In Regards to Solar: Why California Politicians Need to Act Quickly

Other than “Going Green”, one of the key reasons why San Diego solar power has become so popular is net energy metering.

If you own or lease your solar electric system, you can make an agreement with San Diego Gas and Electric to connect your generated power to the utility grid, allowing it to export surplus electricity into the grid.  More specifically, net energy metering is when any kilowatt hour that your solar array produces is then subtracted from the kilowatt hours of electricity you obtain from SDG&E to determine the net amount of kilowatt-hours. You will then be billed only for the energy that your solar system does not supplement.

For San Diego solar energy customers, credits are made at the same rate they would be charged at the reduced electric rate tier.  The appeal here is that credits would offset the installation costs of solar power systems.

With the passing of legislation in 2006, net energy metering was made available to customers on a first-come/first-serve basis up to a capacity of 2.5% of the capacity.  Home solar generation has become increasingly popular in San Diego.  Without new legislation, Net Energy Metering capacity will be reached by the end of 2011, leaving San Diego solar customers in a ‘use or lose’ situation.

Alternative options for homeowners who invest in solar panels would be to use the energy at the time the system produces it, buy a battery system to store energy off-grid or donate excess energy to SDGE.  The electricity would typically need to be used while being produced by the solar panels.  Utility power would need to be purchased when solar power systems were not producing at times such as in the evening.

Discussions have been made that raising the capacity could not only continue to support California’s goal of being a “Green State” but also support the economy through creating new solar energy jobs as well as employees in the many budget-deprived civic agencies who use the money saved through solar to offset other expenses.

Please urge your California State representatives to pass a bill to increase the capacity for Net Energy Metering.  If you are a homeowner who is looking to invest in a solar system, click here to get 3 quotes from pre-verified, San Diego solar installers.

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