Take a look at the graph above. This is what energy usage for a LifeStyle Homes zero-energy home looks like. In fact, you’re looking at an actual Florida Power & Light (FPL) energy-usage graph of one of LifeStyle’s solar homeowners.
This chart provides a month-long visual representation of a solar system’s energy production. As you can see, there are peaks and valleys. On certain days, the solar system produced more energy than its owners used (represented by points with negative kilowatt hours.) On other days, the opposite is true. The average daily usage for the month being tracked is 0 kilowatt hours.
A “net-zero energy home” is a home that produces as much (or more) energy than its owners consume over a year’s time. In other words, owners of a net-zero energy home can expect to pay an average of $0 in electric bills over the course of a year!
You may be wondering what happens during hours, days, and months when a home’s solar system overproduces. Where does that excess energy go? How does a utility company, like FPL, track it?
The answer is a process called “net metering.” During sunny daytime hours, excess energy produced by a home’s solar system is sent through the grid to a utility where it is banked. On days when it’s cloudy, raining, or during nighttime hours, the utility company will send the banked energy back to the home to be used. The amount of energy produced versus the amount consumed will be automatically calculated by the utility company and the homeowners will be billed accordingly. Oftentimes, net-zero-energy homeowners’ electric bills only includes the basic utility company administrative fees.
To date, LifeStyle Homes has built nearly 75 solar homes, with roughly 45 of these homes qualifying as zero energy, or “electric-bill-free” homes! If you’re interested in living in a net-zero energy home, please give us a call at (321) 727-8188. We’d love to discuss solar’s benefits further.