Utility Prices on the Rise in San Diego County
Last month, San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) customers saw their bills skyrocket due to new natural gas and electricity rates. The most significant contributor to these hikes were from natural gas, which more than doubled over the past year. SDG&E claims that market forces were in effect; a “perfect storm” of low storage inventory, cold temperatures and global supply disruption. As a response, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) announced that they will be distributing California Climate Credits early to help residential customers with rising bills.
In March, the CPUC is holding a proceeding filed by SDG&E to discuss their application to further bump utility rates (~6% for electricity and 17.5% for gas), netting an additional $3.9B+ in revenue over the next 3 years. SDG&E said in the statement that it needs the extra revenue to maintain safety and reliability standards, reduce wildfire risk, expand electric vehicle infrastructure, and achieve carbon neutrality by 2045. SDG&E customers can attend the March 15 public forum, or add public comments here.
Ditch SDG&E, Go Off-Grid & Go Solar
Renewable, off-grid energy such as solar is still the best solution to combat climbing utility costs. Solar, combined with battery systems can provide enough electricity, heat, air conditioning, and hot water to live comfortably year-round. Unfortunately, the CPUC reduced the amount of solar credits new customers receive in net energy metering (NEM3) compensation by about 75%, thereby disincentivizing solar power use. NEM is a bill credit for excess generation that is exported to the electric grid during times when it is not serving onsite load, offsetting energy costs. Solar customers can still be grandfathered into NEM2 by April 14, 2023 thereby locking in their full-strength credit rates for 20 years.
We are big proponents for off-grid living and many of our agents live an off-grid, self-sufficient lifestyle.