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$500 PG&E Clean Fuel Rebate

Discussion in 'California' started by Randaddy, Jan 11, 2017.

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  1. smartypnz

    smartypnz Supporting Member

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    Applied 1/14 approved today 2/3

    @cwerdna's fix did work for me.
     
  2. SFOTurtle

    SFOTurtle Active Member

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    I also applied on 1/14 but am still waiting for approval. Anyone else get approved since Friday?
     
  3. Lloyd

    Lloyd Well-Known Member

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    I received two checks since first post this thread.
     
  4. smartypnz

    smartypnz Supporting Member

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    Update
    Applied 1/14 approved 2/3 check received 2/8
     
  5. SFOTurtle

    SFOTurtle Active Member

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    Update: I called PG&E yesterday to inquire about the status of the application. The rep I spoke to was quite friendly. I have two applications, the first on 1/14 and the second a week later on 1/21 (we were on a road trip and couldn't get the second app until we returned home). Oddly, the later in time application was already in the queue to receive approval while the first was not. He said there was a glitch regarding the VIN number for the first application and that the problem was on their end and their system. The PG&E rep said that the system was frequently not "seeing" or deciphering the VIN numbers of cars correctly on the first go, and that typically the error would resolve itself after a certain period of time.

    Well, the glitch resolved itself as I received the approval notification for our first application today. Now just waiting for the check for that as well as the approval notification for the second application.
     
  6. acarlos1000

    acarlos1000 Member

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    I applied on Applied 1/11, approved on 1/30 and got the check on 2/4
     
  7. johnzhang22

    johnzhang22 Member

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    I applied on 1/19, just received my check yesterday 2/16. :) I also just applied for my new S60D earlier this week.
     
  8. SR-75

    SR-75 Member

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    Lincoln, CA
    Clean Fuel Rebate Application Received email arrived on 1/18.

    2/13/2017, Received email that my rebate check has been issued and expect to received $500.00 at mailing address on our PG&E account.

    2/16/201, received our check and cashing it today.

    Thank you all who provided the info to make this known and or remind us to send in our application.
     
  9. Branzo90D

    Branzo90D Salt and Pepper

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    Just received my $500 check yesterday. See picture of a card included with check giving some info about the reason why we get this rebate...
     

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  10. Ulmo

    Ulmo Active Member

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    #50 Ulmo, Mar 28, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2017
    An application was submitted twice for my car, and denied both times. The account is eligible per the rules, yet when I called them the first time, they said that the account was ineligible per the application processing rules (despite the web site rules saying that it is eligible*).

    This is the first time I've run into eligibility issues due to agency processing procedures being incongruent with program eligibility for my EV and solar, but I still have to file for my income tax with considerations for my car and my solar panels, so it might not be the last. I'll find out soon enough. I don't think it's worth fighting for the PG&E $500 pass-through unless it is an annual rebate, in which case, if it's closer to $5,000, I would try. (I've already been pleasantly surprised that the California and Monterey Bay rebates both got sent to me, $2,500 each. (I was in the last 5-10 people approved for the Monterey Bay rebate in 2016, due to fixed funding limit.) This $500 in comparison is not a huge amount.)

    Alternatively, they could apply that $500 or more to upgrading the grid in my area. Putting it underground, higher capacity, or just plain getting the voltage up** so it doesn't plummet from 242 volts to 224 volts every time I turn my car charger on would all be things I might even pay a little extra for, but that has been taken care of by the sky-high electricity rates here. I can think of one quick source of funding for PG&E: Keep all their currently operating nuclear power plants operating at full capacity, and ditto for all their hydroelectric dams, and use that money to build out the smart grid to the home sufficient for everyone to own EV's and have solar with batteries, and then they can go about shutting down the politically unpopular nuclear power and old-style dams (they want to replace old-style dams with new-style stream turbines and flow controls).

    ---

    * Clean Fuel Rebate for electric vehicles

    ** So, let me do the math: If the voltage is increased, how much more power can flow? Is amps the limiting factor, and my car would bring it down no matter what? I guess it would. But, it would charge faster, so get off the grid faster, and that would be less overall power capacity used in aggregate in the neighborhood. First, current voltage: SolarEdge inverter says 247 Volts; VisibleTesla says 246 Volts at my car; PG&E meter says 246 Volts. That's because little use, and many solar panels in neighborhood (daily peak solar) are feeding into PG&E right now with few users. If I turn on my 11kW EV charger, the volts plummet to 232 Volts, a drop of 14 volts.

    So, what if PG&E raises the volts to 250? That's a raise of 4 volts AC. Math: 4/250=.016. So, instead of 11kW power at my car, I would get 11kW power at my car. Not much increase. To supply, let's take a round figure, 50kWh (before losses), I would need 4 minutes 22 seconds less across a total time of 4 hours 32 minutes 44 seconds (to 4 hours 28 minutes 26 seconds). That's not really much of a savings in a neighborhood of 200 homes, presumably with about 25% cars charging each day and at any given moment peak car charging at around 75% of those cars, one car per home due to Self-Driving-Uberification, so 413kW peak use on an average day by that rough estimate. I'm not even sure our neighborhood lines can handle half a megawatt. That's what PG&E can spend my rebate money on instead, and it's doubtful if they could really hack it.

    Could they step down to a medium voltage, say, 600 volts, and put home transformers in to step down to 250? That would get mighty expensive mighty fast. But, out of curiosity: 600Volts/247Volts=2.429. That's a huge power increase. For instance, my 11kW which plummets the volts by 14 volts would still be able to pull a total of 26.7kW for the same voltage drop.

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwio7OvVgvrSAhVJ8mMKHbVlCY0QFggrMAI&url=http://www.epu.edu.vn/UpLoadFiles/DS05B_V1.pdf&usg=AFQjCNFMsAKqfVU5RSHsa9qo5R8Iyk86AQ&sig2=pkQzy2Nf8zc8PLp1I2cAQg&bvm=bv.150729734,d.cGc is educational here. I'm finding all sorts of additional considerations.

    For instance, common stepdown voltages, multiples, etc.

    I wonder how much a 1,000 volt -> 250 volt transformer costs: ebay has a bunch in half the size for my home for around $500, so I can assume $1,000 per home. That's not horrible! They could just quadruple the voltage of the Medium Voltage lines on the top of the pole, keep the current ratio down to the lower power lines, and then the voltage coming into homes would float around 1,000 or less volts, and put in $1,000 transformers at every home by the mast (to step down to 250V), quadrupling the amount of power available to homes. That could help eat up that $500 (per annum?) that PG&E is being given to upgrade the grid. Of course, they'd have to do each neighborhood all at once: wire everything up except for the switchover, then have power off for one day while a crowd of workers go down each block moving the connection at each home from the old straight in to the new transformer. That's quite a lot of capital. Just $200,000 for the home transformers in my example as a starter cost, not to mention the higher volts, line testing, line replacement, crews to do work, placement and structural for the transformers, etc... it would quickly add up to $2,000,000 or so for 200 homes, or $10,000 per home. I guess that becomes a bad idea, then. $10,000 would be enough to put load shifting batteries at every home to sip solar and grid electricity during peaks out of the current old capacity grid and deliver to cars for charging on driver demand.

    What's more, all I suggested was 4x the capacity using current wires. That's 4x the EV's in my neighborhood. What can we handle now? 10 EV's? 20? Or the max of 38 charging at a single time I envisioned? If 15 EV's is what the local lines could handle, then 60 EV's could be charged with the transformer setup. If only 10 EV's are the max, then 40 EV's could be charged with the transformer setup. So, it would actually work. I don't know the real numbers, though.

    But, the same amount of money could be spent on load shifting, ala Tesla Energy PowerWall batteries, and fix two problems at once: how to load shift variable inputs, and the grid capacity problem, without ever touching the actual grid installations. They'd just have to program the batteries to operate in ways that don't overtax the old grids, so that would require proper software and market coordination.

    That's why PG&E is rebating us the $500: they don't want to do all that work yet, and are taking a "wait and see" approach for that implementation, to see who gets it going first. When solutions start working, maybe they'll shift the monies earmarked for this rebate into helping us integrate with smart grid so that they can leverage their old grids as long as possible. That's if I understand what's going on, which rather likely I don't. Of course, shortly following that, the smart grid solution will have been "solved" by and large (with lots of refinement and continual management to follow), and the earmarked funds will probably lose their purpose and go away.

    I would be entirely unsurprised if PG&E reserved the right to require new EV owners to install PowerWalls or equivalent in capacity to fully charge their vehicles, so that PG&E wouldn't be required to upgrade their grid, at customers' expense. This would be done on an installation by installation basis. They could enforce it at the meter, noticing any car-charging like loads or increases in use. They would have a hard time, though, if someone suddenly installed a bunch of power hungry electric appliances, blaming them for getting a new EV when they didn't.
     
  11. miimura

    miimura Active Member

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    What specifically disqualified your PG&E account? I've heard of other cases, but those were understandable. For example, a gentleman who owns a Leaf lives in a mobile home where the power is master-metered by PG&E and sub-metered by the mobile home park. Since he was not the PG&E account owner, he could not apply.
     
  12. Ulmo

    Ulmo Active Member

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    The specific eligibility from the web site:

    "You must be a PG&E customer with an active residential electric account. As the account holder, you may also apply on behalf of an EV owner in your household (or tenant in a multifamily household) with the vehicle owner’s permission."​

    I italicized my situation. The account holder did apply on behalf of an EV owner in the household.

    The first time it was denied and I called in, they said that their process rules requires that one of the registered vehicle owners must be one of the account holders listed, and since on our application that was not true, we were denied. I have not called in for the second denial.

    As you can see, their rule enforces a subset of the allowed eligibility.

    Changing the accounts to carry those types of compliance to those rules would cost far more than the $500 rebate over time.
     
  13. Ulmo

    Ulmo Active Member

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    Another thing that PG&E may be waiting for is driverless cars with self-charging robots. They could colocate a bunch of charging parking lots right next to utility substations, and quickly upgrade the grid to handle all that charging with very little neighborhood grid upgrading. That would be a much lower cost than replacing all the neighborhood wires.
     
  14. gregd

    gregd Active Member

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    Do you know where the 18v drop is occurring when you start charging the car? That's huge; something is getting rather warm as a result, and besides the loss of power to heat, I would be concerned about fire. If it's in PG&E's wiring, i.e. on their side of the meter, it is their responsibility to fix it. I think 224 volts is simply out of spec. If it's in your wiring, I would definitely get an electrician out to take a look a things.

    When I charge my car at 40 amps, the voltage only drops about a volt or so.
     
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  15. miimura

    miimura Active Member

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    I am the PG&E account owner for my home and both our cars are registered to the same address. However, one car has only my name on the registration and one car has only my wife's name on the registration. Both rebates were processed automatically in my case.
     
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  16. Randaddy

    Randaddy Member

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    One of my applications was also initially denied for the same reason. My mother-in-law is the account holder and car is registered solely to me and the wife (same address). My wife called, mentioned exactly what you posted, and was told to reapply since the rejection was in error. The 2nd application went through successfully.
     
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  17. Ulmo

    Ulmo Active Member

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    #57 Ulmo, Mar 28, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2017
    I did an impromptu survey a few days ago, walking around the neighborhood with my smartphone turning my car charge on and off looking at how it affected each meter. I wrote about it at When do you charge? , but the pertinent data is that it would drop my across the street neighbor's voltage from 236V to 226V, or about 10V, at the same time mine dropped from 242V to 224V, or about 18V (I have to verify that since I might have copied my usual volts with dryer off rather than with dryer on like I had it then). But the fact is that my car charging showed up as a voltage drop at my neighbor's house across the street more than half as much as where we were.

    I took an infrared thermometer gun and shut it up in the sky and got about 38ºF, but when I shot it at the PG&E service drop wire, it read somewhere around 60ºF. I don't know if that's considered hot. I was amused that the higher altitude temperatures were so low, like they are supposed to be. (I can be easily amused sometimes. Just tried it right now at night, and it's showing -51ºF straight up to space.)

    This suggests the "more than half as much as where we were" was really the voltage drop in our service drop wire from the pole + the pole wires voltage drop, but maybe we both tap it in the same spot; I'll have to go squint at that connection tomorrow when the sun is up, or grab some binoculars (eyesight diminishes with age).

    We upgraded the service panel from 110V to 200V, and PG&E came out to replace the mast wires and mast from their meter to the aerial drop wires to handle the higher amps. They re-used the thin twisted trio ("triplex") aerial drop wires from the pole to our mast that have been chugging away since 1958. Since they're in air, I don't know their rating. I could get a ladder and try to see if there is any AWG marking legible on them. Just as a rough guess I'd say 6AWG, but I have no idea if copper or aluminum. I'm trying to get the typical right now. It looks like this thickness in air, but the mast was upgraded from the pictured size to a larger size:

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ea/Residence_service_drop.JPG

    Service Drop wire size from weatherhead - DoItYourself.com Community Forums says that typically upgrades to 200A don't have their service drops upgraded; same with mine.

    Some more of the same except the last post at wire size 200 amp service for home - Mike Holt Code Forum Why do older forums seem like they had better answers?

    Ooh look at the code words at the bottom of Triplex Service Drop

    Oh, I see, they correspond to this: http://www.southwire.com/ProductCatalog/XTEInterfaceServlet?contentKey=prodcatsheet34

    In that, it looks like I have either Hippa or Barnacle, and I was supposed to have Gammarus, or at least Shrimp.

    I just found https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0ahUKEwjU5sP27_rSAhVK92MKHWt5C3QQFggaMAA&url=https://www.pge.com/includes/docs/pdfs/mybusiness/customerservice/energystatus/powerquality/voltage_tolerance.pdf&usg=AFQjCNGyFo6ZVe9qZhfqgW46kPANuBcreQ&sig2=GNMlv6qKRACZBz_EUuN4Bg&bvm=bv.150729734,d.cGc and I'm going to see if it's applicable. Looks like I'm in Range B when the charger is on, and I get to contact them. The meter volts are 224V, which is below Range A "Service Voltage" 114V*2=228V. Service Voltage in Range B is >=110V which means >=220V at the 240V circuits. The charger itself is also getting about 222V or so, which is within Utilization Voltage spec of Range A (>=220V).

    Ok, I'll give them a call during business hours tomorrow. They could thicken the service drop and take out a lot of that voltage drop. When they upgraded the mast, they disconnected half that wire, but not the whole wire.
     
  18. SMAlset

    SMAlset Member

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    Anyone recently received your rebate from PG&E? We submitted our application and got a confirmation from them on 4/22. Still waiting. Is this taking closer to 2 months now?
     
  19. SFOTurtle

    SFOTurtle Active Member

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    Mine took close to two months by the time I received my check in early to mid May.
     
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  20. kev1n

    kev1n Member

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    i got confirmation that my rebate will be sent in the mail a few days ago, took about ~2months from when i submitted it originally
     

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