PG&E and Chapter 11: What Does it Mean for You?

Following the California wildfires, PG&E is now filing for bankruptcy due to the prospect of billions of dollars in damages to their infrastructure. Don’t worry too much, though. The company will continue to run as normal while the courts decide what to do with all the incurred debt. If PG&E is forced to borrow big sums of money to fix the problem, then we could see more rate hikes to our gas and electric services. For example, we’re still paying for PG&E’s 2001 bankruptcy filing. If you look closely at your PG&E bill under “DWR Bond Charge,” you’ll see it.

The main takeaway? It’s valuable to be in control of our energy independence as much as possible. Otherwise, we remain at the whim of a company that has been quite unstable. If we look at electric rates over the last thirty years, there’s about a 5% average cost increase every year, and that really adds up over time.

Many homeowners and businesses have decided to break free of these rate hikes and become more energy independent by installing LED lighting, more efficient appliances, and a solar system. By taking actions like this, we can save ourselves thousands of dollars in the long run and reduce the amount of damage being done to the earth through the extraction of fossil fuels. It’s a great time to GO SOLAR now and TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR UTILITY BILL.

by Oliver Canbazoglu

 

Net Metering - What is it?

What is Net Metering?  When your solar system generates energy it offsets the cost of your power usage through your utility company. 

How it works:
When your system is generating more power than you use, it flows back into the utility grid making the meter ‘run backwards' and creating a possible credit to your account.  When you use more energy than your system generates, you take energy from the utility grid. A specific meter will be installed to measure the energy used by your home. 

Net Metering allows customers with solar systems to cut down on energy costs and can even zero out their rates. It also is a great way to measure your energy usage and performance stats of your solar system.

In the Bay Area, PG&E is the major energy provider. They currently provide two ways to apply Net Metering;

- Standard Rate Schedule: cost per kilowatt is a set number and will not change by time of day
- Time-of-Use Rate Schedule: cost per kilowatt varies by season per day. Peak Hours apply.

To read more about these schedules click here

With a Net Metering agreement with your utility company you can elect to receive a monthly bill for your net usage or ‘settle’ your account after a 12 month period.

Have questions about going solar and lowering your energy costs to zero?
Call us today! 510.559.7700

Do you know...about solar panel efficiency?

Solar energy is the new rage! Protect the environment! Big Utility is raising your rates...AGAIN!

But...Do you know what it means when you hear that solar panels produce electricity? Where you may hear from some sales people, "Solar can ZERO out your electricity bill!" It is not an typical result and some customers may not be well informed about the way their PV systems truly work. Some owners take the liberties from having a solar system and think they can use all the electricity they want - risking increased utility bills and lower solar savings!

First, each PV (photovoltaic) module can produce only a limited amount of power, this amount is generally referred to as "Efficiency Rates". Most panels generate anywhere from 16% - 20% of energy, which is why all systems have multiple panels installed. More panels, more energy production. If you use more kilowatts than your system generates, your utility company bills you.

Second, you may receive a Net Energy Metering bill from your utility company at the end of a 12-month period where you are asked to pay for the net amount of electricity used over-and-above the amount of electricity generated by your solar system. Likewise, if you generated more energy than you used over that period, it could fall under your Net Surplus Compensation and you may be eligible to receive a payment. (Each utility company and solar plan is different)

So while you are impressed by the flashy long term savings and environmental impact of solar systems....TAKE NOTE of your monthly kilowatt usage from your PG&E bill and ask your sales consultant what your PV system's monthly average kilowatt production is estimated to be. See the savings sooner and be proactive about your energy consumption by installing the best solar system to fit your needs. 

Don't go into solar uninformed! Call us to get a free consultation and we can answer all of your questions! (510) 559-7700