When we moved in, our house was already kitted out with solar panels on the roof. I’ll admit that I didn’t realise there was a difference. I thought our solar panels simply generated electricity – so heating the water and everything else. But apparently you need a special kind for that. Something called Photovoltaic. I don’t get the science behind it, but earlier this year we installed these special panels on the roof, which now means, that we generate electricity, not just heat water.
As someone who likes to reuse, recycle and repair, this was a very exciting addition. We can make our own electricity, from the sun! How exciting!
But with it came the obsession.
You see, we have a lovely little app, which shows us how much electricity we’re generating at any one time. And of course, I love to find out what that is. It’s amazing to see that even on a cloudy day it works to a degree. But then on the days that the sun is shining bright I think to myself… how can I use more electricity? So I hunt around the house… is the dishwasher full? Is there any washing to do? Does anything need recharging?
And it goes the other way. Not only am I looking for things to power when it’s sunny, but I’m avoiding tasks when it’s miserable outside. The washing can wait, I say, as it piles up on the floor in the laundry. It can wait for a sunny day. And then comes the disappointment when I finally concede and wash because… we’ve run out of clothes… and the next day is finally sunny!
I guess the obsession will fade over time – but right now it’s still shiny and new and exciting. What I try and do is remember that we used to pay for it, so getting it free is a bonus, rather than thinking that we’re losing out when we have to pay. But still, I’ll keep trying to use the sun where I can, because… well… now I can!