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Use Commercial Solar to avoid Future Rising Electricity Costs

Rising Electricity Costs

It is tough for California businesses to keep up with electric utility policy and rate changes. To simplify everything – your bills will be 3% higher each year. This is based on the average year over year total cost per kWh growth from 1990 to 2020 Q1.

Most Recent Policy Change Proposed: 5 Things You Need to Know About NEM 3.0.

The real red flag is that in 2020, major rate increases were approved by the California Public Utilities Commission. One example was this spring PG&E was able to increase rates by 8% to pay for their neglected infrastructure. SDG&E and SCE have similar approved rate increases that are less publicized.

For 2021, California businesses are set to see substantial electricity cost growth with summer seeing historical highs. For the year, rate growth will more than likely outpace historical averages.

Below are a few graphs and images to pay attention to as they will be very important in understanding why you are paying more for your electricity than ever.

High-voltage Transmission and Distribution Power Lines

Time-of-use

Summer TOU plans are set to hit business at the end of this month (Currently May 5, 2021). Time-of-use is designed to charge customers more for electricity at times when demand is high, when customers need it most…

SCE TOU Schedule
SoCal Edison - time of use rates
SDG&E TOU Schedule
San Diego Gas & Electric - time of use rates
PG&E TOU Schedule
Pacific Gas & Electric - time of use rates

California Commercial and Industrial Electricity Rate Growth

Industrial rates (in red) apply most commonly to manufacturers, plastics industry, aerospace, and other similar industries. These businesses are some of the states highest electricity users and they pay a premium for it.

Commercial rates apply mostly to flex space, office building, retail and other similar industries. These are generally smaller businesses or multi-tenant spaces with moderate electricity usage. A lot of these businesses do not have the luxury of running earlier hours to avoid peak TOU pricing.

Historical California Commercial & Industrial Energy Rates - 1990 through 2020

Controlling Cost With Commercial Solar

Solar is uniquely suited to help demand on the grid, as events of high demand are typically when businesses are operating and the sun is shining, utilities access overproduction from existing solar systems. Utilities reward owners of solar systems that contribute during these events with credits at the value that the energy was produced. 

This is called Net Energy Metering and these credits cover significant energy costs accrued when that solar system isn’t generating energy. Conveniently for utilities, solar systems across the grid help alleviate energy costs for everyone by offsetting this demand. However, changes are coming for this important program, learn more here: Net Energy Metering Explained.

California businesses have options for lowering their electricity bills. The most effective and widely accepted is commercial solar, sometimes paired with energy storage if applicable. Solar developers like Revel Energy offset their customers’ energy usage by an average of 60-80% depending on the project profile (typically usage versus square footage of roof space).

Below are some examples of California businesses that lower their electricity bills with commercial solar.

Revel Energy 2020 Projects list

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