California’s largest electricity supplier, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), filed for bankruptcy on January 29. The company is anticipating large-scale legal claims. As this matter could take years to resolve, millions of PG&E customers could be facing an increase in their energy bills.
According to experts, PG&E’s rates are most likely to increase when the California utility company comes out of Chapter 11 protection. The bankruptcy will obviously make it harder and more costly for the company to borrow money. As well, they will have to cover massive legal fees and other costs related to the bankruptcy claim. They will most likely put the cost of these expenses on their customers.
As well, the possibility of lower payouts for victims of California wildfires and increased energy costs for California residents, the bankruptcy can directly affect the state’s goals for climate change. Since state officials have been relying on PG&E to invest heavily in wind and solar farms, as well as other clean energy technology, these goals are contingent upon the swift transfer of climate-friendly power sources from fossil fuels.
PG&E now plans to reorganize. They are allowed to increase their regulated profits in the foreseeable future. While this profits those who have invested in the corporation, it leaves customers burned with increased utility rates. Many key areas, such as new grid interconnection requests, net metering, the self-generation incentive program and solar customers are now a major concern due to the future uncertainty of PG&E.
Customers who are concerned about the possibility of higher energy costs should seriously consider switching to solar energy. While solar savings are contingent on several varying factors, switching to solar energy will drastically reduce energy costs.
For those PG&E customers who reside in an area where energy costs are significantly higher, switching to solar energy could result in a huge savings. As energy costs increase over time, switching to a solar panel installation with a 25-plus year lifespan can result in significant long-term savings as well.
While reducing your monthly energy costs is a plus, that is not the only benefit of solar energy. As electricity rates are often unpredictable, it can make it hard to estimate your monthly expense budget. Switching to solar can help you regulate your electricity costs and make your budget more predictable. This is good news for those on a fixed income. As well, businesses can profit greatly from these savings.
There is no better time than now to switch to solar energy. The California solar tax credit expires at the end of 2019. With the state phasing this 30 percent credit out at the end of the year, there couldn’t be a better time than now to choose solar energy.