From the North Bay to the South Bay, a trend to step away from the conventional energy source, is sweeping the Bay Area. Counties are taking a stand against PG&E and are moving towards a community choice model. This gives residents a choice to power their homes, with a mix of different types of renewable energy, which in turn, will be cleaner and cheaper energy for their homes.
Community Choice Aggregation or CCAs, allows local government to form energy agencies that buy electricity from alternative means, such as wind, hydro and even solar. This offers home owner’s a choice to purchase power between standard utility companies or locally thru the local CCAs, cities such as San Jose, San Francisco, Monterey and basically the whole coast of California. Marin County was first to implement this program back in 2010. Since it’s first inception to 2013, Marin County has drastically reduced greenhouse gas by 63,482 metric tons, which is equivalent to removing 13,365 cars off the road, and that it’s customers will save $10 million by 2015. Sonoma County followed suit and saw the same numbers.
Contrary to what people believe, PG&E does source 27% of it’s power through renewable sources. To compare, Marin County’s energy profile is at 50%, and Sonoma County is at 36%. In terms of cost, the CCAs can purchase energy at wholesale, passing on the savings to home owners. Unfortunately, because of the ongoing services that PG&E provides: maintaining power lines, delivering electricity and still sending out bills and customer service, they afford themselves the right to charge customers an exit monthly fee, which help to offset the costs of the competing local CCAs.
Since most not all counties have adopted the CCA, the best solution is for home owner’s to invest into their own solar systems for their home. Why wait when you can harness the power of the sun for your own entry source. Home owners can store their generated in batteries for backup and take advantage of net metering by “selling” excess power back to the grid.
Going solar is not only a way to save money on your electricity bill, but it’s also a way to positively impact your community and environment in the long term. Installing a new solar system in your home helps to provide substantial benefits for our climate, health and economy. Installing a new solar system is a wise investment.
Here’s a few reasons to go solar today:
- Affordable: Since the price to install solar has dropped over the last ten years, homeowners are now more inclined to install a new solar system on their rooftops.
- Tax Credit & Incentives: The average cost to install a solar system can run up to $35,000+, and with state and federal tax credits close to about $20,000, homeowners can recover approximately 97% of their investment
- Energy Savings: The savings accumulated from the life of your system can span up to 25-30 years, which is the lifetime of your system.
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