While most Californians continue to benefit from a surging economy, homeowners in San Diego are preparing for a jolt when they open their utility bills.

In late 2017, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) unveiled a proposed new rate structure beginning in 2019 and extending through 2022 that would saddle residential customers with a double-digit rate increase. This summer, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) will rule on the plan, which will affect 3.6 million people in San Diego County and the southern tip of Orange County. Revenues created by the price hike will generate hundreds of millions in new revenues for the utility.

Why the Rate Hike?
Occurring every three years, this general rate case is being attributed to modernization efforts. But unlike previous requests, this is the largest SDG&E has proposed since 2012. Citing the need for critical upgrades in the company's substations, cybersecurity efforts, and the installation grid-sensing technologies, the increase is still a hard pill to swallow for most of SDG&E customers who, along with the rest of their fellow Californians, already pay the fifth highest electricity rates in the continental U.S.

Energy customers are scrambling to find a solution, including some supporters of community choice aggregation (CCA) who petitioned the San Diego City Council to adopt the CCA model as an alternative. However, this would only shift the power of where residents can get their sources of electricity from the hands of utility companies to those of local governments.

SDG&E Customers Have Another Option
But consumers have another, more sustainable choice that would โ€“ literally โ€“ give them back the power. Converting to solar removes the instability associated with regulatory governance, ultimately saving homeowners on average 30-50% of the cost on their monthly electricity. SolarMax enables you to own your own power for just $69 a month - and the company even makes your first-year solar payments.

SolarMax systems come with a 10-year power production guarantee, as well as a 25-year warranty on panels, inverters and workmanship. As a local company in San Diego, we also understand how to work with SDG&E's guidelines to ensure a quick and seamless system installation.

For us, success is about using renewable energy solutions to create a more sustainable way of life that not only benefits consumers, but also the world in which we live. That's the ultimate win-win deal!