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EV charging rates - a tale of subterfuge?

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by STbreaker, Jun 14, 2016.

  1. STbreaker

    STbreaker Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2016
    Messages:
    220
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    I just wanted to share my experience of trying to set up the special EV charging rate with my electric provider (who happens to be DTE). Of course that requires the installation of a panel disconnect and a separate meter.

    Why do it?
    I'm at home during the day a lot so it didn't make much sense to switch my whole house to TOU. Through some calcs (which I can share if anyone wants to know) I determined that getting the separate meter would have a break even point of around 2.5 years if I only charge at night time ($0.094/KWH). I don't think I'll be moving or getting rid of the car before then, so I figured I would go for it.

    The disconnect and meter housing installation were fine. The electricians took care of it in about 5 hours. The city inspector then came and looked at the disconnect box and put a sticker on it saying it was approved. So now I just call the electric company right?

    First I had to find the section of the DTE site which has links to the PEV information - it was buried under a few submenus, but fine. Who do I call? I don't see anything initially so I just call the general number. The person I get is kind and congratulatory, but has no idea how to set it up. She transfers me to another wait line. As I'm waiting, I find buried within a sublink on a subpage a phone number and email address to contact - great! I hang up from the wait line and try the number. It's a "message only" line that tell me to leave my name and contact info. Only problem is that it hangs up instead of actually letting me leave a message at the end. OK back to the general number then... After a brief hold I get a different person. I tell him what I want and he at least knows to direct me to this number and email address. I tell him that the number just hangs up on me and that I would like to speak to an actual person. He basically ignores me and then transfers me to the same number to get hung up on again.

    OK I guess I have to send an email, I hope it gets checked - not feeling great after the way the phone worked... So I send the email and wait. After 30 minutes or so I get a response from an unidentified entity which basically asks what plan option I want (TOU or flat rate). I reply "I think I want TOU, oh and your phone number doesn't work." Another 15 minutes pass and basically it says. "confirm your choice of plan and give your address along with when you want the meter installed. No one has to be home for the installation. We will add the charge to your bill as a subsection" ...you know I'm a customer already, shouldn't you have my address? or even just ask for my account number?

    I mean I get that having an EV is all "high-tech" and we live in an age of Facebook, Twitter, and texting, but setting up your EV charging doesn't need to feel like a back alley deal...o_O
     
  2. Skione65

    Skione65 Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2016
    Messages:
    201
    Location:
    Kentucky
    @STbreaker,

    Any more Luck with getting this worked out and completed?

    Ski
     
  3. STbreaker

    STbreaker Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2016
    Messages:
    220
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    I did thanks! They came and installed the meter a few days ago with no complications and I'm on the TOU plan

    The mysterious entity was really good about answering emails. I was kinda annoyed by the whole thing, but my wife suggested that the person may be deaf or have some other reason why they need to type instead of talk.
     
  4. AWDtsla

    AWDtsla Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    2,144
    Location:
    NE
    The power company is a monopoly. Dealing with them is worse than dealing with the gubment (for those of you who think they can't do anything right).
     
  5. davewill

    davewill Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2014
    Messages:
    437
    Location:
    San Diego, CA, US
    Actually I've found my electric provider to be pretty easy to deal with. I mean having to send two emails doesn't really sound like any sort of problem...it sounds downright efficient to me.
     
  6. GarrickS

    GarrickS Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2016
    Messages:
    66
    Location:
    Inglewood, CA
    No kidding. I'd love to just rattle off an email to any of my utilities. You get a written record and no sitting on hold!
     
  7. jerry33

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

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    Messages:
    12,766
    Location:
    Texas
    Mine hasn't spelled my name correctly in almost twenty years. I've tried to get it corrected several times, but once in I guess it never changes.
     
  8. GarrickS

    GarrickS Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2016
    Messages:
    66
    Location:
    Inglewood, CA
    I have a friend that bought a house 2 years ago. The developer had bought a parcel, tore down the existing house, split it into 2 lots, and built 2 houses. One of the lots had the original address; my friend bought the one with the new address. LADWP still hasn't figured it out. Despite her best efforts, she still hasn't had an electricity bill in 2 years. They've checked with the neighbor to be sure he isn't paying for both houses. She's now given up on trying to straighten it out and just puts some money aside every month for the inevitable giant bill and future attorney's fees. Every time I'm over there, we toast LADWP.
     

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