PG&E's possible lower electricity rates may hurt residential solar
California has no shortage of sunshine. Coupled with some of the highest electricity rates in the country, it is no surprise that many home and business owners have looked to solar energy to relieve the strain on their wallets. Pacific Gas & Electric is attempting to change that.
Currently, the rates provided by PG&E are based upon a five-tier system, but the company has applied to change the system to a three-tier program. The switch, according the PG&E, will be painless for all involved. Those paying rates in the top three tiers will have their rates lowered to a flat third-tier cost. The bottom of the pyramid, where most homeowners sit, will pay the same amount and stay in their previous tier, while those with higher usage will be bumped up a tier and pay a small percentage more for their power.
The system will benefit all those involved, except, of course, for the too-often overlooked silent majority. A lowering of gas-powered electrical rates will surely provoke a similar lowering in solar power usage. This means more pollution for California’s already smog-covered landscape. As usual, when lower costs compete with lower emissions, the dollar wins.