Utility Rates

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Comments

  • Solar Guppy
    Solar Guppy Solar Expert Posts: 1,989 ✭✭✭
    Re: Utility Rates

    Couple of notes,

    First, the GA property tax credit is capped at 2.5 million, I would be surprised if there is any available funding. In Florida we had a PV rebate that was about 10X larger and ran out of funds 1.5 years before the program ended

    You are making the incorrect assumption that ALL your generation will be used in your home, that won't happen. 5Kw will export allot of energy, based on what I've seen over the years I would say half of your PV would be sold at the 3.8 cents. AC, Heaters all cycle, when they go off, you export

    I don't know where you came up with your PV "savings" of 458.66, you note from another spreadsheet, based on where I think your building, your on TVA hydro, which is the lowest cost power in the USA. Your rates are probably tiered, as your usage goes up, the rate goes down ... for a big home, your offsetting the cheap electric ( the 6 cents stuff ) not the 9 cents stuff

    So, base you PV generation value on 50% the 6 cent rate and 50% at the 3.8 cents rate, then deduct the connection / meter charge and that is your value for the PV energy

    I can say with 100% certainty, PV does not make economic sense where your new home is to be built

    Make sure you get one of those new GE hybrid hot water tanks, lower cost than PV thermal without any of the headaches, you can get SEER 21 with top of the line Air based heat pumps ( your largest expense in GA ), that with R40 and double pain windows and you should be less than 50% of what you think your going to be consuming, if not less energy wise
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,404 admin
    Re: Utility Rates

    If your place will have grid power, you might be better off waiting until you have lived in your home for one year or more and you understand your power usage.

    Over or under sizing your system can be an expensive mistake.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • mike95490
    mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Utility Rates
    and double pain windows

    Bummer for sure, I had to change out about 6 of them, where the seals leaked in 15 years, and the glass fogged up on the inside.
    Paid for them once, and paid for them a 2nd time = double pain
    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 ,

  • Knd870
    Knd870 Solar Expert Posts: 32
    Re: Utility Rates
    solar_dave wrote: »
    Look at adding solar hot water as well, systems can be had for fairly reasonable outlay and are eligible for the 30% Fed credit. I had gas hot-water on an old lousy fired unit, but the wife is a greenie (happy wife, happy life) I replaced the whole thing for under 4K including an Energy Star gas fired unit as backup and that had to help me some as well.

    Thanks Dave. BTW I get a real kick out of calling up your TED and watching how much power you're producing.
  • Knd870
    Knd870 Solar Expert Posts: 32
    Re: Utility Rates
    Couple of notes,

    First, the GA property tax credit is capped at 2.5 million, I would be surprised if there is any available funding. In Florida we had a PV rebate that was about 10X larger and ran out of funds 1.5 years before the program ended

    You are making the incorrect assumption that ALL your generation will be used in your home, that won't happen. 5Kw will export allot of energy, based on what I've seen over the years I would say half of your PV would be sold at the 3.8 cents. AC, Heaters all cycle, when they go off, you export

    I don't know where you came up with your PV "savings" of 458.66, you note from another spreadsheet, based on where I think your building, your on TVA hydro, which is the lowest cost power in the USA. Your rates are probably tiered, as your usage goes up, the rate goes down ... for a big home, your offsetting the cheap electric ( the 6 cents stuff ) not the 9 cents stuff

    So, base you PV generation value on 50% the 6 cent rate and 50% at the 3.8 cents rate, then deduct the connection / meter charge and that is your value for the PV energy

    I can say with 100% certainty, PV does not make economic sense where your new home is to be built

    Make sure you get one of those new GE hybrid hot water tanks, lower cost than PV thermal without any of the headaches, you can get SEER 21 with top of the line Air based heat pumps ( your largest expense in GA ), that with R40 and double pain windows and you should be less than 50% of what you think your going to be consuming, if not less energy wise

    SG,
    Thanks for your response. My model is off by quite a bit if a 5kW system will export half. The savings amount came from a monthy model of use based upon our Texas home and then factored. Obviously, I've got smething wrong. I just got a Kill a Watt meter and have started logging electrical items in the house. The usage model takes into account months that I generate more than use and credits these months back at 3.8 cents, but there weren't many months that had net generation, and certainly not 50%.

    For Hot Water, I've looked at the GE unit and my dilemma is that we may need more storage than 50 gallons. Our current home has twin 40's (gas) and I was told that is standard when one has a large tub. I'm exploring this idea, as they claim to be the most efficient out there. Being in Fla, you might have some experience with the systems that they compare themselves to. http://www.olivetreeenergy.com/dealer/zeroenergy-dealer-introduction
  • Knd870
    Knd870 Solar Expert Posts: 32
    Re: Utility Rates
    BB. wrote: »
    If your place will have grid power, you might be better off waiting until you have lived in your home for one year or more and you understand your power usage.

    Over or under sizing your system can be an expensive mistake.

    -Bill

    Bill,
    I'm pretty sure that's where I'm heading, but if I don't do it when we build, I probably won't do it (unless rates go through the roof). I really would like to have a PV system rolled into my mortgage as opposed to paying cash, or using a HELOC.

    We've still got a couple of years before we build, so the equation may change over that time.

    BTW the minimum specs on the home will be:
    Slabs r-10
    Crawl space r-13
    Walls r-19
    floors r-19
    ceilings r-38
    The house will be wrapped, have a radiant barrier, and have a blower door test performed as well as a blower test on the duct work. Windows will be less than u .40.

    Thanks everyone for the great free education.
  • solar_dave
    solar_dave Solar Expert Posts: 2,397 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Utility Rates
    Knd870 wrote: »
    Thanks Dave. BTW I get a real kick out of calling up your TED and watching how much power you're producing.

    Yeah and the panels need a wash! ;) Saturday is coming.
  • techntrek
    techntrek Solar Expert Posts: 1,372 ✭✭✭
    Re: Utility Rates
    ... you can get SEER 21 with top of the line Air based heat pumps ( your largest expense in GA )...

    Actually you can go up to 26 SEER if you put one of these in every room. I plan on converting my two forced-air systems to these, they need to be replaced in the next few years anyway. Even better if you start out with these with a new house.

    http://www.e-comfortusa.com/products/9rls-halcyon-wall-mounted-mini-split-single-zone-heat-pump-26-seer--9000btu/1345
    4.5 kw APC UPS powered by a Prius, 12 kw Generac, Honda EU3000is
  • Knd870
    Knd870 Solar Expert Posts: 32
    Re: Utility Rates
    Couple of notes,

    First, the GA property tax credit is capped at 2.5 million, I would be surprised if there is any available funding. In Florida we had a PV rebate that was about 10X larger and ran out of funds 1.5 years before the program ended

    For those interested I found this on the state of Georgia website:

    Clean Energy Property Credit - This section provides that a taxpayer, who was denied the clean energy property income tax credit because the annual cap had been reached, can reapply the following year and will have priority over other taxpayers for credit allocation in the year of such reapplication. This portion of the bill became effective upon its approval by the Governor on June 4, 2010 and is applicable to all taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2010.
  • Photowhit
    Photowhit Solar Expert Posts: 6,001 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Utility Rates

    OK I think we're missing a few things;
    Knd870 wrote: »
    Their usage rates go from 9.9 cents per kWh to 6 cents per kWh. The net meter on a monthly basis, and buy back at a fixed 3.8 cents.

    As I read it there is "net metering on a monthly basis" so it would be a 1kwh=1kwh exchange (otherwise it can't be called net metering) but they only buy the overage at 3.8 cents a KWh. If there is an overage.

    Knd870 wrote: »
    What really hurts the payback calculations is that the service charge is $18 per month for normal connection, but they add $11.15 per month for the net meter and administration. The sales tax rate in this area is 7%.

    This is a bit of a pain, I think these high user fees are interesting, I have heard but not researched that it's a managment company that has pushed these rates as they are easier to justify than Kwh increases. My local fee is $25 per month.

    The net metering might well be a "fair exchange" and tax exempt and make up much of the 11.15 admin fee. Depending on state laws, a car dealer can likely tell you.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Magnum MS4024, Prosine 1800(now backup) and Exeltech 1100(former backup...lol), 660 ah 24v Forklift battery(now 10 years old). Off grid for 20 years (if I include 8 months on a bicycle).
    - Assorted other systems, pieces and to many panels in the closet to not do more projects.
  • Knd870
    Knd870 Solar Expert Posts: 32
    Re: Utility Rates
    Photowhit wrote: »
    OK I think we're missing a few things;

    As I read it there is "net metering on a monthly basis" so it would be a 1kwh=1kwh exchange (otherwise it can't be called net metering) but they only buy the overage at 3.8 cents a KWh. If there is an overage.




    This is a bit of a pain, I think these high user fees are interesting, I have heard but not researched that it's a managment company that has pushed these rates as they are easier to justify than Kwh increases. My local fee is $25 per month.

    The net metering might well be a "fair exchange" and tax exempt and make up much of the 11.15 admin fee. Depending on state laws, a car dealer can likely tell you.

    Thanks for the feedback. A couple of followup points. I'm still trying to get ahold of the revenue department of Georgia to see if their tax credit program has any room left for 2011 or 2012, as they carry forward applications that get denied due to the $2.5 million cap each year.

    Also, I had a math error in my financial analysis that reduces the NPV quite a bit. Once I get an answer from Georgia, I'm fairly comfortable with understanding the dynamics, and will just keep in touch until we firm up our build date. Then I'll work the numbers harder with firm quotes.

    BTW the utility company sent me their rate sheet that was dated 2005, so they haven't increased their rates since then. I think it is only a matter of time before they do. The engineer I spoke with indicated this.

    2nd BTW, SG commented on the rate structure. This is not in the TVA and the rates do decline with increased usage during the winter months (Dec - Apr, $.081 to $.056) but increase with usage during the summer months (May - Nov, $.087 to $.099).