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California PG&E Rate Increases Will Be 13% Higher in 2024. Can Going Solar Help?

Photon Brothers California Solar

The cost of electricity continues to soar, particularly in California, where utility costs have doubled over the last decade. Newly approved PG&E rate hikes could see many small and mid-sized businesses shutting their doors, with rural areas being hit hardest. What’s more, residential customers face an increase that could be more than $30 per month, depending on average usage.

In the face of rising utility prices, many Californians are wondering, can going solar help offset the cost? Our answer is a resounding yes! In this article, we’ll break down the new rate increases, and how going solar can help you lower your monthly out-of-pocket costs.

For further reading, make sure to check out our article, 5 Solar Myths You Shouldn’t Believe.” Then, use our instant online calculator to see how much you could save by going solar!

Get a FREE solar estimate from Photon Brothers.

Experience the highest quality solar panel and energy storage installations from Photon Brothers, designed to power your Central Coast home or business while significantly reducing your electricity costs. We’re proud to offer a 25-year production guarantee to ensure that you save on power for decades to come. Plus, we have convenient financing options!

Actual Energy Costs After the Rate Hike

PG&E recently received legislative approval to increase their rates by as much as 20%, depending on the type of customer and their total electric usage. Residential customers can expect a 13% PG&E rate hike, which translates to about $400 more per year for the average customer. Those who use more electricity will inevitably pay more. 

Moreover, small business PG&E customers could pay as much as 20% more or see a rate increase of nearly $1,000 per month. PG&E rates per kWh in 2023 were an average of 19% lower for agricultural businesses. Large businesses only face a rate hike of 3.5%. And, these costs are independent of the actual cost of energy. PG&E rates are only for energy delivery, not generation. Customers outside its service area won’t be affected, but that still leaves 16 million Californians with another major bill increase.

Even with the recent net metering 3.0 changes that slashed solar credits, when installing solar with a battery, you’re eliminating your home’s reliance on the grid. You’re also not losing any credits or dealing with increased rates. 

Simply put: these changes are going to be costly. But going solar can help!

Solar Savings and Costs

Using solar power is one way to minimize spending on monthly utilities. Advances in battery storage allow newly installed systems to almost entirely replace local electric suppliers. For some customers, that could mean cutting ties entirely with the next PG&E rate increase. The average solar system costs about $20,000 after rebates and incentives and produces 10 kW each day. That’s almost enough to totally supply the energy used in an average household.

With the right setup, homeowners could see savings of more than $100,000 over 20 years. At Photon Brothers, we offer a 25-year production warranty. That means you’re guaranteed a minimum of 90% production/​efficiency after 25 years. You’ll see substantial savings over the life of each panel.

What’s the Solar ROI?

Say electric prices stopped going up today — which isn’t going to happen — you would still see a substantial return on your investment in solar energy. Did you know that adding solar panels increases your home’s resale value and lowers the average time required to sell? At a 4.1% increase in the sale price, many California homeowners recoup the entire cost of a solar power system when they sell their homes.

If you’re planning to live at your current address for a long time, you’ll see even more savings. The solar panels typically pay for themselves in the first 8 to 12 years, and that’s without rate increases.

Check out our article, Are Solar Panels a Good Investment?” for a complete breakdown of savings.

Future-Proof Your Utility Bills

One of the biggest benefits of solar power is the ability to insulate yourself against future price movement. If you’re generating your own power, rate hikes don’t affect you. You’re immune. Investing in at-home power generation and storage is a win-win-win situation for California homeowners. Here’s why:

  • You participate in sustainable energy
  • You avoid price increases
  • You’ll also help lower the risk of wildfires in your area

One of the big reasons why PG&E was approved for a rate hike was for wildfire prevention. Downed power lines are a consistent problem in dry areas. Switching to solar power lowers that risk by reducing the number of lines needed for power transmission.

Still have questions? Read our in-depth FAQ: California Solar Panels: Top Questions Answered,” or reach out to the experts at Photon Brothers. We’re to help you make the switch to affordable, renewable energy!

Say goodbye to rate hikes and costly electricity.

At Photon Brothers, we design custom solar panel and energy storage solutions to help you cut costs and save big over the life of your US-made solar panels. Our production guarantee means you’ll still be stacking up a lot of power in 25 years, making solar a long-term and guaranteed investment.

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