations to work out how much money we have saved so far:
£364.19 - Feed in Tariff
£83.54 - free electricity generated
£208.91 - reduced electricity used due to being more frugal
£267.20 - reduced gas used due to being more frugal
£923.84 - TOTAL
It is amazing to think that comparing year on year, we have saved so much money in gas and electricity. We have been on a fixed price tariff as well so it is not due to any change in cost of electricity or gas as the price per unit has remained the same. The winter has been warmer than last year which may have had some bearing on it of course.
We could have been frugal without the solar panels but it was having them fitted that made me think so much about how much we were wasting. I started turning the heating off in the day and turned the thermostat down by two degrees. I made sure lights and computers and televisions were switched off in rooms when we were not in them and even started bathing the children less often. Having an electricity meter really helped as I found out things like our kitchen lights cost 50p an hour at the highest tariff of electricity and I often left them on for a few hours each day when I was in. That could have cost me £200 in the six months - almost unbelievable!!
So even if you do not have solar panels, you can make huge savings on your utility bills if you give some thought to where you are spending money. Get a meter if you can, many energy companies are giving them away free and it could help you to save over £500 a year like me!