I know that green is the new black, but I like to think that we jumped on the wagon way before there was a band on it. At our house in Campbell, the garden provided more vegetables than we could ever possibly eat--meaning that our neighbors also shared in the tomatoes (usually at least three types), zucchini, yellow squash, peas and beans. This year we've planted tomatoes, beans, eggplant, peppers, zucchini, yellow squash, pumpkins and blueberries. We also have lemons, limes, strawberries, plums and fresh eggs. And tons of herbs. Let's not forget the herbs!
But while all of this is wonderful, the crowning glory is probably the solar panels that came with the house. We have a transfer box so that we can sell to PG&E whatever electricity we don't use (net metering). Every month our statement shows either how much we bought from PG&E or how much we sold to them. The latter amount is posted as a credit against our true-up, which happens every July.
I'll admit now, as I did last year, that I've become more conscious about making sure the lights are turned off and that I answer the "It's cold in here!" with "Go put on a sweater!" at least twice before relenting and turning up the heat. It's easier to do when your monthly statement comes with a bar chart showing just how much you used, sold or bought each month as compared to the last.
We got our true-up statement this week and me like-ey: Our bill for the month was 58 cents, for the year it was about 275$. Or about what we paid for one summer month in our last house. Granted, we had to leave the AC running because we were trying to sell that house, but still. I'll take it.