The future’s looking mostly sunny for San Diego’s current and future rooftop solar customers despite earlier fears a trio of policy overhauls could lessen the incentive to go solar.
Many consumers who go solar do it with two goals in mind: helping the environment and saving cash. Earlier this year, local solar industry leaders worried impending changes could lessen the financial win associated with solar investments.
Now solar industry leaders are feeling upbeat after a wave of good news.
Here’s a status update on three big solar deal-sweeteners:
The Solar Bill Credit
What it is: A state-mandated agreement known as net energy metering allows solar customers to reduce or eliminate their bills by requiring utilities like San Diego Gas & Electric to buy power at retail rates from rooftop solar converts.
Solar advocates’ fears: A 2013 law required state regulators to set new rules for future solar customers. Solar advocates feared the new deal wouldn’t be as generous to solar customers as the current one. They argued any deal that made it harder for solar customers to recoup their investment would dissuade people from going solar.
We Stand Up for You. Will You Stand Up for Us?
The solar energy revolution continues unabated! At http://www.sullivansolarpower.com we work daily to help San Diegans maximize their investment in solar.
Yet another update that solar can't make it on its own; it needs the heavy thumb of governmental subsidies and tax credits to persuade consumers to install solar panels. Every time a consumer grabs one of those $10,000 tax credits, the Feds raise everybody's taxes to recoup that rebate. Your neighbors are being forced to pay for your future benefits. And let's look at power costs from SDG&E's point of view; why should they buy 1 megawatt from 1000 customers at retail when they can buy that same 1 megawatt from 1 supplier at a wholesale cost? When SDG&E buys more expensive power, they spread that cost out to who? Yep, all the other ratepayers pay a bit higher to subsidize the higher cost of SDG&E's electricity. So once again, a solar customer is forcing his neighbors to subsidize his own savings. OK, you want to go solar for your own reasons? Fine, just don't send the SDG&E & government goons to rob me to subsidize your adventure.
Mr. Price: Government goons? Please. I appreciate your point of view, although I disagree, but I don't appreciate name calling as part of a debate. As for the question of subsidies: There is a legitimate debate over whether those who invest in solar create a net benefit to their neighbors (and fellow rate payers) or not. My view is that if individual homeowners are willing to invest in infrastructure that helps reduce the impacts of climate change and helps reduce the need for investor owned utilities to pay for and pass on the cost of new power plants, that's good. Ours is a government of the people, by the people, for the people. We all have the opportunity to influence it in various ways, including elections. In cases where the government acts in ways that upset us, it is in reality a reflection of our frustration that the points of views of others, in the democracy, are the prevailing view.
Another great article by Lisa H. It's a shame the UT can't produce such good material. I'm surprised the PUC is so supportive of solar. I would have guessed that they would have rolled over for SDGE more. Let's see how much SDGE cooperates with the city and their 100% renewable goal. (It may cut into profits too much)