As any owner of solar panels will tell you, it's a pretty cool moment when you see your electric meter running backwards for the first time. Not only is it fun to witness your solar home energy system in action; after all those years of paying the utility, it feels good to sit there and watch the utility pay you.
Update 2015, this post is as timely as ever: Most of us, I reckon, don't give much thought to electricity bills. We don't lie awake in bed dissecting our monthly energy use down to the watt-hour. Nor do we chat with co-workers about the wondrous world of weatherstripping (it saves so many kWhs in winter!). We certainly don't subscribe to Electric Light & Power magazine, be it, as it may, a critical resource for understanding the vagaries of utility pricing schedules and state-by-state regulations. No, most of us are aware of electricity's presence only in those rare moments when it's not there. Example: when a late-July thunderstorm brought a tree branch down on a powerline near my house, it took only about 15 minutes before I started griping about not being able to charge my iPod. Alas, this is the nature of the human mind: it's not until we feel a thing's absence that we truly appreciate its full worth.