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PG&E’s Relentless Rate Hikes

You’re certainly not alone if you’re tired of PG&E’s relentless rate hikes hitting your wallet. The looming PG&E increase request (initially 26%, before the California Public Utilities Commission offered two of its own counter proposals) will be decided on November 16. These never-ending rate hikes are untenable for Californians, and it’s time to explore alternatives that won’t leave us at the mercy of watching our utility bills keep soaring.

The Shocking Reality of PG&E’s Historic Rate Increases

Between January 2014 and September 2023, PG&E’s rates skyrocketed by a staggering 92%, while from January 2021 to September 2023, rates went up by a whopping 38% – three times higher than inflation. The pain of these rate hikes falls squarely on the shoulders of the estimated 16 million Californians who are about to see their PG&E bills surge even higher. The Utility Reform Network (TURN) says PG&E utility bills could jump by $31 monthly ($372  per year ) thanks to PG&E’s latest rate increase request. That’s simply an unsustainable burden for consumers in an era where every dollar counts.

Californians have been grappling with incessant utility rate hikes for years. PG&E rates (along with Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric) are more than twice the national average and frequently outstrip the pace of inflation, as mentioned above. Given these escalating costs, finding alternatives to mitigate the impact on household and business budgets has become more crucial than ever.

The Hard Truth About PG&E’s Intentions

PG&E argues these increases are vital for bolstering the grid’s capacity, enhancing resilience, preventing wildfires, and implementing safety measures – all items that undoubtedly benefit our state. However, while these reasons may be warranted and even laudable, the truth remains that the constant rate increases have put a massive financial strain on grid-reliant households and businesses already coping with escalating day-to-day costs. Even with the U.S. experiencing one of the swiftest economic recoveries across the globe following the COVID pandemic, many people are still hurting and facing what feels like an uncertain financial landscape.

Strategies for Preparing for Rate Increases Now and In the Future

With imminent rate increases and bigger bills coming your way, consumers need to take proactive steps to help offset the impact now and in the future. Here are some practical strategies:

  1. Energy Conservation and Efficiency: Start by focusing on smaller energy conservation efforts, such as investing in energy-saving appliances, conducting energy audits, and adjusting heating and cooling settings. Reducing overall energy consumption can alleviate some of the impacts of rising rates.
  2. Embrace Solar and Battery Storage and Prepare for Grid Instability and Outages: Transitioning to solar energy and innovative battery storage solutions will provide a substantial shield against the inevitable rate increases. By generating your own energy, you can protect yourself or your business from the volatility of the energy market and secure long-term financial stability. Embracing solar energy will help reduce reliance on traditional grids, thereby mitigating the impact of power outages and disruptions. Given the expansion of fire season to a year-round concern and the likelihood of increased grid instability and more frequent power outages due climate change, now is the time to explore and adopt these alternative energy solutions.
  3. Leverage Smart Electrical Panels like SPAN and Take Control Over Energy Costs: Californians deserve options that control their energy costs, not constant rate increases. Smart electrical panels, exemplified by products like SPAN, are pivotal in managing energy when integrated with solar panels, battery storage, EV chargers, and other smart energy solutions. Smart panels like SPAN enable whole-home circuit control, real-time energy insights, optimized energy use, and simplified electrification upgrades, ultimately contributing to significant cost savings and less impact on your pocketbook.

Why Clean Energy Is the Way Forward

Over the last decade, the cost of solar power has plummeted by 87%, making it a more accessible and economically viable option for homeowners and businesses. Solar paired with battery storage is a game-changer, offering unparalleled control over energy usage and costs. Moreover, California is committed to a future powered by clean energy, aiming for 100% clean energy by 2045. In support of this, California offers multiple incentives and rebates to facilitate the adoption of solar energy.

Federally, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) has introduced a realm of opportunities. Dubbed the “free electric bank account,” the IRA packs a powerful punch with various rebates and tax credits tailored to aid Americans in purchasing electric vehicles, solar systems, electrical appliances, heat pumps, and more. These incentives, including home electrification and appliance rebates, provide immediate discounts at the point of sale, particularly benefiting low and moderate-income households. The IRA also extended the Residential Clean Energy Credit (formally known as the Solar Investment Tax Credit or ITC), ensuring households continue to receive this substantial tax credit covering up to 30% of the costs for installing rooftop solar and battery storage. For further details on these tax credits and related rebates administered by the Department of Energy, please visit

You Deserve a Choice. We All Do.

The CPUC’s upcoming decision on November 16 regarding PG&E’s rate increase is another stark reminder of the critical urgency to act. This endless cycle of rate hikes has no expiration date. Making the switch to solar and battery storage is an investment in your future that can secure long-term expense stability, allowing you to take charge of your power and your pocketbook.

Our team at Scudder Solar is committed to guiding you through the process of transitioning to solar energy and showing you a comprehensive suite of alternative energy solutions available, like smart panels, battery backup systems, whole-home energy packages, EV chargers, and more. From navigating incentives and rebates that will help cut upfront costs to optimizing your return on investment and payback periods to designing and developing a custom combination of clean energy technologies that will best suit your property and your energy goals, we will support you every step of the way.

Contact Scudder Solar today and take that crucial first step towards a sustainable, cost-efficient, and self-reliant energy future where PG&E rate hikes are distant memories. Call us now to schedule a free estimate: 831-384-3900.

PG&E’s Relentless Rate Hikes November 15th, 2023Scudder Solar