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Anyone else invited to particiate in Eversource rate pilot program?

Discussion in 'New England' started by David29, Jan 14, 2016.

  1. David29

    David29 Member

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    #1 David29, Jan 14, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2016
    I just got an email inviting me to participate in the "EVERSOURCE’s (formerly NSTAR) electric vehicle rate pilot program entitled [email protected]"
    Has anyone else been invited? Or joined?

    I have not yet read all the details. But this comes at an interesting time, when I am trying to get approval to install a charging unit of some sort at my condo. As part of the process, I keep debating whether to install just a 240 V outlet (cheap and easy) or to install either a Tesla HPWC or some level 2 charger made by someone like Siemens or ClipperCreek. (I posted another thread on that decision.) This program would give me a discount on a Clipper Creek charger. The purpose of the program is to help Eversource design a time-of-use plan. The charger has been modified to work with time-of-use metering, and is a "smart" charger than connects via a wireless signal to a data collection contractor.

    Hmm, just maybe the condo board could be persuaded that my ability to participate in this program would be a "public good" that might help them decide favorably to allow me to install the charger. (I have a different thread discussing some of the issues I have had on this.)

    The program is very limited -- only 105 participants. It would last a year, after which the charger would be mine and it could be used for time-of-use metering if and when that is ever implemented.

    The charger would normally be about $2500 because of its wireless feature and other features such as provision for time-of-use charging, and some other things. (But I was not convinced I need a charger at all, rather than a simple outlet, so I would not be considering such a costly unit.
    One potential disadvantage of the Clipper Creek charger: It is only for 32 amps. That should be sufficient for my needs, but it does not match the Model S's 40-amp capacity.

    It is not certain that a condo installation will comply with all the program rules. I'll have to study the fine print and speak with Eversource to be sure. But it would be fun to participate, I think.

    Anyone else involved?
     
  2. cinergi

    cinergi Active Member

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    I got invited, yes. I decided not to go for it because I'd have to pay for the device (even though it's heavily discounted), get a much lower charge rate than my 80-amp HPWC, and not be sure how fast the car's charging. I did, however, send them a lengthy email describing my patterns/habbits/needs and offered to talk to anyone if they were interested. I didn't hear back.
    Also, when the program ends, the charger reverts to being a dumb charger (it won't interact with ES to determine charge rates).
     
  3. EdA

    EdA Model S P-2540

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    I think I may have been offered this but I declined.
    I have solar panels and like to charge while the sun is shining.
    (Although this time of year it would come in handy).
    I didn't recall the night rates being that favorable.
     
  4. David29

    David29 Member

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    Well, so far as I know, there are no night rates in MA yet, at least not for residential customers. The idea of this pilot is to gather data to help Eversource design a time-of-use rate program.
     
  5. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    Eversource/NStar does indeed have a residential TOU plan; the rates vary both by day/night and by season. It's the Optional Residential Time-of-Use (A5) R-4 rates. Note that this ONLY discounts the transmission and distribution services; I couldn't find a competitive power supplier who quotes TOU rates on the energy itself. My analysis of my usage suggested R-4 would have raised my cost relative to the basic A-1 rate, but that's because people are home all day. To profit from TOU, you really need to have an solid majority of your power use in off-peak periods.
     
  6. hj-45

    hj-45 Member

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    I looked into this option in 2012 before my car arrived and was disappointed that the math did not come out any cheaper for 1500 miles/month. For one thing, this rate required a second meter to be installed. So, you end up paying $12 for your regular meter and then $25/month for the second meter. Even at the lower cost/kw, you had to use a lot of power to make it worth while. I pointed out to customer service that the economics did not work for EV charging and asked who was the ideal customer for this rate. The answer was a multi-unit building with a enormous hot water tank. Heat it at night and it supports the whole building during the day.

    Nice to seem some interest in Eversource accommodating EV customers here, since the same company has already created favorable EV charging rates in CT. If Eversource had their act together, I may not have installed solar, so their loss.
     
  7. David29

    David29 Member

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    Well, it sounds as if I may not qualify anyway. Although condo residents can participate, you are required to have either a garage or a "dedicated driveway," neither of which I have. But I appreciate everyone's inputs.
     
  8. 3mp_kwh

    3mp_kwh Member

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    At hearings, I don't remember seeing the utilities being eager about TOU, but they are TVR, and I think that is what this pilot may be about. That's the smart meter program, or Time Varying Rates. Time of use rates are more binary, as Robert describes/links. With no one home during the day, and timered hot water, my ratio got up to 3.7:1, off-peak/peak last year. -Worth it. I don't know the current base rate, but remember somewhere closer to 2X being the ratio where TOU made financial sense. Bear in mind, weekends and holidays are all off-peak.

    MA Eversource customers shouldn't need new meters, for TOU. For this pilot, it sounds like it is in the charger. My hybrid hot water heater has what looks like a Cat 5 port, for utility "AMI". I wonder if that is what these EVSE's feature? I'd probably have tried it, if offered. The Volt is already programmed for what I imagine would be a "super off-peak", 1AM-5:30AM, and 32A is close enough to the single-charger Tesla max.

    I keep meaning to follow up on when that AMI docket was to go live on ratepayers (14-04, I think?). If ES is still researching an EV rate plan, I suppose the TOU plan (A5 R-4) may be around for a while longer.

    When we get to the point Pilgrim and Yankee are both gone, and more people get lumped into TVR metering, I think rates are going to flatten out. Last night, Gov. Baker identified 10GW (of ~32-36GW, I think) going down in New England. I'm going a little off-topic, but if much of that gets replaced by natural gas they will simply begin shutting some of it down at night. I don't know how the Northern Pass hydro contracts are going to work, but think that would be a great topic for this forum.
     

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