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Being moved from PG&E to East Bay Community Energy

jboy210

Supporting Member
Dec 2, 2016
4,838
2,972
Northern California
Hi,

We are being moved from PG&E to something called East Bay Community Energy. We did not request this change, but by default we are being moved. We can "opt-out". I am trying to figure out if we should.

A few things I am concerned about.
  • TOU-B we have now has a peak M-F 4-9PM. They would move use to TOU-C which is peak M-F 4-9PM everyday.
  • They do a monthly true up. Is that better or worse than the annual true up from PG&E?
  • Does this effect the NEM-2 for my SolarRoof and PowerWalls?
  • They are using 700 MW of renewable power. Not sure if this is more or less than PG&E.
Anyone have opinions and/or experience with this type of plan?
 

Ampster

Active Member
Oct 5, 2012
1,676
432
Sonoma, California
I am on Sonoma Clean Power which is a similar CCA (Community Choice Aggregator). It is a good thing not a bad thing. PG&E tried to fight it so that tells you something. The TOU schedules are the same, but the rate for generation of power should be less but sometimes in the transition the mix is different so you may be getting a cleaner mix. Go online and pick the mix of renewable power which fits your pocketbook..
 

jboy210

Supporting Member
Dec 2, 2016
4,838
2,972
Northern California
I am on Sonoma Clean Power which is a similar CCA (Community Choice Aggregator). It is a good thing not a bad thing. PG&E tried to fight it so that tells you something. The TOU schedules are the same, but the rate for generation of power should be less but sometimes in the transition the mix is different so you may be getting a cleaner mix. Go online and pick the mix of renewable power which fits your pocketbook..

Thanks for the info. I noticed an error. Their TOU is every day, mine is only M-F. I guess I need to see how that impacts my costs.
 

miimura

Well-Known Member
Aug 21, 2013
6,094
5,695
Los Altos, CA
Thanks for the info. I noticed an error. Their TOU is every day, mine is only M-F. I guess I need to see how that impacts my costs.
I am on Silicon Valley Clean Energy, another CCA. I saw an error on their rate sheet where they stated something different than the PG&E rate schedule and they were happy that I called and pointed it out. In general, the CCAs follow the PG&E rate schedules exactly but source the generation on their own. While @getakey is correct that they cannot actually direct the electrons from their generators to your house, the fact that most CCAs are only buying carbon free power is significant in the bigger picture.

Some CCAs have more favorable NEM policies than PG&E. For example, SVCE will pay out all of your generation credits at their retail generation rates, even if you are a net consumer of kWh at true-up. PG&E completely wipes out those credits.
 
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Ampster

Active Member
Oct 5, 2012
1,676
432
Sonoma, California
Thanks for the info. I noticed an error. Their TOU is every day, mine is only M-F. I guess I need to see how that impacts my costs.
I do not think any CCAs have rate periods that are different than PG&E. Every time PG&E changes rates a CCA usually follows to be competitive. What you are seeing is a change in the PG&E rate coincidental with conversion of your community to a CCA or as @miimura said, a mistake. Call them and go on the rate that is best for you and the energy mix tha you prefer. The mix info should be on their website.
 

jedmo

Member
Sep 9, 2020
113
48
Northern California
A monthly true up would be bad if you pull energy from the grid during the winter months. You would get paid for the excess energy you produced each month and not carry over any credits to cover you for the months you aren't producing as much solar energy and reliant on grid energy.
 
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jboy210

Supporting Member
Dec 2, 2016
4,838
2,972
Northern California
A monthly true up would be bad if you pull energy from the grid during the winter months. You would get paid for the excess energy you produced each month and not carry over any credits to cover you for the months you aren't producing as much solar energy and reliant on grid energy.
We pulled quite a lot from the grid from Nov-Feb. We have shading issues which often cut our daily solar production to under 10 kWh. And sent 0 kWh to the grid.
 
Last edited:

MJ_CA_2019

Member
Aug 19, 2020
94
21
Central CA
I do not think any CCAs have rate periods that are different than PG&E. Every time PG&E changes rates a CCA usually follows to be competitive. What you are seeing is a change in the PG&E rate coincidental with conversion of your community to a CCA or as @miimura said, a mistake. Call them and go on the rate that is best for you and the energy mix tha you prefer. The mix info should be on their website.

The PG&E Rate plans are different:
TOU-B has M-F 4-9 Peak
TOU-C has all days 4-9 Peak

If forced to move to TOU-C then it takes some comparisons on the rates.
10 more hours of peak time per week could be costly one doesn't have enough battery to cover the whole peak period.
 

jboy210

Supporting Member
Dec 2, 2016
4,838
2,972
Northern California
The PG&E Rate plans are different:
TOU-B has M-F 4-9 Peak
TOU-C has all days 4-9 Peak

If forced to move to TOU-C then it takes some comparisons on the rates.
10 more hours of peak time per week could be costly one doesn't have enough battery to cover the whole peak period.
We are on TOU-B. I don't think PG&E lets people move to this rate now. I will see if we can get something similar on the CCA.
 

jboy210

Supporting Member
Dec 2, 2016
4,838
2,972
Northern California
We got a response back from EBCE.

  • Regarding TOU-B (no longer available from PG&E, Peak M-F 4-9 PM) versus their TOU (Peak 4-9 every day).

    If you are enrolled in Time-of-Use-B, you will remain on that rate schedule when transitioned to EBCE services.
  • Their NEM service.

    With EBCE’s NEM service, your electric generation charges are trued up on a monthly basis. Thus, if you are a net consumer, you will pay for that month’s charges or your credits will be applied to cover the cost. If you are a net producer, you will accumulate credits that can be applied to future bills. These credits are paid out during the April cash out period according to our annual cash out terms.
    As a NEM customer and an excess generator, you will receive the retail rate for each kWh you over generate as a monthly credit. At your year-end settlement, you will receive an annual cash out at the wholesale rate for each kWh you over generate. All EBCE NEM customers with a cash-out credit balance of more than $100 will be offered a direct payment by check for this balance. If a customer’s credit balance is less than $100, such credits will continue to be tracked by EBCE and will remain on the customer’s account for future use (i.e., reduction of future EBCE charges)

    With EBCE’s NEM service, your electric generation charges are trued up on a monthly basis. Thus, if you are a net consumer, you will pay for that month’s charges or your credits will be applied to cover the cost. If you are a net producer, you will accumulate credits that can be applied to future bills. These credits are paid out during the April cash out period according to our annual cash out terms.


    As a NEM customer and an excess generator, you will receive the retail rate for each kWh you over generate as a monthly credit. At your year-end settlement, you will receive an annual cash out at the wholesale rate for each kWh you over generate. All EBCE NEM customers with a cash-out credit balance of more than $100 will be offered a direct payment by check for this balance. If a customer’s credit balance is less than $100, such credits will continue to be tracked by EBCE and will remain on the customer’s account for future use (i.e., reduction of future EBCE charges)
    .

    PG&E continues to provide the electric delivery service and does an annual account, or True Up, for this service. To learn more about our NEM Policy, you may visit our Solar Customer webpage.

    Please be advised NEM customers will enroll in April 2021. The transition to EBCE services will trigger a PG&E true up.


  • Regarding getting credit to add another Powerwall.
If you already have solar panels installed on your home, you will be able to add a battery system to your existing solar system with our Resilient Home Program. However, this retrofit option is not yet available. Sunrun, who EBCE is working with to administer this program, aims to have a complete solar battery backup retrofit product by early 2021. As soon as it is available EBCE will reach out to all of our existing solar customers.

So all and all it does not sound too bad and we will not initially opt-out. If it turns out worse we can switch back.
 
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charlesj

Active Member
Oct 22, 2019
1,064
218
Monterey, CA
The Monterey Peninsula created such a CCA a number of years ago, initially it was tri-counties. Now it is spreading to more counties like Santa Barbara and others.
Right now I am a net generator and they pay at least $0.06 per kWh over production at end of year that offsets my minimum PG&E charges and some gas charges.

It seems you will get the excess generation in good months forwarded, accumulated that will offset your usage in those months. Right now, you are in the hole until you generate over. Next year you should be ok if you historically generated more in a year than you used.
 

cali8484

Member
Jul 8, 2018
120
59
California
We got a response back from EBCE.

  • Regarding TOU-B (no longer available from PG&E, Peak M-F 4-9 PM) versus their TOU (Peak 4-9 every day).

    If you are enrolled in Time-of-Use-B, you will remain on that rate schedule when transitioned to EBCE services.
  • Their NEM service.

    With EBCE’s NEM service, your electric generation charges are trued up on a monthly basis. Thus, if you are a net consumer, you will pay for that month’s charges or your credits will be applied to cover the cost. If you are a net producer, you will accumulate credits that can be applied to future bills. These credits are paid out during the April cash out period according to our annual cash out terms.
    As a NEM customer and an excess generator, you will receive the retail rate for each kWh you over generate as a monthly credit. At your year-end settlement, you will receive an annual cash out at the wholesale rate for each kWh you over generate. All EBCE NEM customers with a cash-out credit balance of more than $100 will be offered a direct payment by check for this balance. If a customer’s credit balance is less than $100, such credits will continue to be tracked by EBCE and will remain on the customer’s account for future use (i.e., reduction of future EBCE charges)

    With EBCE’s NEM service, your electric generation charges are trued up on a monthly basis. Thus, if you are a net consumer, you will pay for that month’s charges or your credits will be applied to cover the cost. If you are a net producer, you will accumulate credits that can be applied to future bills. These credits are paid out during the April cash out period according to our annual cash out terms.


    As a NEM customer and an excess generator, you will receive the retail rate for each kWh you over generate as a monthly credit. At your year-end settlement, you will receive an annual cash out at the wholesale rate for each kWh you over generate. All EBCE NEM customers with a cash-out credit balance of more than $100 will be offered a direct payment by check for this balance. If a customer’s credit balance is less than $100, such credits will continue to be tracked by EBCE and will remain on the customer’s account for future use (i.e., reduction of future EBCE charges)
    .

    PG&E continues to provide the electric delivery service and does an annual account, or True Up, for this service. To learn more about our NEM Policy, you may visit our Solar Customer webpage.

    Please be advised NEM customers will enroll in April 2021. The transition to EBCE services will trigger a PG&E true up.


  • Regarding getting credit to add another Powerwall.
If you already have solar panels installed on your home, you will be able to add a battery system to your existing solar system with our Resilient Home Program. However, this retrofit option is not yet available. Sunrun, who EBCE is working with to administer this program, aims to have a complete solar battery backup retrofit product by early 2021. As soon as it is available EBCE will reach out to all of our existing solar customers.

So all and all it does not sound too bad and we will not initially opt-out. If it turns out worse we can switch back.

I have been on EBCE for over a year and it's still unclear if it's definitively better than PG&E. They do offer a bit lower per Kwh rate but I did end up paying more last year for electricity. I think the pandemic was a big factor in making it hard to compare with past data due to the extra and different electricity usage pattern. So, I am sticking with it for now to get more data.
 

Ampster

Active Member
Oct 5, 2012
1,676
432
Sonoma, California
I am sticking with Sonoma Clean Power because I know my choices are better and the value is better. I also prefer to buy my energy from a non profit who is transparent than from a monopoly who only cares about paying dividends to investors.
 

5150Code3

Member
Mar 15, 2021
7
0
NorCal
The PG&E Rate plans are different:
TOU-B has M-F 4-9 Peak
TOU-C has all days 4-9 Peak

If forced to move to TOU-C then it takes some comparisons on the rates.
10 more hours of peak time per week could be costly one doesn't have enough battery to cover the whole peak period.
I am on E-TOU-C and my current rates for peak and off-peak differ by less than 2 cents per kWh.
 

jboy210

Supporting Member
Dec 2, 2016
4,838
2,972
Northern California
I have been on EBCE for over a year and it's still unclear if it's definitively better than PG&E. They do offer a bit lower per Kwh rate but I did end up paying more last year for electricity. I think the pandemic was a big factor in making it hard to compare with past data due to the extra and different electricity usage pattern. So, I am sticking with it for now to get more data.
How about on your power service aspect? Have you noticed any changes? Less reliable, more reliable? Billing a pain? Or ???

We have been working from home for years so I suspect our consumption is the same this year. But we added the SolarRoof and 2 Powerwalls so buy much less power. Bill for July/August dropped from around $500/mo to under $50.
 
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