Rate increases are as certain as death and taxes these days, with the utility constantly looking to hike prices up to cover various initiatives and expenses on their end. However, PG&E customers are finding that their bills are skyrocketing and aren’t expected to come down any time soon. In fact, a recent study found that in the last three years, monthly electric bills have risen by roughly 38%, with Bay Area residents especially paying more than twice the national average for power. These rate hikes aren't over either; the utility has proposed an additional increase of 22%, and the vote to approve the increase will take place later this month after being postponed by the CPUC.
We'll know more about the new rate increase on November 16th, but for now, here’s what you need to know about continuing PG&E rate hikes and how you can beat rising electricity costs with a solar energy system from Simply Solar.
Past Hikes & What To Expect Next
PG&E has been known historically to raise its rates. In 2018, PG&E changed its pricing system to a bill based on a combination of the amount used and when customers used it, making peak hours between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. more expensive. Further hikes hit customers in subsequent years, with a 2019 hike averaging 6.4% and the 2021 hike resulting in an 8% average price rise. Despite this quick succession of rate hikes, 2022 has already been bad for customers, with their prices rising 17% to 21% over 2021.
On top of this, PG&E is already planning a 22% rate hike for 2022 and stacked another 22% hike to be implemented from 2023 to 2026. These plans are a devastating blow to many residents, who are already struggling with bills that have ballooned from double digits into the hundreds seemingly overnight.
Keeping Your Bills Down With Solar
With no end in sight to these massive rate increases, Californians are looking for a way to keep bills affordable — and many don’t realize that solar is a more viable option than ever. The federal tax credit for solar has recently been extended for 10 years and will now reduce the cost of solar systems by 30% for those who qualify. Net metering is also available to PG&E customers, allowing them to sell energy back to the grid when their systems produce extra electricity.
Depending on how many panels you choose to install, a residential solar energy system can power your home completely, eliminating use charges from PG&E. Even a smaller array can slash your grid energy usage significantly enough to reduce the impact of the utility’s rate hikes. By going a step further and adding a solar battery to your system, you can store your excess energy for use when you need it and not have to worry about peak-time energy cost spikes.
Residential solar energy systems are proven to be reliable and are a smart way to increase the value of your home while minimizing the effect of PG&E’s onslaught of price increases.
Take the First Simple Steps To Lower Energy Bills
As California residents, we understand just how dire the effects of electricity cost increases are for our community. Our Simply Solar team knows how to maximize the incentives you can get from solar. We design systems that make the most of your available space and generate the maximum electricity possible to keep PG&E from reaching deeper into your pockets.
If you're struggling with utility rate increases and are looking for a way to take back control of your energy situation, we're here to help you make a change. Schedule a consultation with one of our solar experts, and we'll review your needs and budget to design a system that is perfect for you.