Power can prove to be expensive almost anywhere. Whether it comes from electric heating in Pennsylvania, all-day air conditioning in Arizona or just a family full of movie lovers in Nebraska, utility bills can easily pile up.

But that gets a lot easier in states like California that suffer from dramatically higher electricity prices than other parts of the country. Whereas that Nebraska family paid an average rate of 8.52 cent per kilowatt-hour in 2009, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, California residents were paying 14.74 cents per kilowatt-hour. That comes to nearly 75 percent more for electricity in the Golden State.

Bill Kammerer of Pleasant Hill, California, was well familiar with how high those costs can run. Even living in the more mild region of the state near the San Francisco Bay, Bill averaged electricity bills of around $460 per month. That left Bill paying more than four times the national average and nearly five-and-a-half times the state’s average electricity costs, according to the EIA.

Fed up with these high costs, Bill turned to solar power in the hopes of making his own power at a lower cost. He went to several California solar installers and ended up getting four separate quotes from major national names like REC Solar, SolarCity and Sungevity, but ultimately settled on Murrieta, California-based HelioPower.

December 6, 2011