What PG&E’s rate hike means for you

January 5, 2024

Lower your PG&E utility bills with an Enact home solar energy system

As 2024 started, over 16 million Californians will pay more per month in their electrical bill. Pacific Gas and Electric Co — or PG&E — increased its electricity rates by nearly 13% on Jan. 1.

The rate hike is expected to cost the average California household an additional $34.50 per month — or around an extra $400 per year.


While this is undesirable for many homeowners, it might get worse. PG&E has filed paperwork with state regulators to raise rates by another $24 per month in March. California’s most expensive utility might seek additional price hikes.

But hope is not lost — solar can help California homeowners and businesses lower their utility bills and have affordable, sustainable energy.

Summary

  • The average household serviced by PG&E may pay an extra $34.50 per month
  • PG&E, California’s most expensive power provider, may seek additional price hikes
  • Home solar panel systems can help homeowners lower their utility bills

How much is PG&E’s price increase?

PG&E increased electricity rates for its residents effective on Jan. 1 for over 16 million California residents. Utility rates are changed for commercial and residential customers — including smaller increases for qualifying low-income households.

Across northern and central California, the cost of electricity will increase by around $34.50 for the average residential household. The San Francisco Chronicle found that this number was $2 higher than the numbers included in our previous coverage.

The utility has also filed to raise rates by an additional $24 per month for the average household. If passed by the California Public Utilities Commission, this could mean between $50-$60 extra per month — on top of households’ existing utility bill.

Over the past decade, PG&E bills have dramatically increased. From January 2016 to January 2023, the average household utility bill increased from $154.52 to $241.03. This number will continue to increase with the new 2024 rates.

What about PG&E discount rates for low-income households?

PG&E customers who qualify for discount rates will also pay increased rates going forward. Households who qualify for California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE), a bill assistance scheme for low-income households, will pay around an extra $21.50 per month. In 2025, this number will increase by an additional $3 per month.

While solar can be an investment, there are government incentives for low-income households in California. These government incentives can help lift the financial burden of going solar and improve clean energy equity.

The federal government offers the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) to all American households. Homeowners can receive a tax credit equal to 30% of the installation cost of a qualified home solar energy system. The ITC is available to all American homeowners who own their solar system from 2022 to 2032.

Additionally, California and Oakland-based nonprofit GRID Alternatives offers the Disadvantaged Communities – Single-family Solar Homes (DAC-SASH) program for income-qualified homeowners. DAC-SASH is an upfront rebate program that includes customers on the PG&E grid.

The DAC-SASH program helps qualified homeowners receive no-cost rooftop solar installations. Income qualifications are outlined by annual CARE and FERA guidelines. Check out the CalEnviroScreen tool to see if you qualify for this upfront rebate.

How to lower your PG&E utility bill

There are many ways you can lower your monthly utility bill after the PG&E price increase. The most significant way is to go solar. Home solar panel systems can help California homeowners save money by reducing their electric bills. Enact customers in California have seen their utility bills decrease by 75% or more.

Solar panels produce clean electricity which reduces your grid usage. As a result, homeowners experience a substantial decrease in their electricity bills. 

The system’s ability to generate power independently means lower monthly expenses and, in many cases, even the possibility of selling excess energy back to the grid. Over time, the upfront investment in solar panels pays off as utility bills decrease, contributing to long-term savings.

The financial benefits of a home solar panel system extend beyond immediate savings, offering a reliable and sustainable solution for homeowners looking to cut costs while embracing a greener, more eco-friendly lifestyle.

Can solar save PG&E customers money?

Going solar can save PG&E customers money by reducing monthly utility bills. As PG&E bills increase, solar is becoming a more attractive home improvement option.

California homeowners can reduce their reliance on PG&E by generating their own clean energy from rooftop solar. Custom home solar panel systems turn abundant sunlight into usable energy. Combined with a storage battery, your home can use more low-cost solar energy.

Enact designs custom solar energy systems for homeowners to meet their energy needs. Our digital platform takes into account your home’s structure, location and energy usage to create something that makes you happy.

The average Californian Enact customer can save thousands over the lifespan of their system. By offsetting expensive PG&E bills with solar, you can watch your utility bills shrink. As these savings accumulate, your system will eventually pay for itself and then essentially make you money.

Can storage batteries help lower monthly bills?

After the implementation of NEM 3.0, California households typically benefit the most from a solar system with a home storage battery.Electricity generated from your system has to be used or sent to the grid. Storage batteries let you save unused energy for later use. This allows homeowners to use low-cost, clean energy at night or on stormy days.

Most solar homes still need to be connected to the grid, but a storage battery further reduces your dependence on utilities like PG&E. In California, solar plus storage systems even have shorter payback periods — letting you save more in less time.

How to lower your utility bills with solar

PG&E bills are higher now — and that increases your household’s monthly expenses. Enact helps customers reduce monthly expenses and save money. Our smart platform generates custom solar panel system designs tailored to our customers.

To receive a custom solar proposal for your home, schedule a free consultation with an Enact energy advisor. Our team of knowledgeable energy advisors can find the right system for your home and show you how much you can be saving.

Reduce your energy bills with a custom solar panel system made for your home, based on your needs. Using Enact’s award-winning software, we can create the right system for you. Once you agree on a plan, Enact makes the entire process simple.

Unlike traditional installers, Enact offers our customers a wide range of equipment and financing options. You can pay upfront or finance from a wide variety of financial institutions. Unlike other companies, Enact values transparent pricing and shows our customers the cost of equipment, installation and labor.

Our California customers can go solar in just ten weeks. Enact partners with a local installer partner to inspect your roof, get proper permits and approvals and install your system. Throughout the entire process, Enact will keep you up to date with what’s going on. 

To get started or learn more about how Enact can save you money, schedule a consultation with our friendly team of energy advisors.

Frequently asked questions

How much can solar panels lower my bill?

Solar panels can lower your utility bill and save you money. The exact number depends on your home, energy usage and other factors. Enact customers typically see their utility bills shrink by 75% or more with our custom solar designs.

Is going solar right for me?

As long as your roof gets an ample amount of direct sunlight, going solar can be a great investment that unlocks future savings. The best way to learn if solar is right for you is to schedule a consultation with an Enact energy advisor.

Are solar panels still worth it in California?

A home solar panel system can definitely be worth the investment for thousands of homes across sunny California. As utility prices increase, a solar plus storage system can save you tens of thousands of dollars across their lifetime.

What about NEM 3.0?

While NEM 3.0 reduced the benefits of going solar in California, homeowners can still benefit from solar panels. The best way to benefit under California’s new policy is with a solar-plus-storage system. Storage batteries are great additions that let you use more low-cost energy.

What about my business?

Enact works with residential and commercial solar projects, meaning Enact can help your business save money with solar. Commercial solar can be a great way to lower overhead costs and shield your company from rising utility prices. Visit our commercial solar page at enact.solar/for-commercial/ to learn more.

Why choose Enact?

Enact offers transparency and choice, accurate design and savings tracking for homeowners. We offer hundreds of brands and financing options for your solar journey. Enact provides clear, unbiased data to help you make a confident decision for your future. Our solar software platform offers accurate design using satellite imagery to create systems that satisfy our customers. Lastly, the Enact monitoring app lets you track savings, generation and consumption from the internet.

Written by David Bartle, Content Marketing Associate.