Does Solar make sense in California?
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 on December 30th, the credit will be reduced to 22%. Consequently, homeowners who want the full 26% credit must have Permission to Operate (PTO) by December 30th, 2020. 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, 2020, 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.
Freedom Forever carries the LG Chem household battery. It supplies 9.8 kWh of power. At $400 per kWh of power, the LG Chem would 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. A bill recently introduced in the state Senate, S.B. 288 The solar Bill of Rights would ensure that every homeowner who goes solar has these rights:
- The right to make solar energy without the utility in the way.
- The right to connect solar to the grid quickly and cheaply.
- Freedom from unfair fees that discriminate against solar users.
Consequently, SB 288 would ensure that Californians who supply electricity to the grid or reduce peak demand with batteries receive the credit they are due. Rooftop solar and home battery storage are an essential part of meeting California’s 100% renewable energy target.
Update: Lobbyists convinced legislators to table SB 288, effectively killing it. The Solar Rights Alliance plans to try again next year.
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.