QueenBee wrote:How many miles do you drive? That is some serious conservation! You obviously have gas for space and water heating?
It takes a 17.9kW system (east/weast/south facing with lots of shade) to produce about 13.5 kWh annually for space/water heating, driving ~10k miles, and the rest of my electricity needs.
I drive about 7400 miles a year. And, yes, I heat with gas (used to be propane until gas lines got installed in this remote rural area). Water heater is on-demand (tankless) gas. I designed my house to be "sun tempered" so I get a lot of heat from the sun on sunny days in the fall and winter. And I dress warmly and keep the thermostat fairly low in winter: 62ºF mornings and evenings and 52ºF at night.
Before I put in the solar panels I scored a 9.9 (99th percentile) on energy use for my household size and climate zone on the Home Energy Yardstick
. To get better than that I'd have to heat with a woodstove. I do the little things: I don't own a clothes dryer, instead I strung lines across my oversize utility room to line-dry clothes (in my previous house I used the basement for that). I started using fluorescent lights in the mid eighties and my three most used lights are now LED. And, of course, I don't use air conditioning. My biggest power use, besides the furnace blower and the LEAF, is my home theater setup, but it only runs a couple of hours a day, on average.
Last year my 2170 watts of solar panels produced 3327 kWh of electricity. That's about 9.1 kWh a day or about 4.2 hours x panel wattage. Colorado is a pretty good solar location. Despite the snow.
Before solar panels and the LEAF, I measured my electricity usage at about 4.8 kWh/day, on average. I take conservation pretty seriously but I don't live a third world lifestyle.