Electric Company Residential Demand Rate

sub3marathonmansub3marathonman Solar Expert Posts: 300 ✭✭✭
My electric company is wanting to implement a Residential Demand Rate, and requiring people with PV to at some point get on that rate.

So I was wondering if anybody has been on such a plan, and were they able to use their PV system (w/ or w/o batteries) to offset enough demand to keep their electric bill out of the stratosphere? I've read where places out in California have put in PV systems, only to get a $3000 bill at the end of the month because of demand charges, which is even more upsetting since their "demand" was for sending the PV electricity back onto the grid. I've been assured that the meters here are only one-way demand, but I am highly suspicious about how much they're trying to boost my electric bill.

Thanks.

Comments

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,085 admin
    Electrical rates are (in many/all states?) is highly political. Your lobbyists against the utility lobbyists.

    I have an older Time of Use power--Works fine for me. The newer plan--I am not sure it would work as well (higher rates into 8-9pm at night).

    It is unclear until the rate plans are actually released how it may affect solar power users.

    But if it is like many California Commercial Rate plans--It can require a utility engineer with an MBA to figure out what the charges would be among the different rates plans.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • BisMBisM Registered Users Posts: 13
    BB. wrote: »
    Electrical rates are (in many/all states?) is highly political. Your lobbyists against the utility lobbyists.

    I have an older Time of Use power--Works fine for me. The newer plan--I am not sure it would work as well (higher rates into 8-9pm at night).

    It is unclear until the rate plans are actually released how it may affect solar power users.

    But if it is like many California Commercial Rate plans--It can require a utility engineer with an MBA to figure out what the charges would be among the different rates plans.

    -Bill


    I would like to second what Bill has said- I now for certain that you need a P.h.D to try and understand some of the Commercial Rate plans- they seem unnesessarily complex!
  • solarixsolarix Solar Expert Posts: 713 ✭✭
    Demand charges can be a problem as all it takes is a 15 minute period in the summer when your A/C is running but the clouds roll in to get hit with a high demand. Usually not too bad for residential though, and to be fair I think a demand charge is more justifiable than the straight solar tax they're want to hit us with. Handling peak demand is much more of a problem for utilities than just supplying the bulk kWH. However, the real problem utilities are going to have with solar is grid stability. On my street, we already have 9 of 20 homes with solar and the grid voltage during a good day is starting to get out of bounds on the high side. I had to rewire the A/C side of my inverters to reduce the voltage drop to keep them from cutting out. Note to self - install inverters close to the service, or one day this could be a general problem.
    We need inverters that have at least a little storage so that a solar system can not only ride through demand peaks but also help stabilize and regulate the grid.
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