Everyone is familiar with the experience of opening up their utility bill and not believing the number that you see on the page.
The first thought is: Why is my bill so HIGH???
The second thought is: Have rates increased since my last bill???
Unlike other bills the utility bill fluctuates and can fluctuate drastically depending on the amount of energy we use from month to month. Another huge difference between the utility bill and other bills is that we have absolutely no control over how high or low our rates are, and we have no control on when rates go up. All we can do is sit back, conserve as much energy as possible, and hope for a small bill. Oh, and we can also produce our own energy on our very own roof using the most powerful energy source in the universe - but we won't get into that right now. Let us take a trip to the beginning of 2016 and see what utility rates did over the course of 12 months.
Being that a majority of the greater Sacramento area receives their power from Pacific Gas and Electric we'll discuss what happened to their rates over the last 12 months. For this we will reference the rate history that PG&E gives us on their site. First, let's go to 2015 and see what the average utility rate was at the end of the year:
End of 2015 average utility cost: 20 cents per kw/h (kilowatt hour) - so the average household would have an average bill of $150
Now let's go to 2016:
Average utility cost beginning of 2016: 21 cents per kw/h - average household cost of $157
Average utility cost at the end of 2016: 22 cents per kw/h - average household cost of $165
In addition to this rate increase, PG&E switched their rate schedule from a 4 tiered system to a 3 tiered system, and, as seen below, is changing to a 2 tiered plan come 2018, which means that it will be easier for PG&E to charge you a higher rate for your electricity. But is this really a big deal and is it something to be concerned about? Let's talk about that 10% rate increase over the past year for a little bit.
Now a 10% increase may not seem like a big deal, but in reality it's a huge deal! Let's put this in a little more prospective: let's say that your utility rates only increase by 6.5% every year, and you are spending about $150 a month on average to the utility company. What would that mean over the long run? Well...here are the numbers:
As you can see, you'd currently be spending $1800 a year to the utility company. Now let's add that up over a 12 year period, what would it come to? Well...only $33,300...no big deal right? And what about 24 years...only $104,000!!! And keep in mind that that number is based on a 6.5% increase, and PG&E increased by 10%. Wow is right.
Without saying much more it should be obvious that solar makes sense and makes sense now for homeowners in the Sacramento area to invest in. For a free quote and evaluation of how much you can save not paying the utility company, send us a note or give us a call: (916)933-2773.
In the meantime, good luck opening your next utility bill:)