Does solar make sense in California

May 24, 2021 | 3min read

There are two main reasons solar makes sense in California. The rapidly escalating price of electric bills, and the rapidly dropping cost of solar power. Furthermore, home battery systems are starting to make sense in California too. Consumers served by the state’s three largest utilities, SDG&E, PCE, and SCE, can save substantially by using home batteries to power their homes during peak TOU rates.

Solar power incentives in California

Net Energy Metering. California residents who are served by SDG&E, PGE, and SCE participate in the states’ Net Energy Metering program (NEM). The NEM program enables homeowners and others who sell surplus electricity that their solar system generates to their utilities to receive a bill credit for that energy. Those credits roll over month after month. Later, at the end of the year, if the utility customer has a credit surplus they receive a payment for those credits.

Federal tax credit. Like residents of all 50 states, Californians may be eligible for the Federal Tax Credit for solar power. The credit currently stands at 26% of the price you paid to install your solar system. But after 2022, the credit will be reduced to 22%. Consequently, homeowners who want the full 26% credit must have Permission to Operate (PTO) by December 30th, 2022. Because of possible delays in inspections and permitting of solar power, anyone who wants the full credit should plan to begin installing by September 30th, 2022, 90 days before the cutoff date.

The Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) for batteries

California residents who install home batteries may also be eligible for an additional incentive that covers part of the cost of the batteries. The SGIP provides an up to $400 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) to customers of SDG&E, SCE, and PGE. The incentive will decrease as battery usage increases, so it pays to be an early adopter. The program is currently extended until 2024.

Freedom Forever carries the LG Chem household battery. It supplies 9.8 kWh of power. At $400 per kWh of power, the LG Chem could be eligible for up to $3,920 in SGIP incentives. Add the savings you get from avoiding peak Time-of-use (TOU) rates, and the savings can really add up!

Utility companies in California are trying to erode solar savings

But we’re fighting back. Freedom Forever has partnered with the Solar Rights Alliance to support the rights of home solar power owners. California utilities are currently lobbying to impose a monthly fee to new solar owners, just for having solar!

They are trying to profit off of solar owners and make solar inaccessible by imposing the following changes. 

  • Imposing a monthly fee of up to $80 for solar homeowners
  • Reducing solar savings by 50-75% by eliminating net metering 
  • Removing the 20-year grandfathering for existing solar owners, ruining their investment
  • Creating uncertainty of the solar market in California

There is a lot at stake, but luckily, you can do a few things to help save solar and fight the utility profit grab in California. We must speak up and sign the petition by Save California Solar to ask Governor Newsom to step in and strengthen net metering and make solar and batteries more affordable and accessible. Learn about what you can help!

Want to go solar or add batteries? Freedom Forever can help

Freedom Forever has a solution for homeowners who want to go solar. We have third-party lenders that can give you a great rate with FICO scores as low as 600. We can also work with you to get a great deal on a solar lease/PPA if you want to lease your system.

Existing Solar System Customers. Do you need more power from your system? Freedom Forever can help. Just give us a call and we’ll help you get started on the upgrades you want for your solar power system.

Solar makes sense in California now and in the future

Solar power has a bright future (pun intended) in California. Power from the sun unshackles Californians from confiscatory utility rates. Home batteries are something every potential existing solar system owner should think about because of SGIP incentives and the savings batteries can provide with SDG&E’s, PGE’s, and SCE’s high evening TOU rates. Freedom Forever will continue to serve our customers and all solar system owners with solutions that maximize the return on investment of going solar.

Want to go solar or upgrade? Call us at 800-685-1850 or click below.