Riverside Public Utilities
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Solar Info

For those who are considering going solar.

Before Signing-Up

There are several things you should be aware of before signing-up for solar. Going solar is a process, and we want to help you get started.

1. Energy Efficiency Comes First

Before considering a solar system, energy efficiency improvements in your home should be considered. Lowering your energy use will assist in lowering the cost of your solar system because a smaller system may be installed.

Not to mention, energy efficiency is usually a faster return on your investment!

2. Your Energy Consumption

RPU's Solar Energy Program allows customers to offset up to 100% of their historical 12-month energy use. With your account number in hand, go to the Pay Your Bill page to obtain your last 12 months of energy use. If you have less than 12 months of energy use, we use the formula of two (2) watts per square foot of living space, including garages to calculate your energy use; this is the maximum amount of energy (kilowatt hour) production of a solar system that will be allowed at your location until you have a 12 month history of energy use to evaluate.

3. Solar Will Not Eliminate Your Electric Bill

Unless you move 100% off the electrical grid with absolutely no connections to your electric utility, you will continue to have electric bills. After you install solar, the utility will continue to standby and supply power when your system is not producing. Even when your solar system is sized to offset 100% of your energy load there will be months where you purchase energy from the utility and months when you over produce and export back. This is because the solar system produces different amounts of energy each month depending on the sun's angle and the amount of available sunshine.

4. When the Power Goes Out, the PV System Stops Working

The solar system typically does stop working when the power goes out. Solar electric systems sold for use in California are designed with a power inverter which automatically disconnects from service if the inverter senses a loss of power from the electric utility. The inverter only re-connects the system once utility power has been re-established.

5. Energy Rates and Trends

RPU’s current and historical rates are posted on-line for your reference.