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Big increase in PG&E E-9 rates (N. Cal.)

Discussion in 'California' started by slcasner, Oct 13, 2011.

  1. slcasner

    slcasner Member

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    Those of you who live in Northern California and are served electricity by PG&E should read the following information.

    PG&E has filed Advice 3910-E with the California Public Utilities Commission in accordance with CPUC Decision D.11-07-029 proposing to revise the E-9 rate schedule that is optional for customers who charge an EV. This proposal eliminates surcharge tiers so that customers who already use a lot of electricity and then add an EV won't be hit hard by going into the high tiers as a consequence of using more electricity than before. That might seem like a good thing, and it would be for some people

    However, this single-tier rate is set at a level that is roughly double the part-peak and off-peak rates from the lowest tier of the current E-9 rate schedule (going from 5.5 cents to 11 cents per kWh for the off-peak when we do all our EV charging) . For those of us who have invested in solar power and/or who are very conservative in their power use to keep their consumption in the lowest tier, this is a big increase. They have also instituted year-round 3pm - 9pm peak rates, rather than only in the summer.

    PG&E is also proposing to translate the current $8.00 per month meter fee (that we are currently paying and that was to be eliminated with the installation of SmartMeters) into a fixed "customer charge". That seems unfair given that the average E-1 customer does not pay such a charge.

    PG&E's advice letter states that 3/4 of the customers currently taking service on the E-9A rate schedule will be negatively impacted, with the worst quartile seeing an average increase of 80%. I can only assume that they expect us to switch to some other rate schedule. But the only choices are non-TOU E-1 at 12 cents or the E-6 TOU rate schedule with 9.3/16/27 cents per kWh for off/part/peak periods. To me, the proposed change clearly decreases the incentive to charge between midnight and 7am that the current E-9 rate schedule favors.

    Here is a link to the Advice 3910-E letter (PDF document): http://www.pge.com/nots/rates/tariffs/tm2/pdf/ELEC_3910-E.pdf

    The CPUC Decision D.11-07-29 document (PDF) is here: http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/word_pdf/FINAL_DECISION/139969.pdf

    There is an opportunity to file protests by October 17. I have found out the hard way that protesting a PG&E Advice letter is pointless if that letter is simply implementing what PG&E was directed to do by the CPUC. There is some wiggle-room in this case because the CPUC only ordered that the E-9B separate-meter rate be changed. The CPUC did not order that the E-9A single-meter (whole house) rate be changed, but they did support doing so. The main counter-argument that PG&E will wage is that the E-9 rate for tiers 1 and 2 is below the true cost. This is stated in their Advice Letter. However, that is as it should be: if tier 1 was the true cost, then the full increment for tiers above that would be extra profit.

    The CPUC decision was issued in July. Such decisions follow hearings in which the stakeholders can make comments, but it is very hard for individuals to play in that game. I have not investigated yet whether there have been any positions stated by TURN or proponents of EV and/or solar technologies. However, the list of stakewholders did not include the main solar players, and I think that is part of the problem.
     
  2. smorgasbord

    smorgasbord Active Member

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    Are you saying that there's really nothing we can do at this point?
     
  3. jaanton

    jaanton Roadster NA #1026

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    If you read the definition of peek time carefully, you find it is self contradictory. The change should be rejected on that basis alone but they will just fix that.

    They compared existing E-9A use with the new one to get those increase figures, but they did not compare it against E-1 or E-6 so there the CPUC is getting no indication how much TOU incentive is being destroyed.

    I don't have a problem with the rates in question, but the peek periods definition and the fixed customer charge. They tried to add the fixed customer charge into E-1 a couple months ago but that didn't fly. Possibly illegal.

    Still, I programmed the new rate into my TED (theenergydetective.com) and did some spreadsheet figuring and the new E-9A rate seems to be, for me, midway between old E-9A and E-1.
     
  4. slcasner

    slcasner Member

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    I will be filing a protest. You can, too. I said that filing a protest is pointless if the advice letter is just implementing what the CPUC ordered. In this case, the CPUC order leaves the rate design open to some degree, so I have some room to argue.
     
  5. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    It's already happened here in central California. My monthly meter charge went from about $12 to $58. I produce more than I use so that is all that I pay.
     
  6. slcasner

    slcasner Member

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    Yes, I noticed that glitch. Worse than the glitch is the fact that they introduced peak time on weekends. With the existing E-9A, we enjoy the additional flexibility for power usage on weekends so we can cook with the electric oven, etc.

    Right. For customers who are not in the higher tiers now, the new E-9A would likely cost more than E-1.

    Do you have pointers to the CPUC documents for that decision?

    I haven't done the detailed calculations yet, but I think it would double my costs.
     
  7. slcasner

    slcasner Member

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    That is a big jump. Are you sure that is all meter charge? Are you served by PG&E or someone else?

    My monthly bill from PG&E on the current E-9A includes an $8.00 meter charge plus about $4.00 minimum energy charge, but the minimum energy charge is counted toward the total energy usage at the annual true-up.
     
  8. Andrew Wolfe

    Andrew Wolfe Roadster 472 - S 440

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    It is yet to be seen what the final results will be - but a decision has been delayed by an additional 2 weeks specifically in order to evaluate our protest letters.
     
  9. Kipernicus

    Kipernicus Model S Res#P1440

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    PG&E E-9 rate

    Saw this in another thread and wanted to bring it to everyone's attention. I don't expect to get my S until Nov/Dec. Should I / can I sign up for E-9 rate now?

     
  10. BYT_P1837

    BYT_P1837 Member

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    Do you have more information on this as I have solar panels and like you, live in the Bay Area and expect my Model S in October/November
     
  11. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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  12. smorgasbord

    smorgasbord Active Member

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    I think this is the current (as of May 9, 2012, labeled 3910-E-A ) proposal: http://www.pge.com/nots/rates/tariffs/tm2/pdf/ELEC_3910-E-A.pdf

    They got rid of tiers, so rates become pretty straightforward:


























    Class Mon-Fri Weekends & Holidays Summer Rate Winter Rate
    Peak 2pm - 9pm 3pm - 7pm $0.35656 $0.26694
    Part-Peak 7am-2pm & 9pm-11pm None $0.19914 $0.16472
    Off-Peak 11pm-7am Midnight -3pm and 7pm-Midnight $0.09712 $0.09930
    Note that rates for the separately metered setup (currently E9B) are only very slightly cheaper per kwh (less than 1/2 cent/kwh).

    Of major importance is that we now have Winter Peak rates at $0.27/kWh. Under E9, there was no Peak rate in Winter - just part-peak and off-peak.

    Whether this is good or bad for you depends. Since the daytime rate is lower, the benefit of getting solar is reduced compared to the E9 plans.

    The existing E9 plans have both a lower low rate (under $0.06), but only for the baseline tier, and a higher high rate (over $0.53 for the highest 5th tier). So, big nighttime users with solar won't like this. However, the existing E9 plans "do not reflect PG&E's cost of service," so it's impossible that they'll stick around. People on E9 now will be able to keep it through end of 2014 at least.

    I haven't analyzed my usage, but with one EV I'm already in the highest tier, so with Model S as well I think this is better for me, as I don't have solar. I don't know what effect the Peak rate during winter will have on my bill, though.
     
  13. jaanton

    jaanton Roadster NA #1026

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    This new EV schedule looks pretty good. Actually looks like someone thinking about the issues spent some time on it while the previous proposed change looked like a total wack job.
    While I've not done my full study yet, this may be a win for me and for Tesla drivers in particular. The Teslas' with their larger batteries make it more likely to charge at home and more mileage overall means a fixed < $0.10 per KwH looks pretty good. It may be tough for people with a lot of air conditioning in summer, but that's the point. For me, my baseline is tiny as I'm in the cool part of the bay area and that pushes me into the highest tier consistently. There is a chance that my usage will make EV-A better for me than E-9A.

    The weekend peek time is fine with me. There was already a partial-peek there so it's really just a rate increase for the hottest part of the day on weekends. You really shouldn't be charging your car then. Weekends were the time for me to get a bunch of stuff like laundry done and being able to do that in the morning on weekends at off-peek rates is nice.
     
  14. slcasner

    slcasner Member

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    Yes, that's the proposal I was referencing. Thanks for posting the details.
    That's the key. It really does depend on usage patterns. Those who have SmartMeters are fortunate in that they can access hourly usage data, so it is possible to calculate exactly what your bill would have been under a time-of-use tariff.

    I have been taking service on E-9 for a decade. My late evening schedule is not impacted too badly by the late E-9 peak in summer, and we've been able to make lifestyle adjustments to fit. Key for us, though, is the freedom from peak rates during the winter so we can use the electric oven economically.
     
  15. MAPC

    MAPC #158

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    At the risk of sounding like a dumb newbie, does anyone know of a 'PG&E Rates for Dummies' thread (or something similar and more civilized) that can explain to me in very simple/layman terms what the various rate schedules mean, how you work with PG&E to set things up, pros/cons?

    I realize that this may seem like a dumb question but I am new-ish to CA and new-er to EV ownership.

    Thanks.
     
  16. augkuo

    augkuo Member

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    PG&E didn't want people to overload the system with their EV's so to encourage them to charge their cars when the system demand was low, they offered time of use (TOU) rates to homeowners. Normally you would just pay a fixed rate (E-1) on how much kWh you used, and as your usage went up, your rate went up. PG&E and the regulators establish a "baseline" rate which is the amount a normal household would use and if you went above it, the rates would keep going up - an EV would definitely put you way above baseline usage. You'll need to ask PG&E to switch you to E-9 - check here for info and whether or not you want option A or B - Select a Rate Option

    Option A is what most people have already - lower rates for charging during off peak hours (after 11pm and before 7am)

    Option B is new - a separate meter for the EV only, you'll need to pay for a new meter, etc. - useful if you have high demand during peak hours

    If you follow the links, there's actually a calculator to help you decide which option is best for you based upon where you live and how much you use your Tesla.

    Good luck!
     
  17. MAPC

    MAPC #158

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    Thanks - this is very helpful.
     
  18. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    I heard an interesting presentation yesterday from someone with BG&amp;E (Baltimore area) who had data about the overall capacity utilization of their sub-transmission and distribution systems. For them, they simply want to push EV charging before 4pm or after 8pm. (BG&amp;E is purely wires; getting the energy is someone else's job.) I tried hard to discourage him from requiring a separate meter.
     
  19. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    Thanks. Once there is a separate meter, it's only a matter of time before the politicians add a road tax to that meter.
     
  20. bmek

    bmek Member

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    The Pubilc Utilities Commission just approved PG&E's revised request to create the 'EV rates' for PG&E's service area (most of Northern California). This resolution is effective August 23, 2012 although PG&E will have six months to update its billing system. Existing customers on the current E-9 rates are grandfathered under that rate until the later of a decision on PG&E's 2014 General Rate Case or December 31, 2014. If you are in the lower tiers then your electricity bill may increase and if you are in the higher tiers then your electricity bill may decrease.
     

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