Residential solar customers in San Diego County may soon be facing a dramatically higher utility bill. That’s because San Diego Gas & Electric wants to raise its minimum utility charge from $10 to $38 per month.
SDG&E has submitted the proposal to the California Public Utilities Commission, which is expected to decide by spring of 2020.
According to SDG&E, the proposal would ensure that solar and low-use customers pay their fair share for the operation and maintenance of the power grid. Skeptics say it’s nothing more than a profit scheme designed to discourage homeowners from going solar.
SDG&E is an investor-owned and very much for-profit utility. Its parent company, Sempra Energy, reported second-quarter 2019 earnings of $354 million earlier this month. This came just a few weeks after California’s investor-owned utilities received a $10.5 billion gift from their customers: On July 12, Governor Gavin Newsom signed a $21 billion wildfire fund in which ratepayers will cover half of any damages facing a power provider if its equipment causes a wildfire.
“This is just another example of a big investor-owned utility trying to undermine solar. This notion that solar customers are somehow shifting the financial burden to non-solar customers is one of their favorite myths,” said Brent Willson, CEO of San Diego–based NeoVolta. “I urge every SDG&E ratepayer to contact the California Public Utilities Commission and demand that they reject this outrageous proposal. You can also fight back and keep more money in your pocket by pairing any home solar installation with NeoVolta’s NV14 energy storage system.”
Energy generated by rooftop panels during daylight is stored in the NV14’s energy storage system and used to power your home during evening “peak demand” hours, when Time of Use rates are often twice as high. The system’s inverter can be coupled to a DC panel for greater efficiency and additional savings. With the NeoVolta smartphone app, users can monitor the system’s performance anytime. And, in the event of a blackout, the NV14 will automatically disconnect from the grid and continue to power your home’s critical loads indefinitely.