Am I "gaming" the TOU, and is that a threat to net metering?

I didn't want to go off-topic from another thread, but I was hoping to hear a bit of debate on what Solar Guppy, a highly respected person in the PV arena, has said.
What you are missing sub3 is most locations in Florida are the same as the OP. You and I are VERY lucky to be on Lakeland Electric, which pays close to retail for exported energy.

Your gaming the TOU with your XW and batteries isn't helping the cause to allow true net metering, I know LE isn't at all pleased with what you are doing. At anytime LE could simply institute dual register as the State Law allows, some food for thought.

Wow. I know after going to one of their meetings that these guys are staying up nights trying to get more money from people with their current proposed rate increase, after bungling about $90 Million on one contract and another $136 Million on thier attempt to "game" the system with hedging. So almost a quarter billion dollars total. After telling people they had $45 Million in reserve, but a guy in the audience found another $13.5 Million "hurricane fund," and on the consultant's report it lists $65 Million in reserve, if I'm reading it correctly. But I didn't know Lakeland Electric was so sensitive. Or that one person, me, could help bring down net metering.

I certainly am not "gaming the TOU." And even if I am, I am surprised that this is public information.

They have the rate, I found out about it by reading their Rate Tariffs book, and I abide by it. Their meter compiles four data points, peak usage, off-peak usage, peak PV generation, and off-peak PV generation. In fact, Lakeland Electric is not abiding by net metering now, and it is costing me money every month, but I have not complained. By choice, I operate as if there is net metering, and export much more electricity during peak rates than off-peak rates. And, in fact, I have exported about 1500 kWh more peak kWh than I've used. But I have been reimbursed at the lower than peak residential rate for those 3750 kWh I've exported, but I have been reimbursed at the higher than off-peak residental rate for those 1825 kWh I've exported. So the net is a difference of about $100 in about 2 1/2 years. But I've never complained about that.

I've also never complained about them taking, and I mean literally taking, without any compensation, the Renewable Energy Certificates that could be generated if Florida goes to such a system. Of course, currently this does not affect me, since I can't get a Renewable Energy Certificate from my PV system to sell. I'm not sure if Lakeland Electric is able to somehow get a credit from my system though.

So is operating a household on batteries during peak "cheating?" Can Lakeland Electric tell me how to use the electricity once it passes their meter into my house? Are they going to take the PV energy I've generated from my roof without letting me use it first?

Comments

  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,962 ✭✭✭
    Re: Am I "gaming" the TOU, and is that a threat to net metering?

    Your mixing topics and I completely agree Lakeland Electric has and continues to do some bone head things with the revenues they receive.

    On the solar, LE is a muni, that alone exempts them from any of the Florida net metering laws. Even if they were required to honor the law, it has a simple out that if the utility provides separate metering, they only have to pay wholesale.

    I'm not judging the correctness of what you are doing only that you with the batteries are getting more than what a "water wheel" would credit you for. The entire renewable energy option for us is at the pleasure of Lakeland Electric, my opinion, and its nothing more than that is we are allow what we have for PR for Lakeland Electric.

    The issue becomes a bigger with the roll out of smart meters for everyone and with it TOU ... now instead of one, they have 35 customers that can get the added benefit. Nothing is free, the revenues not paid by the solar customers are paid by the neighbors.

    Solar was started here when the systems were 1-2kw and there was 5 total for the city with a FSEC grant. My only thought in this is if becomes noticed, we all could lose net metering, whether it makes sense or not, all it would take is some pissed off people to show up at one of the monthly meetings.
    So is operating a household on batteries during peak "cheating?" Can Lakeland Electric tell me how to use the electricity once it passes their meter into my house? Are they going to take the PV energy I've generated from my roof without letting me use it first?
    I wasn't aware that your XW was setup to disconnect from the grid to power your loads, I had assumed you cranked down the sell voltage to sell more than the PV was generating. Regardless, yes, our systems are at the pleasure of LE. There is no legal requirement to allow interconnection as they are a muni and exempt from the law. Also, in meeting the letter of the Florida net metering law, at their expense can wire the PV to only sell to the grid on a dedicated meter.
  • sub3marathonmansub3marathonman Solar Expert Posts: 300 ✭✭✭
    Re: Am I "gaming" the TOU, and is that a threat to net metering?
    I'm not judging the correctness of what you are doing only that you with the batteries are getting more than what a "water wheel" would credit you for. The entire renewable energy option for us is at the pleasure of Lakeland Electric, my opinion, and its nothing more than that is we are allow what we have for PR for Lakeland Electric.

    The issue becomes a bigger with the roll out of smart meters for everyone and with it TOU ... now instead of one, they have 35 customers that can get the added benefit. Nothing is free, the revenues not paid by the solar customers are paid by the neighbors.

    The solar PV has nothing to do with the TOU. Anybody with an inverter and batteries can do it. Actually if I only had batteries I would come out equal on the TOU, with the PV, I get less than the credit I would get from a "water wheel," since I've exported 1500kWh more during peak time. With a meter that would run backwards, I would have never had a peak usage charge.

    Also, Lakeland Electric has benefited by not having to produce expensive peak power because of me, and thus has made a greater profit because of the solar customers. They themselves are putting in 1800 panels to offset the peak generating problem.
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,239 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Am I "gaming" the TOU, and is that a threat to net metering?
    ...They themselves are putting in 1800 panels to offset the peak generating problem.

    And when a cloud floats by, the whole area blacks out, or they have to import power. Much better to distribute the arrays across a city, then only a few are shadowed at a time, unless it's major clouds.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,002 admin
    Re: Am I "gaming" the TOU, and is that a threat to net metering?

    I will defend the power companies to a degree... Solar, Wind, etc. can be predictable to a degree--but it is not power on demand like a normal generating station.

    Power companies will pay lots of money for wholesale power that they can schedule/control on demand.

    Power that may, or may not be available at any random point in the day has a whole lot less value.

    Would you be willing to turn off your dishwasher, close the doors to the store/factory because a thunderstorm moved in overhead--probably would get real old real fast.

    And, remember, that (for example) us in California are getting retail cost of power in our "account". Typically, power generation is less than 50% of the cost of power, another 50% is local distribution, and a hand full of percent for long distance transmission.

    Yes, our politicians are gaming the system, with help of the utilities. And rate payers + tax payers are making up the difference.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • solar_davesolar_dave Solar Expert Posts: 2,338 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Am I "gaming" the TOU, and is that a threat to net metering?
    BB. wrote: »
    And, remember, that (for example) us in California are getting retail cost of power in our "account". Typically, power generation is less than 50% of the cost of power, another 50% is local distribution, and a hand full of percent for long distance transmission.

    Yes, our politicians are gaming the system, with help of the utilities. And rate payers + tax payers are making up the difference.

    -Bill

    That is why I think the TOU model for APS in AZ is more fair. On-peak offsets On-peak kWh, Off-peak offsets Off-peak kWh and the settle up for any excess is at near wholesale rates at year end. I still have to buy off peak power even though I have a on peak excess. There should be less gaming the system that way.
  • Solar GuppySolar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,962 ✭✭✭
    Re: Am I "gaming" the TOU, and is that a threat to net metering?
    They themselves are putting in 1800 panels to offset the peak generating problem.

    I believe you are misinformed. They signed a contract two years ago with Sun Edison for a 24 Megawatt system, of which Lakeland Electric is paying nothing upfront, just that LE will buy the power at an agreed upon price.

    http://www.lakelandelectric.com/Community/PressReleases/tabid/126/mctl/ArticleView/ModuleId/799/articleId/38/Default.aspx

    Solar PV is a poor choice for utility peaking, as in the high demand summer months, the peak period has almost daily tropical rains and most of the day highly variable irradiance, making pv worthless from a demand view.

    Also, the only system online is the roof of the civic center ( 250 kw by Sun Edison ), so 2 year later not much is happened, though more talk and evaluations

    http://www.lakelandelectric.com/RenewableEnergy/SolarProgram/tabid/414/mctl/ArticleView/ModuleId/1208/articleId/49/Default.aspx

    And here is the 10 year plan

    https://www.frcc.com/Planning/Shared%20Documents/FRCC%20Presentations%20and%20Utility%2010-Year%20Site%20Plans/2011/2011_TYSP_LAK.pdf
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,002 admin
    Re: Am I "gaming" the TOU, and is that a threat to net metering?

    Solar Dave,

    That is supposed to be what our "updated" Net Metering is supposed to be too--Pay wholesale power rates for any excess left in the net metered account.

    Currently, any credits are wiped out at the end of the 1 year term.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • solar_davesolar_dave Solar Expert Posts: 2,338 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Am I "gaming" the TOU, and is that a threat to net metering?
    BB. wrote: »
    Solar Dave,

    That is supposed to be what our "updated" Net Metering is supposed to be too--Pay wholesale power rates for any excess left in the net metered account.

    Currently, any credits are wiped out at the end of the 1 year term.

    -Bill

    Bill,

    Does your current plan work on Dollars or kWh? I would love a dollar exchange where I sell into the grid @ $0.18 day time and buy back @ $0.055 night time.

    I do actually like the Dollar credit @ year end, it allowed me enough $$$$ to cover all the fees/taxes and off peak buying until about the end of the first week of July. I don't buy much off peak early in the year, like a $1-2 dollars worth a month. I actually get more for my excess (about a delta of $0.015 per kWh) than I pay for my off peak. YTD to the utility has been $88.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,002 admin
    Re: Am I "gaming" the TOU, and is that a threat to net metering?

    I know how it will work out. Currently we are paid retail rate and pull from the account at retail (whatever the kwh charges would be).

    At the end of the year, we are supposed to be paid $0.0x per kwh But our accounting is in dollars... Don't know how they will work it out.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
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