Smart Meters are digital electrical usage meters that measure not only how much power you use, but also when you use it. If you live in Northern California and get your power from PG&E, chances are good that you either already have a Smart Meter or are due to receive one shortly. But Smart Meters have come with a slurry of customer complaints that electric bills have shot up since the new meters were installed. Fortunately, there’s a good solution to Smart Solar Panel and rising energy prices: PV solar panels.
Tears for Tiers
What’s going on behind the increases? The price per kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity is set in tiers, with each incremental tier costing more. The more quickly you move above your baseline, or tier-1, the more you pay. Previously, your utility would read your meter, subtract the reading from the previous month and bill you for this month’s consumption. With the new Smart Meters, the utility measures your usage by the hour. Apparently, this is to give utilities a more accurate measurement of demand and to help people track and reduce their usage.
Unfortunately, the net effect of measuring and billing your electricity use by the hour is to move you into the higher tiers more quickly. So even if you use the same amount of electricity at the end of the month, your baseline is smaller and you end up paying more.
Battle Rising Energy Costs with PV Solar Panels
If increasing costs with Smart Meters weren’t enough, one major utility already increased its electric rates over 19% from a year ago. This is where solar comes in. First of all, a professionally installed solar panel system generates substantial amounts of electricity, reducing or eliminating the need to pull energy from the grid (i.e., from the utility). The energy produced by your panels pays for the system; then the panels continue to produce free, clean energy for many more years — allowing you to bypass inevitable future rate hikes.
As an additional plus, most solar homes are usually exempt from having to install the current Smart Solar Energy. Most modules are simply not set up to measure the excess electricity your PV solar panels send back into the grid. With a solar installation, you can drastically reduce energy bills while skirting the new tier pricing structure.