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Money Saved Going Solar in PG&E Territory

Going Solar in Northern California

Because of pro-solar policies, consistent sunlight, and favorable financial incentives, Northern California is one of the best areas to install a residential solar system. These positive factors combined with skyrocketing energy prices, PG&E bankruptcy, exploitative utility companies, and frequent power outages due to extreme weather events explain why California leads the United States in solar energy generation. All of these variables have created an extremely favorable market for home solar energy.

The Cost of Relying on PG&E

Say you paid $150 a month for power in 2020. This means you paid $1800 for the year. Then, in 2021, PG&E increased their rates by 6%, and your bill rose to $159 a month or $1908 for the year. With PG&E's recent bankruptcy and California's intensifying fire season, the long-term trend for PG&E prices is upwards.

If rates continue to increase by 6% per year, your rate increases are compounded annually. Each rate increase will be larger than the last because even though your bill only increases by 6% annually, each year, they are taking 6 percent of a higher number than the previous year. A 6% PG&E rate increase compounded (applied) annually to an $1800 principal (initial amount) will add up to $104,681.50 in total energy bills over 25 years. Over six years, you will have paid $13,308.9 for power.

PG&E Energy Costs graph showing a 6% increase in costs compounded annually

How Going Solar Can Make You Money

Many people mistakenly believe that solar systems are prohibitively expensive and that it will take decades before you break even. However, with a mix of financial incentives, PG&E bill savings, and an efficient, premium SolarUnion system, your solar payback period will typically be within six to eight years of installation. Furthermore, solar systems are unique in that, after your payback period, they can serve as a revenue generator.

Say you are interested in installing a home solar system, and SolarUnion quotes it at $18,000. After the 26% Federal Investment Tax Credit, your system ends up costing you $13,320. With your solar energy savings, you will be able to pay off that system within six years of its installation. If your system is sized correctly, your PG&E bills will drop to zero, and you might even qualify to sell your power back to PG&E.

After you make it through the payback period, your solar system is all profit. Solar system revenue generation comes when former PG&E customers sell excess solar power back to PG&E through net metering. Using the previous calculations, over 25-years, the decision to go solar in PG&E territory could save you $91,373.00.

While this is just an example, these numbers were calculated based on energy prices in PG&E territories, projected rate increases, and the average cost of a 5kWh solar system. Your savings and payback period will be specific to your energy needs, system size, and PG&E bill. The solar system experts at SolarUnion can help you determine if going solar is right for you.

Reduce & Even Eliminate Your Electricity Costs

Because electricity prices in PG&E territory are unpredictable, they make managing your budget difficult. By installing solar panels, you fix your electricity costs, making them more predictable and exponentially lower. In some cases, you may even be able to eliminate your electricity bill and no longer rely on PG&E for power.

When considering going solar, it is important to understand the long-term economic benefits. Although it is a large initial investment, you can look at solar as a revenue-generating asset that adds value to your home and brings you resilience against high energy prices and PG&E blackouts. It also provides you with clean, renewable energy that is environmentally friendly and reliable in an emergency.

Reach out to SolarUnion to learn more about the benefits of solar energy.