Southern California Edison, along with other electric utilities in Southern California including Pacific Gas & Electric and San Diego Gas & Electric are expected to raise monthly rates to maintain their profits in the face of the growth of rooftop solar installments, according to an article by The Desert Sun.
Southern California Edison is the electric company servicing the entire Santa Clarita Valley. Edison customers could see major increases in their monthly bills, including successive hikes for a basic monthly fee that would rise from 94 cents now to $10 in 2017.
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The three utilities have each been renegotiating their rate design packages with the California Public Utilities Commission that will affect ratepayers across California.
While each company has a different plan, they contain similar components such as a jump in basic fees, according to the article.
Edison’s plan is expected to reduce their current four tier payment structure to only two tiers, with only a few cents between baseline and non-baseline rates.
Baselines vary across climate zones and seasons and depend upon a home’s energy mix.
While Edison’s baseline is currently set at 53% of average residential use, the new rate design package would set it at 50%, according to the article.
Under the current tiered structure, Edison’s rates range from 13.2 cents per kilowatt-hour in the lowest, baseline tier to 30.4 cents per kilowatt hour in Tier 4.
The two-tier structure would increase utility’s baseline rates to 16.2 cents per kilowatt-hour and non-baseline rates to 19.5 cents per kilowatt-hour by 2018.
The basic fee would jump from 94 cents now to $5 in 2015, $7.50 in 2016 and then $10 in 2017.
A recent notice Edison sent to its customers projected that ratepayers using 500 kilowatt-hours per month or less would pay $4.50-$6.56 more per bill, but that ratepayers using more than 500 kilowatt-hours could see their bills drop $5.46-$12.53.
Average use in Edison service territory ranges from 500 to 600 kilowatt-hours per month, according to Edison officials.
One of the best ways to avoid a higher monthly energy bill is to install a solar panel system, said So-Cal Solar officials at a recent interview at the KHTS AM-1220 station.
Related: So-Cal Solar Inc.
“Once your loan is paid off, you’re pretty much just producing free electricity for yourself,” said Gabby Villa, a So-Cal Solar official.
So-Cal Solar Inc. has been a leader in the solar industry for over ten years and is a purchase-only solar panel provider, according to their website.
The company offers free consultations and free quotes to potential customers.
Potential buyers need no money down on their system, need no equity on their homes and have the option to make no payments for the rest of 2014.
So-Cal Solar also offers financing plans.
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“Not only does (a solar panel system) increase the value of your home instantly because you own the system, but you don’t need to have equity on your home to qualify.” said Greg Wood, a So-Cal Solar official.
By 2015, the price of residential electricity is expected to rise from 11.88 cents per kilowatt hour to 12.79 cents per kilowatt hour according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
In light of the perpetually rising electricity bills, it seems that solar may be a smart investment for Southern California residents.
Source: Santa Clarita News