Upcoming “Significant” Energy Rate Increases Drive Energy Efficiency and Alternative Options

On September 1, San Diego Gas & Electric rate increases approved by the CA Public Utility Commission last May will go into effect. According to SDG&E, “about 25 percent of customers will see a significant increase in their monthly energy bill.”
SAN DIEGO - Aug. 29, 2013 - PRLog -- On September 1, 2013 San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) rate increases approved by the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) in May 2013 will go into effect. According to SDG&E, “about 25 percent of customers will see a significant increase in their monthly energy bill.”

SDG&E divides energy rates into four “tiers” (based on the level, or amount, of usage per household); customers who will be affected by the increase already have high rates of usage and are thus categorized into Tier 3 and Tier 4 pricing. This can include households in areas of San Diego where air-conditioning is used more frequently, or customers living in energy-inefficient older homes.

Many customers in the affected Tier 3 and Tier 4 are turning to energy alternatives to reduce their reliance on traditional energy sources; in fact, solar company advertisements have been trumpeting the rate increases since the legislation passed last spring. However, many third party sources familiar with energy efficiency caution customers to do their due diligence and have their homes assessed before any improvements are brought in, to determine how the most cost-effective improvements can be implemented. Often, energy efficiency in the home overall will reduce the number of solar panels required, and drive down costs.

"Unfortunately, these rate increases will be borne disproportionately by customers in Tiers 3 and 4,” said Will Johnson, energy auditor with Inspection Perfection and State Director and former President of the  San Diego Chapter of California Real Estate Inspection Association (CREIA). “However, energy efficiency offers value to all homeowners that go beyond utility savings. An energy efficient home provides increased comfort and promotes health & safety, not to mention a contribution towards sustainability.”

To determine the energy efficiency of a home, a homeowner can get an energy assessment at nominal cost that analyzes different factors including insulation, flooring, ducting, windows and energy usage to compile a bigger picture. Using that information, homeowners can take advantage of a multitude of incentives and rebates, most significantly up to $4500 towards the cost of energy efficient improvements.

All homes can benefit from an energy assessment; however older homes (built before 1980) lack many energy efficiency standards that are now required at the time of construction, and because some rebates are performance-based, these older homes achieve high efficiency gains and higher rebates.

About  Inspection Perfection
Serving San Diego since 2005, Inspection Perfection offers services for the real estate industry including home inspections, 203K renovation loans and energy assessments.

About Energy Upgrade California Initiatives
California’s comprehensive portal for residential energy efficiency including rebates, raters (energy auditors), participating contractors, low-interest financing and general information.
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Tags:Utility, Energy Rates, Energy Efficiency, Solar, Green Homes
Industry:Real Estate, Government
Location:San Diego - California - United States
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Page Updated Last on: Sep 02, 2013

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