Thursday, October 22, 2009

Awesome: Chugoku Electric To Pay Double If You Have Solar Panels

I don't use the word "awesome" very often but that's how I felt when I read Hiroshima Gab brag about how her power company has decided to increase the payment to users with PV solar panels from 26 yen to 48 yen per kilowatt of solar power. Yes, instead of paying money to the power company, you get paid by them. Nice and simple.

Hiroshima Gab explains how it works:

This works great for us as we are usually gone during the day so that we sell more of our solar made power during peak rate daylight hours (bought by the electric company and sold again/used by our neighbors), and use it at night when it is cheaper (8pm-8am).

We have had the PV panels on our home for just over a year now and on average we have received more money back from the electric company than we have paid on average each month. Peak months in spring and autumn, we end up getting back about 4-5,000 more than we pay, but once the new rates go into effect we will be getting a lot more money back each month.

Apparently, solar panel makers like Kyocera are helping people get the loan they may need to cover the costs of installing the system, and the city of Hiroshima is also helping with a 50,000 Yen cash-back on energy saving installations.

They are also renting the EcoCute 自然冷媒ヒートポンプ給湯機 (Sizen reibai hīto ponpu kyūtō ki) which literally means "natural refrigerant heat pump water heater" to further reduce electricity consumption. Way to go.

EcoCute エコキュート (ekokyūto) was invented around 1998 and has been around for a while in Japan, and seems to be getting some attention in Europe as well. There are several models, including one by TEPCO, the power company here in the Tokyo region:

Eco Cute not only enables significant energy conservation in water heating, which accounts for about 30 percent of household energy consumption, but also helps to prevent the destruction of the ozone layer and the emission of greenhouse gases...

Oh, and did I mention I think this is awesome?


Pandabonium said...

Why aren't such feed-in rates and installation rebates a national policy?

Oil is back over $80. In a few years it will be supply crunch time again. The time to act is long past, now we must do all we can even it won't be enough.

TenThousandThings said...

I am wondering why other nations and localities are not using this kind of program--especially in high sunlight areas.

I guess Sweden would not be a great candidate because of its latitude? But this should be the norm in areas anywhere close to the equator.

Yuri said...

solar seems like a really good idea. nice to see it getting used and developed more.

Martin J Frid said...

Thanks for the comments, yes P, why not!? TenTHousandThings, Sweden is behind the curve on this issue, and there are people with PV panels and there is enough sun, just a lack of political will I suppose. Yuri, thanks for stopping by, your bilingual mangas are terrific!