If you're like most consumers, reading your power bill isn't at the top of your bucket list. In actuality, seeing the dentist might rank higher. But if you read the small print on your electricity statement, you can learn a lot.
The good news is that switching to solar energy simplifies the solar energy portion of your payment because the quantity of clean energy your system produces directly compensates your usage expenditures. However, depending on the situation, some fees cannot be covered by net energy metering and others will be.
Here are some of the most typical costs that you might notice on your account, however each utility has its own policies and may word its fees slightly differently:
Charges that cannot be avoided:
Regardless of whether you use solar energy, you can be required to pay an access fee to use the grid. This will aid in power grid upkeep and guarantee dependable electricity for all.
Low-income programs are required by several states for public purposes. Those who do not qualify for low-income assistance may be assessed public-purpose fees to help pay for those who do.
Community benefit programs:
Some utilities impose fees to help pay for services that benefit everyone in the neighborhood, including street lighting or energy-saving initiatives.
PCIAs (Power Charge Indifference Adjustments) are the fees we must pay to have the option of purchasing electricity from renewable resources like solar farms, wind turbines, or hydroelectric plants. You could have to pay this cost whether or not your roof is covered in solar panels.
Competitive Transition Charges:
In competitive utility markets (i.e., those where you can pick your electricity supplier), you might be charged a cost for power that crosses the power lines of a rival utility. Consider it to be similar to paying a toll on a toll road.
Local fees to address unique situations:
In some regions of California, for instance, there is a Wildfire Hardening Fee that recoups costs associated with preventing catastrophic wildfires brought on by malfunctioning utility infrastructure.
Although there may be more charges on your account, chances are if there is one that you don't understand, it falls under one of the categories mentioned above.
You won't be punished for switching to solar energy because the majority of the fees will be covered by both solar energy and non-solar customers. But it's always a good idea to understand what you're paying for and why.