grid tie charged more than regular customers?

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trkarl
trkarl Solar Expert Posts: 33
How many of you have run across this? My electric company charges grid tie customers more than regular customers for their customer charge and their rates per kwh.

Also if you use less than 500 kwhs in a month you don't get your load management credit which is about 5 dollars a month even if they turn off your a/c, water heater, or pool pump.

Makes me glad I did my system off grid and can bypass them all together.

http://www.winknews.com/news/local/87839227.html

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  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,439 admin
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    Re: grid tie charged more than regular customers?

    In Northern California--If the meter turns forward, we owe money. If the meter turns backwards, we get "credit" at the retail rates.

    I pay ~$5.50 a month meter reading/billing/+ minimum of ~30kWhrs a month.

    The down side for some is that Solar Grid Tied systems must use a Time of Use rate plan... Which can really hurt if you cannot shift power from afternoons/late evenings to nights/mornings--you will get hit with 3x peak rates in summer vs off peak rates...

    Also, we have tiered rates... The more you use, the more they charge per kWhr (from $0.09 to $0.67 per kWhr summer peak > ~1,000 kWhrs per month).

    For commercial power users, roughly 1/2 the bill is an "energy charge" and the other 1/2 of the bill is a reservation charge (peak 15 minutes of power usage in the last year). If you have a large solar RE system and conserve during the day or summer time (such as schools which are closed for the summer)--the generation 15 minute peak power of solar can dramatically increase the reservation charges if higher than normal peak loads of the company.

    At least here, rate plans can be a real killer if you don't fit the optimum usage profile.

    It is difficult to generalize.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Mark S.
    Mark S. Registered Users Posts: 9
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    Re: grid tie charged more than regular customers?

    Interesting. My system has been in operation since May 2002, and I never thought about changes in rates. Just watched my consumption decline.

    However, I just received my new statement from SCE yesterday, and noticed that there were two line items for Tier 1 and two lines for Tier 2 in both, the Delivery Charges' and the 'Generation Charges' sections (page 4 on the statement).

    On page 3, under the "Things you should know" heading, this message appears:

    "You may notice a change in your billing statement ...
    Effective 3/1/2010, the billing rates that calculate your bill have been modified. You may notice in the 'Details of your new charges' section reflecting the bill calculation before and after the rate change. The first line items reflect the rates prior to 3/1/2010 and the second line items reflect the rates after 3/1/2010. For more information, please visit www.sce.com/bill_change.
    "

    Under the 'Delivery Charges', SCE reduced my Tier 1 rate from 0.07373 cents /kWh down to 0.04033 cents /kWh ... (reduction of 3 cents)

    ... and Tier 2 rate dropped from 0.07373 /kWh to 0.06024 /kWh ... (reduction of 1 cent)

    Wow - I hardly ever get into double digits in this category, so no great benefit here.
    - - - - - - -

    However, when it comes to the 'Generation Charges', my Tier 1 rate increased from 0.04477 cents /kWh up to 0.09564 cents /kWh ! ... (5 cent increase)

    ... and Tier 2 rate increased from 0.07260 /kWh up to 0.09564 /kWh ... (2 cent increase)

    Not a big hike on Tier 2, but the Tier 1 rates more than doubled.

    - - - - - - -

    Then back-tracking - on page 5 of the statement ... it lists all the programs available to low income folks (like all utilities companies have to offer them), where it states: These programs are funded by California utility ratepayers (read as: full-paying customers +) and administered by SCE under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission.

    On page 6 of the statement, I also noticed SCE's generous "$1 Million Initiative for California Community Colleges (aka: Grant) ...

    Ever wonder where their generous $ giveaways came from?
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,439 admin
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    Re: grid tie charged more than regular customers?

    In Northern California, I think our "base line" rates have declined slightly over the last dozen years (while the others have skyrocketed)--So now the baseline is looking at a larger increase vs the other tiers--and the baseline folks are mad...

    Politics. :grr:confused:cry::roll:

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • niel
    niel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: grid tie charged more than regular customers?

    politics? no. business? yes, as they are out to make money and if they can give a way to further profit from those generating electricity they will. they want the generated power, but don't want you to benefit that much from it if they can help it. too much greed on their part will sway people away from doing it and maybe repercussions to them from the states.
  • drees
    drees Solar Expert Posts: 482 ✭✭✭
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    Re: grid tie charged more than regular customers?

    At least here in San Diego (SDGE), baseline electricity is sold at a loss of a couple cents/kWh - usage above baseline subsidises the cost of baseline electricity.
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,439 admin
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    Re: grid tie charged more than regular customers?

    Same in Northern California--working with the State Public Utility Commission the baseline is a subsidized level of service and I would not be surprised if it was a loss for the utility either (same State PUC--who would have th'unk that wealth transfer would be the same :roll:).

    So--the people who can afford homes and to spend for conservation get the lower tiered rates... And people who cannot afford to spend for conservation (new home owners with high mortgages and taxes; apartment tenants who cannot make capital improvements to their units, etc.) end up paying much more for power.

    And of course energy intensive jobs (many times lower wage, lower skill) go away--so they folks have no income to spend for high power or expensive conservation...

    Fine system indeed.

    One of the many fine laws out there--The law of unintended consequences.

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