Going GREEN to save some GREEN in 2018

imageHappy New Year everyone! First Post of 2018! Let’s get to it!

I’m continuously building out my Smart Home.  It is full of various IOT devices and they all work together to provide a great living experience in the home for my family.  The windows and doors talk to the HVAC systems, the lights coordinate with the TV, Alexa responds throughout the house to various requests, the vacuums verify with the TVs and iPhones to know when they should come out and clean while various cameras, smoke detectors and security systems keep everything safe.  The home can communicate real time with us via speech over the speaker systems and or via push notifications from the iPhone app and even Twitter!  (http://vcloudinfo.com/2017/12/giving-house-twitter-account.html)
Electricity and Internet are the lifeblood of the whole operation.  Some of the equipment can run locally as demonstrated during Irma (Lessons from Hurricane Irma) but without reliable electricity, the home is just four walls.  And in Florida, it’s four really hot and humid walls.  Even though our home and neighborhood is relatively new (15 years old or so), we still get frequent enough brown outs where the power will drop for about a second or so and wreak havoc on the smart systems.  That one second is enough to cause bulbs to go offline, computers to reboot and mesh networks to fall apart.  Single second outages take the smart house hours to recover from sometimes.   Super annoying.
This week, I took some really big steps to insure that consistent power would be available to my home at all times.  We contracted with Tesla to install both Solar Panels and also a PowerWall at our residence.  (https://github.com/CCOSTAN/Home-AssistantConfig/issues/235) Even though hurricanes are a big concern for me, the real reason for the solar panel investment was a financial hedge against the rising costs of electricity.  Hurricane after hurricane will continue to punish the legacy electrical grid and companies like Duke Energy will just pass those repairs (and not necessarily improvements) along to the customer.   Even if the rates freeze at their current levels, my payback period would be about 8 to 10 years on this investment.  For a home, I don’t think this is an unreasonable ROI.
Spoiler: If you noticed the cool looking JuiceBox on the right side, that’s a Car charger!  Upcoming post will be about the new Chevy Bolt EV we have added to our Solar ROI mix.
I’m still waiting for Duke energy to come by in the next 3 – 5 weeks and inspect the system.  Once inspected, they will swap the meter for one that runs backwards and then we will flip on the system full time and start producing our own energy.
We did run some tests though and I’m trilled with the results. (that 1.3 kW on the grid side is energy going BACK to Duke for credits).  This was a Winter test as well so I’m excited to see what numbers can be put up in the Summer. 
The entire process with Tesla was fantastic.  Extremely professional and white gloved throughout.  If you are interested in doing something like this on your own, be sure to use my referral code to get an extra 5 years on your warranty period!
Share your referral code: https://ts.la/giancarlo3622 can give five friends a 5-year extended limited warranty with the purchase of a Tesla solar system.

You can check out the installation process here: