With PG&E and SMUD raising rates starting this month, consider going solar to offset high charges

From June 1 to September 30, customers of both the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) and Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) should expect to see a rise in their service costs. SMUD is more than doubling its cost per kilowatt hour during high demand times, from 15 cents to 32 cents. For PG&E, rates will jump from 41 cents to 50 cents per kilowatt hour.

This increase is part of an alarming trend we are witnessing with California utility companies, where they raise their rates year after year, often leaving customers shouldering the burden of these mounting costs.

With these relentless rate increases, homeowners might feel they are at a loss for what to do. However, this is where alternative energy sources, such as solar power, come into play. Despite regulatory changes such as Net Energy Metering 3.0 (NEM 3), going solar remains a financially viable and environmentally friendly alternative.

Understanding NEM 3.0

Before we delve into why solar power is still a compelling choice under NEM 3, it’s important to understand what NEM 3.0 entails. Net Energy Metering is a billing system that enables residential solar customers who produce their own electricity to return surplus energy back to the power grid. In return, they are credited on their utility bills for this contribution.

NEM 3.0, the latest version, has introduced some changes, including a small grid participation charge and a slight reduction in the value of exported solar power. However, despite these changes, the fundamentals that make solar energy an attractive proposition remain unchanged, and taking control of your energy bill in the face of utility company rate hikes is part of it.

Learn more about our NEM 3 offerings here.

The Financial Sense of Solar Power

While utility costs continue to rise, the price of solar panels has been dropping, making the upfront cost of installing a solar energy system more affordable than ever. Furthermore, with solar panels typically offering a 25-year lifespan, homeowners can anticipate decades of lower energy costs, allowing them to recoup their initial investment and ultimately save money in the long run.

Even under NEM 3.0, solar customers can still offset their electricity bills by tens of thousands of dollars over the life of a solar system. This means that despite the slight reduction in the value of exported solar power to the grid under NEM 3, solar customers can continue to lower their utility costs significantly.

The Environmental Perspective

Beyond the financial benefits, choosing solar power is also a vote for environmental sustainability. As we grapple with the impacts of climate change, moving away from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources is crucial. Choosing solar energy allows homeowners to minimize their environmental impact and actively participate in creating a greener, more sustainable tomorrow.

Combining Solar Panels With Solar Battery Storage

Considering the integration of solar battery storage into your Sacramento solar system could be an astute move. Solar batteries yield a wealth of advantages for homeowners, making them a valuable addition to existing solar setups. These storage systems collect and store surplus energy produced by your solar panels throughout the day, making it available for usage during the evening or nighttime when solar production is reduced. This guarantees households a continuous power supply, even during outages, and allows them to benefit from lower electricity rates during off-peak hours.

In addition, solar batteries prove to be a sustainable choice for long-term use, with an average expected lifespan exceeding 10 years and practically no need for regular upkeep. Making the move to integrate solar battery technology in Sacramento not only helps you make the most out of renewable energy sources, but also boosts the effectiveness of your current solar system and allows you to take control of your energy bill.

The Path Forward

Yes, the landscape is shifting with utility rate increases and regulatory changes. But it’s clear that solar power continues to provide value and stability in an otherwise volatile energy market. NEM 3.0, despite its modifications, doesn’t change the core benefits of solar power – the chance to achieve long-term savings, gain energy independence, and make a positive environmental impact. Not to mention, California has an abundance of sunshine. So, as the summer sun heats up, and utility rates rise, remember that solar energy remains a cool and viable choice for Californians.

To learn more about our solar offerings that will still save Sacramento residents money during NEM 3, click here. And to calculate your solar savings in just 9 seconds, click here.

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