Say what you want about Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) and its behind the scenes operations. The utility company is remarkably consistent in some respects.
For example, the electricity it generates is:
In fact, PG&E has been increasing their rates for years.
PG&E generates the vast majority of its electricity from fossil fuel – an energy resource that is becoming harder and more expensive to extract. Moreover, inputs like oil, gas, and coal are harmful to humans – as evidenced by the 40,000+ Californians who are hospitalized for asthma every year.
Worse still, fossil fuel consumption is also terrible for the environment.
Case in point are the record-breaking wildfires that continue to plague California.
State investigators have already attributed more than 1,500 of these fires to faulty or poorly maintained powerlines installed by PG&E from 2014 to 2017. And one of the worst blazes of all was 2018’s “Camp Fire” inferno, which took 85 lives and caused $8.4 billion in property damage.
Not surprisingly, the utility company now faces billions in liability fines.
Even less surprising is PG&E’s decision to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
In the wake of these bankruptcy filings, we’ve started receiving questions about how PG&E’s financial situation could impact electricity bills moving forward.
Unfortunately, the answer isn’t very encouraging.
Normally, when a company files for bankruptcy, it either:
If the company is large enough, it might even be taken over by the state of California.
As one of the largest investor-owned utilities in the country, PG&E is in a unique situation:
So it’s unlikely that PG&E is going away anytime soon. The utility will still file for bankruptcy, but this is little more than legal wrangling designed to reduce the company’s liability.
Once the dust settles, PG&E will remain a major player in California’s energy mix – providing both electricity and gas to communities throughout the state. And although it’s still on the hook for billions in fines, PG&E will almost certainly pass on these penalties to consumers in the form of higher electricity prices for many years to come.
In fact, PG&E is legally allowed to do this in the result of a recently passed law. In 2018, the California state legislature passed Senate Bill 901 – a measure that specifically permits the utility provider to cover damages from the 2017 wildfires by raising its rates on customers.
If this happens, we’ll almost certainly be worse off than when we started. That’s because our state’s electricity grid will still be:
And yet, there’s a subset of Californians who aren’t as concerned about this rapidly changing landscape.
Rather than rely exclusively on dirty, expensive grid electricity, many homeowners and business owners throughout California now generate their own clean energy on-site – entirely from solar panels.
And below are just some of the main reasons why.
For starters, solar photovoltaic (PV) panels don’t pollute. Instead, they convert free sunshine into clean energy – without emitting CO2 or other greenhouse gases.
Going solar is already cheaper than continued reliance on grid electricity (at today’s utility rates). So you begin saving money the moment you switch over.
Better still, your solar savings only grow with time as PG&E continues to raise its prices. For example, homeowners who go solar today with the $0 down option can lock in the current Tier 1 Rate electricity rate of $0.215 – with no price increases for the next 25 years.
Those who don’t install solar panels, however, will be forced to pay whatever PG&E demands in the future (even if those higher bills are primarily used to cover the company’s own losses).
When you go solar, you’re no longer subject to the whims of a monopolistic utility provider. Instead, you’re able to generate your own clean power from equally clean (and free) sunshine.
What to do with that energy is entirely up to you:
Either way, going solar puts you in the driver’s seat (while putting money in your pocket). And for most Californians, that kind of energy independence is priceless.
If you’re not a fan of PG&E’s practices, you may be tempted to picket or march. And perhaps you should.
But nothing sends a more powerful message than opting out of their game.
When you go solar, you’re no longer fighting with words. You’re fighting with your wallet. And that’s something PG&E will be sure to notice.
Best of all, claiming the above benefits is more affordable than ever before.
With industry-leading consultants, Bright Planet will help you determine the best options. We offer a range of financing solutions that allow you to go solar for free – with $0 down and $0 due during the installation:
Both financing approaches will ensure guaranteed monthly savings. Immediately. And by reducing your reliance on grid electricity, you’ll also have a much smaller carbon footprint.
Although it’s difficult to accept, PG&E’s decision is understandable. As a publicly traded enterprise, they have to do what’s best for their investors – even if this means increasing rates on long-time customers.
But as a homeowner or business owner, you also have a responsibility to look out for your own interests as well. And in a sunny state like California where grid power is becoming increasingly less affordable, this means going solar.
Installing PV panels on your home or business allows you to:
Because YOU have the power to put yourself in control, request a custom solar quote from us today.
To compare solar financing options and see how much you can save, use our solar calculator below.Calculate Your Solar Savings!Schedule Consultation