Homeowner Case Study: How Jim Got Paid

Solar Savings with Chai Energy

We’re always excited to hear how our customers are finding value in the Chai app. The platform is designed to give you the tools you need to monitor your home energy use and make the right decisions for you and your family, hopefully helping you save some money in the process. When we heard Jim’s story, we realized it was way too good to not share.

Jim P and Solar SavingsJim P and his family moved from Anchorage, Alaska to Fresno, California back in 2009. After renting for the several years, the family bought a house in Clovis in October 2016. Their new home came with a lease on 36 solar panels, a pool, and the hot summers one comes to expect in the Central Valley. The presence of solar installations in their neighborhood was strikingly new for Jim, especially since he was coming from the snowy cold north. After taking a few months to get settled in their new home, Jim was excited to finally delve into what his solar panels were doing.

Sun Solar had provided Jim with an app that showed how much energy his panels were producing. But the information wasn’t entirely useful—he couldn’t see how much energy his home was actually using. After trying to measure Sun Solar’s number with his PG&E meter, it became evident how tedious and confusing energy data can be (and Jim is already a wonkish numbers guy). That’s when he stumbled upon Chai and thought to give it a whirl.

“In early 2017 I downloaded Chai, purchased the Chai Pro Gateway, and got everything hooked up. After 4 days, I started getting all the info through the app. It shows me what my house is doing, and I now am able to plan a lot of my electricity use around when I’m producing solar energy.”

“For example, the other day around 7:30 AM, I was about to put some clothes in the washer. But then I thought to check Chai to see what was happening with my solar. I decided to wait another 30 minutes so that I didn’t have to pay PG&E. I had tagged my washer, so I could see how much energy it would use.”

With Jim’s pool, the changes were particularly significant. “I used to have everything running at night—the filter, pump, and bottom sweeper. Now I have it running during the day so that I don’t have to pay PG&E anything for the pool. My old bottom sweeper was costing me about $15 a month. After seeing that, I bought a Dolphin Robotic Pool Cleaner that doesn’t need the ¾ pump. I now typically wait until mid morning—I check Chai to see when I’m producing solar. I drop the pool cleaner in and let it go. It’s only 80 watts an hour, so that is about $0.97 a month.”

The changes were pretty major. Jim recently received his March 2017 bill from PG&E, and the utility paid him $44.11. Last year, in his rental house, Jim’s July electricity bill came to $650. He told us he’s eager to see how much he’ll save this summer by planning energy usage against his solar production.

Not every household will use Chai in the same way. Jim’s story shows us how powerful the app can be when deployed alongside solar. If you’ve got questions about your data and need some guidance on how to address high energy usage, try contacting Chai’s Energy Advisory today. If you’re interested in going solar, Chai can help you there too. Not yet a Chai customer? Download the free mobile app today and see how you can take charge today!

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