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Cost of installing second Meter?

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by TurboZo, Jul 25, 2013.

  1. TurboZo

    TurboZo Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2013
    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    Irvine,CA
    Hi, I'm trying to figure out options for charging in my garage. fortunately, the NEMA 14-50 needs to be in the wall right behind where the current meter is

    I can either:
    1. Keep the same plan i am on (tiered)
    2. Change to a time of use structure
    3. install a second meter.

    for options 1&2, installing a NEMA 14-50, I got a quote of about $300-$400.

    I called my electric company about the second meter. They said they will provide the meter and an electrician would need to install it. They said it costs $2000-$3000 to install. Does that sound right? We rent our place and the landlord accepted to pay up to $400.

    I'm thinking of getting the NEMA plug installed and using my current rate plan for a month or two then see if I should make a change.

    My wife and kids will be home during the day so that is a consideration.

    Here are the rate plans:
    Southern California Edison - SCE

    Any advice?

    Thanks
     
  2. Merrill

    Merrill Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2013
    Messages:
    2,096
    Location:
    Sonoma, California
    Cannot tell you about SCE, but just finished my 2nd meter install with PG&E. It is somewhat complicated since we are on E-7 TOU for the house. Since we are all electric and we have solar it would be different than your situation. But just for comparison I got the permit myself and had my electrician install another 100 amp panel for the second meter, this was around $1000. The permit was $100 and PG&E charges $100 for the meter. Having a second meter will get the charging of t he car off the tiered system and I will have a flat rate just for the car. They have the e9b rate which is not tiered and if you charge from 12am to 7am you pay 10 cents per kWh. (Starting in September). So the pay off on the total cost will be a couple of years. Hope this helps, if you are not all electric it may not make sense to have the second meter. I would do the numbers and see where you would be with and without the second meter.
     
  3. simplesolar

    simplesolar Member

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    Location:
    SoCal
    if you have smartmeter installed, monitor your daily usage and time. Sometimes switching to TOU might actually cost you more.
     
  4. Andrew

    Andrew Model S #6151

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2013
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    344
    Location:
    Santa Monica, CA
    We're in Santa Monica and also have Southern California Edison. Before we got the car, I used their rate assistant tool (https://www.sce.com/nrc/pev/index.html ) to guesstimate that we'd save about $50/month by getting the second meter. (Since I work at home, the whole-house TOU plan wasn't a great option.)

    Our handyman did the work (he's a good electrician, but unlicensed), and we got the permit as "Owner-Builder." The permit would have been about $230, but it was subsidized (don't remember by which gov't agency), and we paid just a buck for it -- so don't forget to consider potential permitting costs.

    We have a rather long and complicated run from the panel to the garage; he quoted us $900 to run a 50 amp circuit from the existing panel, or $1900 (total) to put in a second panel and do the run from there. So adding the second panel bumped the price by $1,000. I'm not surprised at all to hear a licensed electrician quoting 2-3 times that amount.

    Considering that's saving us about $50/month, that's less than two-years for payback, which works for me. It's also been really nice to be able to itemize our usage just for the car -- I can tell people that we're driving 1,000 miles/month and spending just $40 to do so. :)
     
  5. TommyBoy

    TommyBoy Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
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    99
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    I'm in Orange County as well. Was told that the second meter installation runs anywhere from $3000 to $7000! You get the $0.11/kwh price but the MOST you will pay at Tier 4 in the dead of the summer is $0.31/kwr. In the winter when our SCE bill is usually under $100 we'd be paying around $0.18/kwh so I figured year-round I'd be paying an average of $0.24kwh which is thirteen cents more per kwh than the second meter rate. Since I work from home, my wife is a homemaker and we drive around 6000 miles per year it made absolutely no sense for us to have the second meter installed - the break-even was years.

    We're having a local electrician that is licensed install the 14-50 NEMA in our garage on Monday. $190 total.
     
  6. Ampster

    Ampster Member

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    Location:
    Hermosa Beach CA USA
    That is great advice, because so much depends on your individual circumstances.
    I will give you a summary of my circumstances, since that is what informed my decision. I live in a building that has no room for a second meter so my only option was to shift usage and assess rate plans. I work from home during the day but my solar production exceeds my daytime consumption. When I add in my charging loads I use several hundred kWhrs per month. At the normal rate plan that was keepng me in tier one pricing and a $40 bill each month.

    I recently shifted to a TOU EV rate which gives me midnight to 6am rate of $0.09 per kWhr. Here is the tricky part. My daytime peak rate increased to $0.26, but since I am producing energy during that time I get credited at the high rate and buy back at the cheaper rate at night to charge my car. I expect to earn a credit or worse case have a zero bill even though I will be a net consumer. The point is that a TOU rate can work to your benefit if you can shift your load to a time when the rate is cheaper.
     
  7. TurboZo

    TurboZo Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2013
    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    Irvine,CA
    Thanks for all the replies. The electrician got back to be and said the HOA won't allow the secomd meter since they would have to dig underground and it is very involved. He said it would cost thousands of dollars anyway.

    I'm going to keep my current plan then see if switching to tou would save us money or not. SCE actually provides great analysis tools online. They also let you download a year worth of data about usage. Being a Business Intelligence Emgineer, I was excited to see this option ;-).

    I wish there was a way for me isolate the car's consumption vs the rest of the house usage. The best ill be able to do is assume a timeframe the car will be charging.
     
  8. Andrew

    Andrew Model S #6151

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2013
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    344
    Location:
    Santa Monica, CA
    That's a bummer! I suppose you could try rigging up this meter in-line with your 6-50 outlet?

    http://www.ekmmetering.com/ekm-metering-products/electric-meters-kwh-meters/basic-meters-read-kwh-on-lcd-display/basic-kwh-meter-100a-120-240-volt-3-wire-60hz-ekm-25ids.html
     
  9. Ampster

    Ampster Member

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    Location:
    Hermosa Beach CA USA
    #9 Ampster, Jul 27, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2013
    Yes, there are several choices that can do that. They are often only about 90% accurate but useful for a better understanding anyway. I use an Envir and there is another brand that goes by the name of TED. The clamps for the Envir are pretty big but I found room in my breaker panel to put them around the conductors and then the data is wirelessly transmitted to the display. There are also interfaces for viewing data in a browser.
    EDIT. I looked more thoroughly at the above link and that product is a lot more accurate than the remote devices I referenced. However it would probably need to be mounted in an enclosure because it measures the current directly rather that remotely.
     
  10. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2012
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    4,496
    Location:
    Maine
    Just analyze your usage and calculate. If you can't see a transition from your S you aren't driving it much (or you have a very early sig).

    If you aren't going to 2 meters, I'd suggest you simply start acting as if you have TOU. Time shiftig is a good thing anyway and the sooner you modify behavior, the sooner your data will give you an accurate picture of the balance of cost. What are your off-peak periods? For us in Maine it's 8pm-7am and all weekends and holidays, which helps the weekend laundry and extra baking. You can run laundry and dishwashing overnight during the super off peak.

    For the tiered option you'd be left with solar and maximizing efficiency, although both of those are desirable anyway.

    If you can download the data that's awesome. We have to use an online tool or request it be emailed.
     
  11. xray

    xray P85 6313 - X Res 3450

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2013
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    Location:
    Newport Coast, CA

    TurboZo,
    I live very close to you in Newport so I struggled with these same issues a few months ago. My experience was very similar to what Tommy said in his reply, the quotes from various electricians was anywhere for about $4000 to $6000 for the installation of a second meter.

    I've been on the whole house TOU with SCE for the past 4 months or so and I've seen my overall bill slightly drop. There were a couple of reasons for this, 1) much greater awareness of energy consumption in our home (we use to run the AC all the time -- even though it was 70 degrees outside....), we now open our windows -- we had a revelation!!, Newport weather isn't that hot 355 days out of the year, 2) we switched to LED lights throughout our whole house and turned off a MacPro that wasn't really being used during the day. You get the picture....

    In my case, the advice I got from the electricians that came out to give me quotes, is that I should instead go solar. This would allow me to save much more by harvesting energy during peak time and buying lots of cheap super offpeak kW. I didn't do that because there's a chance I might move in the next few years but if I didn't, then I think going solar is a no brainer.

    Bottomline, give it a try with whole house TOU, there's a good chance that will work out for you.
    By the way, my wife stays home during the day and so far hasn't spontaneously combusted without the use of AC.
     
  12. jammerdjc

    jammerdjc S Owner/Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2013
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    97
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    I'm going through this with PG&E right now. I'd hoped they'd drop a new line to my garage as it is on the other side of my property and we have power on the front and back. They won't drop a new line unless the building has a separate address and living quarters. So, there are 2 options for an additional meter. I've attached the PG&E PEV Greenbook for reference. A single multi-meter panel or Second Meter Panel (With Overcurrent Protection), Conduit, and Wiring. The attached zip file has the greenbook and a couple of other pages that could be relevant about placement relative to gas or if you use a Second Meter Panel. View attachment PG&E.zip
     
  13. Blaze

    Blaze Member

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    Dec 21, 2013
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    145
    Location:
    Orange County, California
    Second meter installed. I cn share detail if interested.
     
  14. jcaspar

    jcaspar Member

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    Aug 19, 2013
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    Location:
    Sacramento
    I am having a second meter installed by an electrician to take advantage of SMUD's .06$ kWhr rates. Mine is about the easiest install as I already installed a 100 amp panel myself in the garage. Price quoted is 650$ of which 200$ is the permit.

    Looked into solar but return would take 15 - 20 years as our electricity rates currently are pretty low.
     
  15. Ampster

    Ampster Member

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    Location:
    Hermosa Beach CA USA
    Its all about rates. Further down the coast SCE rates are high enough to justfy solar. When you add car charging and the ability to load shift, TOU-EV rates are very attractive. I am a net consumer of energy kWhrs but have a negative bill in dollars because of that.

    I won't mention our high cost of water down here. LOL
     
  16. Ampster

    Ampster Member

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    614
    Location:
    Hermosa Beach CA USA
    I just discovered that SCE has a Virtual Net Metering arrangement for multi tenant buildings. The only hitch is that you would need to install a separate meter in order to share the output to some or all the other meters in the building.
    I am researching the cost of an additional meter in order to offer my tenants some offset on their electric bills.
     
  17. Ampster

    Ampster Member

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    Location:
    Hermosa Beach CA USA
    A solar contractor installed a separate meter just above my AC disconnect switch. The cost was $700 which was way more than his time and materials. He does get credit for a cost effective solution. Now for the laborious process of applying to SCE to install their meter and convert my existing net metering arrange to virtual net metering.

    On another note, I advertised the apartment unit as having an EVSE and I already have an interested party.
     
  18. N4HHE

    N4HHE Member

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    Oct 15, 2013
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    Location:
    Madison, AL
    I bought a meter on eBay for $25 and a box from Lowes for $40. I should get around to installing it this week or weekend. Its my meter, not the utility company's. I want to know how much I am putting in my "gas tank", not trusting the Fool Computer on the console to tell the truth.
     
  19. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

    Joined:
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    The console's numbers are known to be off because they represent the amount of energy put into the battery pack *after* charging losses (conductor losses, charger inefficiency, etc.). So it's not a matter of "telling the truth" but rather what specific information you wanted to know and whether the Model S can even tell you (for example, it won't be able to account for heat dissipation across conductors without making a guess based on the voltage drop between 0A and max amps).
     
  20. N4HHE

    N4HHE Member

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    The console trip meter is not truthful when the clock runs from "last charge" but is not metering the charge. Is not truthful when they know full well the Trip Computer's numbers will be quoted as, "I only used 2.5 kWh to get here!" not counting all consumption, not counting vampire consumption. Know full well those numbers will be used to compare same as gasoline pump numbers.
     

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