ICYMI: San Diego Homeowner’s Electric Bill Was Only $56.56 For the Entire Year After Going Solar

Posted on February 14, 2022

Says “My Savings Come at a Cost to Others”

Sacramento – An East San Diego County homeowner’s electric bill put the Net Energy Metering (NEM) cost shift into stark reality when he revealed in an op-ed in the San Diego Union-Tribune that after installing rooftop solar panels, his electricity bill plummeted from thousands of dollars to merely $56.56 or “less than five bucks a month.”

This was his family’s total electric bill for an entire year.

Haney Hong, president and CEO of the San Diego County Taxpayers Association writes in his op-ed, As a solar customer, I enjoy lower bills. But my savings come at a cost to others:

  • “So when I got my ‘true up’ bill and it was only $56.56, I have net energy metering to thank. While it’s well-documented and studied that San Diego County has the highest electric rates in the country, my family got by with an electric bill of less than five bucks a month last year. Without solar, my bill would have probably run north of $600 a month in the summer like it did in 2020.”
  • “Net energy metering allows rooftop solar customers like me to push these costs to non-solar customers — increasing my neighbors’ utility bills. In San Diego, in fact, 20 cents of every dollar of a non-solar customer’s electric bill is paying for what solar customers do not according to our analysis.
  • “And rooftop solar is expensive. So those who can afford it are typically wealthier than the average utility ratepayer. That means their share of fixed costs gets shifted to those who are poorer on average. The UC Berkeley Energy Institute at Haas School of Business said it best: ‘Net Energy Metering hurts the poor.It’s that simple.’”
  • “This is an equity issue, and it is due to the California Public Utilities Commission’s rate structure.”
  • “Too bad the CPUC decided to wait so long to take up the urgent need to address this inequitable burden on our non-solar neighbors.”