Remember Antiques Roadshow? That is still one of Scott and I’s favorite shows to watch on the iPad when we are fixing dinner in the kitchen. It’s mindless, it’s fascinating, you get to learn cool historical facts about weird stuff. The best part is seeing the amazing reactions when folks get the news that the wool blanket their dog has been sleeping on for 20 years is a priceless one of a kind Indian chief blanket from Kit Carson in the 1800s. Oh, and it’s worth 4 million dollars. We both love watching the reactions and we can feel the wonder and joy they are experiencing — such pure human emotions — it’s a rare thing. I have even seen my beloved shed a tear of happiness for the people on the show. It’s so sweet.
Beyond the warm fuzzies though, we have all dreamed of having the opportunity to find a buried treasure in our attic, our basement, or an old box of stuff from a grandparent or long lost relative. Wouldn’t it be SOOOO cool to unearth a treasure worth an extraordinary amount of money? It’s such a nice fantasy … or is it?
It doesn’t have to be a fantasy. That treasure you wish for is actually much closer in reality — it’s hanging right over your head on your roof. The roof you own. Yes, folks, I’m talking about solar power.
Let’s break it down.
Your monthly energy bill from PG&E has got to be what, about $250-$450 a month now? That’s the average I see from our customers looking for solar.
Let’s just say it’s $300 a month = that’s $3600 a year of energy costs. No one explains it to you. The rate is listed on your bill, but sometimes it’s higher and sometimes it’s lower. Then there are the days that they have no actual data and just “estimate” your power use based on previous years. That’s fun. Notice how it always seems to work in their favor – with a higher price that month?
Now let’s add the annual increase in fees — about 10% a year is what’s been happening lately. Though in 2020, we’re looking at about 21% of total increases that have already been approved.
So, $350 a month x 12 + 21% = $4356.00 next year. $5270 the year after. $6377 the following year and so on and so forth. Sound expensive? Ok, so maybe the average increase will only be 10% a year; Let’s look at those numbers in 25 years.
Enter my trusty calculator…
Over 25 years you end up paying $468,000 for your power. That is most likely more than you likely paid for your 3+2 family starter home.
You’re essentially paying a second mortgage with 10% interest for the use of your power — but you can never refinance it — and it’s not an asset you own or have value in. It’s just *poof* gone. And PG&E keeps going bankrupt and getting bailed out, courtesy of the taxes we pay to the state of California, on top of their monthly rates. So we are paying them twice. Do you think they have any incentive to reduce your costs?
Here is the thing: PG&E is not the devil, they are just another corporation beholden to shareholders who have to show a profit. They are going to cut costs in any way they can, and raising rates on remaining customers who haven’t gone solar is the only thing that keeps them alive. The truth is that the energy costs in California are TOTALLY screwed up. They are set by legislators who hired expensive scientists to tell them what the power costs should be. They are NOT run like farm produce or minerals or water or other commodities to be competitive and encourage/incentivize for efficiency and competition in the market according to supply and demand. Instead, they are SET by legislators.
For example, if one power generation company (wind, water, gas, etc.) bids to have a price set at $50 per khw paid to them for power, and they get their bid accepted, then ANOTHER generation company bids to get $500 per kwh paid to them – and that bid is accepted – the California law legislate
s that EVERY PROVIDER then gets paid $500 per kwh regardless of the previous rate they set or accepted. What? Why are they all getting paid the most expensive price? Because it’s not “fair” to pay less even if the market rate deemed the price acceptable and the provider accepted it or set the price to begin with. Now we all have to go broke because some scientist (who was clearly not an economist) thought that was fair.
So this totally screwed up pricing/payment model does not encourage competition in California Energy Pricing. In fact, there are generation companies who BUILT PLANTS solely to be paid NOT to operate them because they make more to get paid NOT to operate them then they would if they ran them and got paid per kwH. That is right. California will PAY them not to produce power. Then we still have blackouts when there is actually potential power available on the market that is just not being utilized because our tax dollars are paying them not to generate power because it would overwhelm the underbuilt grid in that region. How does that make any sense? This is not a conspiracy theory, I went straight to the experts. We have a video series coming soon that will provide more detail.
Another thing to think about: Natural Gas happens to be the highest producer of power in California. But if hydraulic fracturing “fracking” is banned, a lot of those natural gas resources go away. Then where will the power we need come from to fill the void? I want to save the planet too, but this is a complicated issue.
So politics sucks. As per usual, the California grid is failing (not our fault I might add), and consumers have no control over that. What are we supposed to do about it exactly? Here is what you can do. Invest in solar for your home or business. Save the money, invest the difference.
FEDERAL TAX CREDITS
Fortunately, there are still federal tax incentives available for the next couple of years to go solar. Even though the California rebates are gone, the federal tax credit is 26% in 2020. So, you can save a WHOLE LOT on your solar. You can also apply it to your new roof, HVAC, windows, green landscaping, and more, when you do it at the same time as solar. If your project costs $50,000, you will save $13000 on the tax credit.
So, your price will be $37,000.00 and you can finance it so you have no out of pocket expense and then you can start saving money immediately. Or, you can pay cash and have no interest cost.
ENERGY STORAGE INCENTIVES
There are also incentives for solar battery storage in many areas of California right now. Some folks can even qualify to get them added for FREE to their solar project. Call us at 877-44-SOLAR and I can find out if you qualify for them in a couple of minutes.
This goes for Commercial AND Residential locations.
BACK TO THE TREASURE
So, if you could invest $37,000 in 2020 with no out of pocket cost in order to save $418,000 over the next 25 years would that be worthwhile to you?
Here is the difference between buying solar and paying PG&E for the next 25 years:
- Solar is an asset you own
- It adds value to your home. Plus, it protects your roof and adds fire protection as well
- It doesn’t increase your property tax base
- It’s transferable to another owner if you sell
- Solar doesn’t discriminate. Power and financing are available for everyone no matter your credit score. There is an option for you!
- The imminent grid failure will be the only way PGE and other power producers along with the CA legislation will be forced to reform their practices and go to a commodity-based trading model on power costs.
FOR YOU, $418,000 could be the difference between:
- Retiring 5 years early
- Sending two kids to college
- A bucket list vacation with your family or spouse
- An RV and a fishing boat
- No debt on your home (Apply the difference in monthly cost to your mortgage!)
- Establishing a trust for your kids, grandkids, etc.
- Buying a vacation home … or two
If you need help thinking up more ways to spend $418k, give me a call and I’ll brainstorm ideas with you!
True, it’s not $418k upfront, but when you know the amount of savings you will have over time, you can better PLAN for your future and make more informed decisions for your life. If that doesn’t feel like an unexpected treasure found in your home, I don’t know what does.
Take control of the things in your life you CAN control, and use the treasure on your roof to invest in solar and start saving in 2020.
We’re here to make it easy for you!