Benefits of EV and solar ownership in California

August 5, 2019 | 3min read

Many people know that there are benefits to EV ownership, and there are benefits to going solar. But did you know there can be additional benefits to owning both a solar system and an EV? In California, these two technologies together can save you even more money on utility bills and keep the cost of driving your EV as low as possible. 

Reduced utility rates for EV owners

As anyone who has gone solar with a grid-tied solar system can tell you, you still get a utility bill after going solar. That bill is for the electricity that you consume from the grid, and depending on the utility you are served by, you may be eligible for a special lower rate for EV owners. For example, in California, customers of the three main utility companies and some municipal utilities are eligible for EV-TOU rates. EV-TOU rates have a much lower peak TOU rate than non-EV owners.

Here’s how TOU-EV rates save money. During the day, solar system owners are paid at the off-peak rate for electricity from their systems. In the evening, rates shift to the peak demand rate, which is the highest rate charged for electricity. EV owners get a much lower peak rate than non-EV owners during those peak hours.

EV incentives can save even more

In California, EV owners are eligible to receive the Electric Vehicle Carbon Credit (EVCC). The value of the credit depends on the price the state gets for carbon credits that it sells on the carbon credit marketplace. The credit has been worth as much as $500. For some EV owners, that $500 could pay for some or even all the electricity their car will consume in a year. Insert tax professional disclaimer.

EV ownership may help you conserve energy

The less energy your home uses, the more you could save from your solar system. According to a survey by Ars Cleantechnica, 24–35% of respondents indicated that they believe they conserved more energy in their homes after they bought an EV.  17 – 23% of survey respondents said that they think they’ve conserved more energy but they weren’t sure.

EV charging can help California balance energy demand

The state of California has plenty of incentives to support ownership of both EVs and solar systems. The state has a surplus of solar-generated energy during the day. EV owners help consume that excess energy when they charge during the day. Late at night, the state has a surplus of electricity from windmills. EV owners who charge at night help consume that excess energy. Most EV owners avoid charging their cars during peak rates. That helps reduce demand during peak demand hours and it shifts demand (for EV charging) to off-peak hours.

Thinking about going solar with an EV? Plan ahead

If you are thinking about going solar and buying an EV it pays to plan ahead. A Freedom Forever independent authorized dealer can help you plan a solar system that can handle any additional load that comes from charging your EV. They can help you choose the right EV-TOU rate for your circumstances. By planning ahead, you can maximize the benefits of solar and EV ownership.

No statement contained herein shall constitute tax or legal advice. You should consult a legal or tax professional on any such matters.

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