Solar vs Southern California Edison: What are the Facts?

  • Nate Lewis
  • Chief Revenue Officer

When it comes to choosing solar energy or energy provided by Southern California Edison, we have answers! Read more to learn how switching to solar can save you money now and even more in the future!

You have probably heard that making electricity for your home with solar is less expensive than buying it from Southern California Edison (SCE). Let’s take a look:

As of April 13, 2020, SCE’s tiered residential rate plan (schedule D) is broken up into three tiers. Customers are able to purchase energy at Tier 1 rates up to their baseline allocation. A customer's baseline allocation is determined by what climate zone they live in. Once that allotment is used, the rate climbs to a more expensive rate. In the second tier, customers are able to purchase 101-400% of their baseline allocation. After customers exceed 400% of their baseline allotment, High Usage Charges will apply. This is the most expensive energy under this rate plan and customers will be charged for all power consumption over 400% of a customer's baseline allotment at this rate. 

The cheapest cost of electricity with SCE for this traditional rate plan is 20 ¢/kWh, Tier 2 is 26¢/kWh and the high usage charge is an astounding 46¢/kWh.

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The Cost of Solar 

With solar, there are many ways to acquire a system. The traditional methods of acquiring a solar system include an outright cash purchase, a lease, a loan, or a power purchase agreement. Solar Leases and PPA’s are third-party owned and have been some of the most popular ways of acquiring a solar system for $0 down and free installation. With a SunPower Lease or a PPA, consumers are able to produce their own power at rates much lower than the current offerings from SCE. With a $0 down SunPower lease or PPA, customers enjoy a cost of electricity of 12 to 17¢/kWh on average. The better your roof is for solar, the lower your cost of electricity will be. In addition to producing power cheaper than the lowest rate with SCE, solar leases and PPA’s offer fixed payment and rates for 20-25 years. With a properly sized system, you are able to buy all of your power with a solar lease or PPA at a fraction of retail rates with the utility and lock in your rates for decades to come. 

The SunPower loan and outright cash purchase of a solar system allow homeowners the ability to monetize the 26% federal tax credit that is currently available.  For customers with a tax appetite who want to own their solar system, this is a great way to go solar. If you don't want to pay cash upfront, the SunPower loan offers $0 down and free installation. You won't make your first payment until the system is installed and working on your roof. With a cash system, the estimated cost per kWh over the warrantied term of the system in the 5¢/kWh range. With a $0 down loan, you can expect to produce power at 9-12¢/kWh or nearly half of what the utility charges!

Both leases and loans have fixed payments and can easily transfer to a new owner in the event you move. Currently, solar net metering is grandfathered for 20 years with Southern California Edison so you can rest assured you will benefit from decades of savings. This benefit is also transferable to subsequent owners of the home.

 

SCE and Their Rate Increases

Southern California Edison rates have increased 7% over the past year for customers on the aforementioned rate, and they have requested a 14% increase for 2021. With the rebates and incentives for solar and batteries, it makes sense to move to savings and self-sufficiency. Currently, the Federal Tax Incentive of 26% and battery rebates are $2,300 - $2,900 for each one, depending on how many you decide to acquire. Renova Energy is a Certified Installer for Tesla Powerwall and will help with all the paperwork.

 

Renova Energy Can Help You Save without Stepping into Your Home

Currently, consultations, site surveys, and even solar installations can all be completed without our team entering your home. Of course, you will still receive a customized proposal with several options that will detail any and all the projected savings. As a bonus, you will be generating your electricity with clean, renewable power from the sun, which helps avoid CO2 emissions and adding to pollution.

 

Ready to take the leap to solar? Call our Coachella Valley solar installation team at Renova Energy! We are ready to help you save big!

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