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California Utilities Plan All Out War On Solar, Please Read And Help

LeeM

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jun 26, 2021
41
58
Sacramento, CA
Environment America released a new report called "Blocking the Sun" that outlines the utility industry's nationwide playbook to kill rooftop solar. The report contains several case studies, all of which will look familiar to you, and should help us make the case that the utilities' fake equity arguments/cost shift are cynical PR. Blocking Rooftop Solar
 
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holeydonut

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
2,231
1,617
East Bay NorCal
He didn't say it was justified. It's just what the utilities are using to justify the proposed changes.


Yeah the worst thing anyone does is attempt to rationalize or explain the PoCo's perspective and position. Because then people take that attempt of an interpretation as if the poster actually believes what they're saying. Instead of just considering that the poster is attempting to understand what the PoCo is thinking.
 
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power.saver

Grid Specialist
Supporting Member
Mar 4, 2018
631
666
Arcadia, CA
Interesting presentation by a CCA (CPA in So. Cal.) on NEM. This CCA might modify their NEM tariff based on what CPUC does.
 

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  • 07-01-21-CPA-Item-7.pdf
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gene

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Feb 11, 2013
2,313
12,844
Santa Barbara, CA
Below the chart gives you an idea of your monthly fees. In my case, 8.8Kw in SCE territory could add up to $118 per month.
 

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holeydonut

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
2,231
1,617
East Bay NorCal
Here is the proposal from PGE, SCE, and SD:


It's weird, the two people SCE and SDG&E put on that proposal are like pricing managers with only a few years of experience. Like they must have drawn the short end of the stick to have their names and emails slapped on that joint IOU proposal. You figure those big utilities would have put someone more heavy hitting on these... but nah, it's just a small pricing exercise for these big monopolies (I mean IOUs).
 
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eisa01

Member
Aug 9, 2014
34
128
Oslo, Norway
So, it is a demand charge, levied at the peak demand of your house? And it is the same for all users?
That superficially seems to make sense, but there is always the debate whether you should pay it if your peak is not co-incident with the local/system peak

Electricity tariffs should be cost reflective, e.g,. in Norway we will soon have:

T&D tariff:
Monthly peak demand charge to cover the grid investment*
Variable per kWh charge to cover losses
Fixed fee per connection point to cover fixed costs (e.g., billing system/customer service etc.)
Note that the total income from the T&D tariff of an utility is regulated, but the tariff design makes sure everyone pays for the benefit they get, they explicitly changed from large variable per kWh fee to a larger monthly peak demand charge to make sure people make decisions good for the grid (e.g., not charge at the same time as making dinner, solar owners still paying for the grid which is scaled to winter peak when there's no sun)

Electricity retail:
Hourly wholesale price
Surcharge per kWh to cover trading costs etc. + profit for some retailers
Fixed fee per connection point to cover fixed costs (e.g., billing system/customer service etc.)

Electricity tax billed per kWh consumption

If you have solar you avoid the variable T&D tariff part + wholesale electricity price + electricity tax
If you send solar to the grid you earn the hourly wholesale price

* This may be time of use tariffs instead, with a high charge in peak hours, and low during e.g., the night
 
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gene

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Feb 11, 2013
2,313
12,844
Santa Barbara, CA
Currently with a 30kw system, and those fees, maybe I should just remove and keep the batteries? This is nuts. Talk about class warfare
Legally leaving the grid is difficult if even possible in most California locations. Check your regulations in Auburn.
 

gene

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Feb 11, 2013
2,313
12,844
Santa Barbara, CA
So, it is a demand charge, levied at the peak demand of your house? And it is the same for all users?
That superficially seems to make sense, but there is always the debate whether you should pay it if your peak is not co-incident with the local/system peak

Electricity tariffs should be cost reflective, e.g,. in Norway we will soon have:

T&D tariff:
Monthly peak demand charge to cover the grid investment*
Variable per kWh charge to cover losses
Fixed fee per connection point to cover fixed costs (e.g., billing system/customer service etc.)
Note that the total income from the T&D tariff of an utility is regulated, but the tariff design makes sure everyone pays for the benefit they get, they explicitly changed from large variable per kWh fee to a larger monthly peak demand charge to make sure people make decisions good for the grid (e.g., not charge at the same time as making dinner, solar owners still paying for the grid which is scaled to winter peak when there's no sun)

Electricity retail:
Hourly wholesale price
Surcharge per kWh to cover trading costs etc. + profit for some retailers
Fixed fee per connection point to cover fixed costs (e.g., billing system/customer service etc.)

Electricity tax billed per kWh consumption

If you have solar you avoid the variable T&D tariff part + wholesale electricity price + electricity tax
If you send solar to the grid you earn the hourly wholesale price

* This may be time of use tariffs instead, with a high charge in peak hours, and low during e.g., the night
Your connection rules and charges in Norway makes complete sense. What you need to understand is the proposal by the California utilities has nothing to do with making sense or being fair. It is simply a Trojan Horse, meant to look fair and to seem like the utility wants to protect the poor ratepayer but in fact it is all designed to put an end to rooftop solar as well as solar on businesses, government buildings and schools.
 
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eisa01

Member
Aug 9, 2014
34
128
Oslo, Norway
Your connection rules and charges in Norway makes complete sense. What you need to understand is the proposal by the California utilities has nothing to do with making sense or being fair. It is simply a Trojan Horse, meant to look fair and to seem like the utility wants to protect the poor ratepayer but in fact it is all designed to put an end to rooftop solar as well as solar on businesses, government buildings and schools.
Yeah, I had a look at the full PDF, and it was not a demand charge like I thought, but a charge on your installed DC capacity...

That doesn't make much sense, e.g., it would penalize people that install in East-West orientation that produce a flatter solar curve (i.e., good for the system)

A tariff should also be identical between all users, as there's no difference between the peak demand of a non-PV user and a PV user (depending on the time of the peak)
 
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h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
3,043
661
auburn, ca
Aha, I see what you meant, remove the PV but keep the batteries?
Was just an emotional comment on the NEM3 and PV. If they want me to pay 11 bucks per KW of solar, and I have 30KW, just does not seem it might make any sense to keep any PV. Then just basically keep batteries for power outages. I just hope the 20 year grandfathering of NEM1 and 2 stay, then I would be okay.
 
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Southpasfan

Member
Jun 2, 2019
465
610
Pasadena
Ugh. I have no faith in the analytical ability of politicians of either party, and reading that paper requires quite a bit. Standard procedure will be someone will do an "executive summary" of it.

Its fundamental BS. Its not even that the Utilities want to kill off rooftop solar, its actually worse --- they just want to make money.

Pricing by volume, for starters, is far from the obvious way to price something like electricity, where the grid costs more than the electrons.

I would feel better if the politicians/CPUC knew that pricing is entirely arbitrary.

The entire argument in this paper then begins to fall apart. What''s that? On page 4 or whatever you say that current NEM policies result in a 3 billion shift from non-solar to solar owners? According to what? Oh, according to the arbitrary pricing of the utility! LADWP doesn't charge 50 cents per kwh peak - its virtually the same -- if its virtually the same there is not 3 billion of shifting -- there is zero billion of shifting.

All rooftop solar does, is act as a giant reduction in demand. That's especially true with battery storage. It is not possibly true that a reduction in demand acts to increase costs on others. Come on! Even then dumbest politician can figure that one out.
 
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Southpasfan

Member
Jun 2, 2019
465
610
Pasadena
It is all about the money period, since California is supposed to work toward carbon net zero how can our governor allow this. We will take a big step backwards environmentally, this would be one of many reasons to control the utility monopoly.
Maybe we have to keep it simple. Its true that rooftop solar screws up the pricing structure of the utilities.

However, we have to make sure that everyone knows there are two answers to this. The utilities want to kill off rooftop solar. Of course, one could also blow up and completely re design the pricing structure of the utilities. I vote for the second option.

Any model going forward has to be big on battery storage. Its the only way to quickly increase solar because ESS is the only thing which allows use of sunshine at night.
 
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miimura

Well-Known Member
Aug 21, 2013
6,570
6,374
Los Altos, CA
Maybe we have to keep it simple. Its true that rooftop solar screws up the pricing structure of the utilities.

However, we have to make sure that everyone knows there are two answers to this. The utilities want to kill off rooftop solar. Of course, one could also blow up and completely re design the pricing structure of the utilities. I vote for the second option.

Any model going forward has to be big on battery storage. Its the only way to quickly increase solar because ESS is the only thing which allows use of sunshine at night.
ESS is key to increasing renewable penetration. However, ESS does not have to be battery.

 

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