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Anyone else have Time of Use (TOU) rates with Eversource?

Discussion in 'New England' started by David29, Dec 30, 2016.

  1. David29

    David29 Member

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    Looking for instructions for how to read the Eversource Time of Use electric meter.
    Meter I have has markings for two manufacturers: Elster (shows "Type A3TL") and Itron (shows "Model A3 3G B"). Doing some web searches suggests that Elster makes the meter itself and Itron supplies the wireless communications module.
    The Elster web site has a manual I could download but it became clear that the display can be customized to the specific utility, and I have not been able to definitely relate what I see on my meter to the details in the sample displays in the Elster manual.
    I have contacted Eversource but so far have not been able to get instructions for reading the manual. Customer Service refers me to the local engineer, who has not responded.
    So does anyone else have a similar Eversource TOU meter and know how to read it?

    Thanks!

    20161125_153412.jpg
     
  2. figers

    figers X60D Owner

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    I think i posted on one of your old posts on this topic. Our first electric bill with the Model X arrived and we are noticing a large jump in electric. I am wondering if the TOU while charging at night has saved you a decent amount?
     
  3. figers

    figers X60D Owner

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    How To Reduce Electric Car Charging Costs

    "At the bottom of the list, Boston-area customers of NSTAR Electric could save $100 a year using either the utility's whole-house time-of-use plan or its separately metered time-of-use plan.", but a 4 year old article...
     
  4. David29

    David29 Member

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    I have not yet had my first bill. Data is also not available online. Next meter reading is January 11, so the bill should follow shortly after that -- I hope.
    Until i get a bill, I will not even be sure if I am actually on TOU rates. Which is one reason why I am trying to connect with someone who has the rate, to compare the meter displays.
     
  5. figers

    figers X60D Owner

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    Ah, ok, makes sense... I look forward to hearing about your next bill...

    Thanks,
    Luke
     
  6. 3mp_kwh

    3mp_kwh Member

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    Loosely put, if you can get to 3:1 off-peak/peak usasge, you'll begin to get ahead. The profile that does this isn't necessarily as hard as it sounds, even before you draw lots of watts for the Tesla.
    • Best suited for households with Mom, Dad and kids all out of the house during the day
    • That TOU includes weekends and holidays is a big plus, since laundry, higher daytime heating, etc. get done with the above profile
    • Buying a few timers helps. From ~$10 24hr dial timers, to the ~$15 digital 7 day/week timers you can get at Harbor Freight, to the electrician grade timers that can bring your Tesla's charge programming at least into the 20th century ( Intermatic T7401B Timer, 125V 40A 4PST 7-Day Mechanical Time Switch ), these all help take big draw items into the evening hours (9PM-8AM water heat, humidification, aux freezers, etc.). I think June - Sept is 6PM-9AM off-peak. So, a little more flexible.
    • [the reason I link to the Intermatic timer is/isn't a joke, because you can only program a Tesla to being charging. It doesn't know a calendar, like many other EVs do]
    I'd bet that if you manage to get 90% of a Tesla's charging in the off-peak, there will be almost no question you'll be better off with TOU (A4, or A5 rate plan, I think). What can be frustrating is how quickly it evens up. Someone home for a couple weeks, a nanny, carelessly running a pool in summer, are examples of the ratio quickly shifting back. Selecting TOU also does not preclude the selection of a competitive supplier (like Viridian). A friend over the holiday, who I don't believe is even doing it for the 50% renewable, mentioned their variable rate is about a full penny lower. DPU passed Eversource's base rate, at 10.3 cents, Jan-June, last month.
     
  7. figers

    figers X60D Owner

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    What about an extra meter just for the electric car that is TOU, that way I don't have to worry about peak time use at all? Is the extra meter cost high?
     
  8. David29

    David29 Member

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    #8 David29, Jan 11, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
    There is no charge to install a meter. The Eversource charge for a normal residential service is $6.43/month. The charge for a residential TOU rate is $9.99/month. That is what I have, a separate electrical service and meter for my car charging, but in my case I had to have it because my parking spot is not near my condo and its electrical supply.

    If you are able to do all charging in off-peak periods, then you can potentially save money compared to normal residential rates. First, you'd need to drive enough and charge enough to offset the cost of the monthly service. Right now the standard residential rate (excluding energy) is $0.10774 per kWh. The monthly TOU fee of $9.99 is equal to the cost of 92.8 kWh at the normal rate. So you need to buy more energy than that just to break even on the monthly fee for a separate service on TOU rates. That is not very much driving.

    Assuming you meet that test, the next question is whether the pattern of use will be more economical on TOUR. In winter, the peak rate is nearly 3 times the offpeak rate, so you need to use at least 3 times as much power in offpeak periods as in peak periods, to break even. In summer, it is worse: the summer peak rate is more than 4 times the offpeak rate, and the peak rate starts earlier in the evening, so you need to keep the peak period usage at less than 1/4 of the offpeak usage, to break even.

    I estimated that I could save an average of $10/month on TOUR. Someone who drives more could save more. For me, the challenge will be to avoid pre-heating or pre-cooling the car in peak periods. It would not take too much of that to eat a big portion of my savings. In that sense, winter is more challenging, because the peak period starts at 8 AM. Since I am retired, I rarely leave the house before 8. So if I need to leave the house at, say, 9 AM, and want to preheat the car on a cold winter day, I will be using energy at peak rates (unless I make a separate trip out to my car just to unplug,m which is not likely to happen).
     
  9. FredsDream

    FredsDream New Member

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    Regarding pre-heating/cooling... Couldn't you tell it to stop charging using the Tesla App? Then it would not use the peak rates for either charging or heating.
     
  10. JCL123

    JCL123 Member

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    I have solar and I am on net metering time of use.... I thought my bill was confusing when I was only on net metering, now I don't understand it at all. I just started on this in January, and I am basically doing it as an experiment for this year.

    The peak rates are 9am - 6pm June through Sept, and 8am - 9pm Oct through May.
    - The 9pm is the one that hurts, because we use a fair bit of power between 6pm and 9pm, we do much better during the months that it is 6pm instead.

    Although my inverter tells me how much power I am generating, I don't have an easy way to know how much I am consuming, and the electric bill only shows peak and off peak usage, and doesn't clearly show net metering credits, so it is hard to draw conclusions.

    Based on the consumption numbers, I am definitely using way more off-peak and on-peak, but my bills don't appear to reflect this, as in the numbers do not add up. And there is only one person at Eversource you can even talk to about this, and he is hard to reach. I actually think something is wrong and I am not getting my net metering credits at all.

    Last year I was on net metering only, I purchased the car in September, and I had no electric bill until December, as in that is when my credits were consumed from the summer. The year before that was similar.

    I am strongly considering getting the Tesla power wall as well as replacing my inverter, because the new inverter tells you in great detail what you are generating, what you are storing in the battery, and how much is going to and from the grid. Then I would have something to show to Eversource to corroborate what I am seeing.

    Electric companies don't care about net metering, it is something they are basically forced into doing. If I call them about it their attitude is "well your solar must just not be generating as much as you think" and "you must be using more than you think, especially with the electric car", but I don't think so. During the summer months I generate over a megawatt per month, and that is during all on-peak hours except for the weekend. And that while I use most of my power off-peak. This SHOULD result in a handsome surplus, but it is not, at least not so far.

    -JCL
     
  11. David29

    David29 Member

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    If I understand your comment correctly, the answer is partly yes and partly no. Yes, if it is plugged in and charging and runs past the scheduled start of the peak period rates, you can indeed stop the charging from your phone app. But it it is plugged in and not charging but you want to use pre-heating or pre-cooling, the car will draw power from the meter. Under that scenario, the "Stop charging" button does not appear in the app so there is no way to remotely disconnect from the grid and force it to use the battery. (I did a test of this just now to be sure I was correct on this point.)
    Most people probably park their car in a garage or driveway quite close to their house and would simply walk to their car and unplug it to avoid peak charges when precooling or preheating. But I live in a condo and my parking space is some distance from my unit. So i would be unlikely to walk out to it, unplug, start the preheating/precooling, walk back to my unit, and then go back to the car again a few minutes later, especially in winter.
     
  12. cush

    cush New Member

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    Did you resubmit a Schedule Z form with Eversource after switching to Time of Use? If you didn't, you are definitely not net metering. It took a few months of investigating to figure this out when I switched over to TOU.
     
  13. JPoldo

    JPoldo Member

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    In preparation for picking up my model S tomorrow, I examined my Eversource bill and rates for Eastern MA. Last month, 52% of the bill was for power generation and 48% Distribution/Transmission. TOU does not affect your generation pricing so it only affects about half of your bill. I spoke to the regional operations manager who can change my meter to TOU provided I request it writing, acknowledge complete understanding of TOU plan, and agree to a minimum of 12 months usage. Completely reasonable. The A5 TOU rate is complex where you pay about 23.1 cents/kWh for 4 months June-Sept, 9am-6pm weekdays and only 4.9 cents overnight, weekends, and 12 holidays. During 8 months, October-May you pay about 15.4 cents, 8am-9pm weekday and only 3.2 cents overnight, weekends, and holidays. This compares to my standard A1 rate of only 9.5 cents. The TOU plan also has a $3.50/mo extra account fee. While they give you a very attractive off-peak rate, the on-peak rate is dreadful. We have heavy electrical consumption during the day from air conditioning and a swimming pool pump, so TOU doesn't work for me. I think the only electricity savings I will receive is from superchargers and free charge stations. How long can I spend shopping and getting a free charge at a Whole Foods.
     
  14. North75

    North75 Member

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    So the rates you are quoting are only the generation portion, and the transmission and distribution are fixed all the time? Or is it the other way around?
    Anyway Eversource rates stink. I work from home, so need to keep AC and computers on. TOU is not a good option. Really need to go for solar and/or batteries.
     
  15. JPoldo

    JPoldo Member

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    Sorry it wasn't clear as rates quoted are for distribution and transmission only. Generation runs about 11 cents more and Eversource allows you to choose from over a dozen suppliers, potentially saving a penny per kWh.... big deal ! Total cost in eastern MA is a little over 20 cents/kWh....very expensive. Maybe Eversource will give me a separate TOU meter just for the EV.
     
  16. HartofG

    HartofG New Member

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    Same here. Got solar in December and needed a few cycles to figure it out.
    To get my true consumption I had to add solar generated kW/h and Eversource delivered kW/h (or rather credits as the sun rose higher) on an excel spreadsheet. this turned really complicated when I produced more in a month than I used.

    Mid June I got a power monitor installed (Sense.com $350 for the solar enabled unit + $150 for the electrician to open the panel). Besides other benefits it delivered right from the start generation and consumption data by the hour or even by the second if you really want to know wants going through your wires. Below a graph example. So I see if I use more then I produce instantly (production 5982 W and consumption 1465 W at 3:30pm). sense.PNG .
    I just recalculated the last 3 months to model TOU rates. Would have given an additional $150 credit. With A/C being shut off the next two month I assume TOU will pay back big time.
     

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