SDG&E wants higher rates for solar homeowners - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

SDG&E wants higher rates for solar homeowners

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - One of the major selling points of going solar is the savings users get on their electric bill. But now, SDG&E wants to change the way it charges those users, and ask them to pay more.

Ranie Hunter went solar to be green, but a new plan by SDG&E has her white with rage.

"It feels like corporate greed to me. It really does," she said.

San Diego's utility argues it has infrastructure in place that costs money. Money it gets back when you buy its electricity. Homes with solar panels still use the grid, but buy so little electricity at full price, the utility says under current pricing its traditional customers are forced to pay more.

"We all want to see solar expanded, but we also know the grid has to be paid for. And if everyone decided to put solar on their roof, who would be left to pay for the infrastructure?" SDG&E spokeswoman Stephanie Donovan said.

Daniel Sullivan would like to remind SDG&E that there are over 14,000 homes and businesses in the san diego region with solar power, and that the extra power they generate, SDG&E turns around and sells for a huge profit.

"There's definitely a peaker power plant of about 100 million watts in SDG&E's territory that SDG&E didn't have to pay for," Sullivan said.

If SDG&E's plan passes, it is sure to dissuade people from switching to solar, because it'll take a lot longer to recuperate initial costs.

"It's extremely frustrating," Hunter said. "There's this new technology and we're trying to train the next generation to be more efficient and honor the earth and then a big giant like SDG&E comes out and just tries to squash the whole deal. It's unbelievable."

 

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