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Looking for analysis on the California Public Utilities commission's rate chane

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by eye.surgeon, Jul 5, 2015.

  1. eye.surgeon

    eye.surgeon Member

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    Sounds like the PUC is going to completely overhaul the current rate system including changing the tier system and time of use. Can anyone here with more expertise than me summarize how this will affect the typical Tesla owner in the state? I'm particularly interested in how the EV-A plan will be changing, and also how it will affect PV system owners.

    My infantile analysis seems to show that higher consumers will fare slightly better, but that solar owners may take a hit as it sounds like peak times have been shifted to later in the day, like 4-7?
     
  2. Merrill

    Merrill Active Member

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    When you deal with Pacific Graft and Extortion in conjunction with the CPUC anything can happen. I was hoping for the new head of the CPUC to make some positive changes but it looks like he is also on the take.
     
  3. Ampster

    Ampster Member

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    #3 Ampster, Jul 5, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2015
    This spring SCE already shifted peak times to 2pm - 8pm. Now it looks like we will also be getting another timing shift plus a fixed charge if I understand the latest CPUC decision correctly.
    My only recourse will be to do more load shifting to avoid having to pay those peak rates after the sun sets on my solar.
     
  4. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    I'm on EV-A and have been watching for news but haven't seen anything lately. I can understand why there is a push to change the plan -- I am about to true-up but have used over 3.5MWh this year but have a monetary credit of over $500. Since my usage is positive, I'll obviously not get anything in return, but either way that's not a business model.

    My guess is that whatever change they make, it's going to be a good change for Tesla Energy. Storage will become much more valuable when TOU shifts.
     
  5. Ampster

    Ampster Member

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    What we are both talking about is load defection. It is a real risk to the utilities and an opportunity for Tesla and other solar/battery integrators.
     
  6. miimura

    miimura Active Member

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    The EV schedules, E-9 and EV, both have Peak rates from 2-9pm weekdays. If you look at the CA ISO load curves, they usually have a peak centered on those hours. These rates are not specific to solar users, so shifting it just to hurt NEM customers would not make sense.

    I have read that the CPUC made a decision to flatten rates - that is increase fixed costs for all users and lower the higher tiers energy charges to better reflect the cost of delivering the service. Of course, TURN and other ratepayer advocates are up in arms about how this affects lower income ratepayers. As far as I'm concerned, if you're not on a CARE rate plan, you can afford to rearrange your budget by $10/mo. PG&E already flattened rates a little bit in August 2014, just in tiered pricing. I believe the PUC requested new proposed rate schedules from the utilities in September to take effect in November. Hearings should be conducted after the new schedules are submitted.
     
  7. Ampster

    Ampster Member

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    Thanks @Mimura, I had not seen the load curves before. That gives me some rational to explain to my friends who have solar, that the time shift was not directed at them.
     
  8. miimura

    miimura Active Member

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    The Edison EV rates that had peak from 10am-6pm were really far too favorable for solar customers. They need to realize that the grid situation did not support those time periods. However, people made large purchase decisions based on the rates at that time, so I understand why people were pissed when it changed.
     
  9. Ampster

    Ampster Member

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    #9 Ampster, Jul 7, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2015
  10. miimura

    miimura Active Member

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    This quote from the story linked above really has me wondering what is coming:
    I suppose as long as it is still net metering and not a feed-in tariff with significantly lower reimbursement for feed-in than draw, I will stand pat. If the feed-in rate starts to drop away from retail cost significantly, then I'll seriously start planning some kind of battery storage system so that I minimize my feed-in.
     
  11. Merrill

    Merrill Active Member

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    If they stop the net metering system where you are able to get credits at the peak rates applied to your total bill, I will be looking at the Powerwall.
     
  12. Ampster

    Ampster Member

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    #12 Ampster, Jul 9, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2015
    Politically the utilities can't stop Net Metering, but they will try to erode some of the benefits. They tried an argument for a fixed charge but were turned down. They did get a minimum bill figure of $10 per month, and we shall see how that works out. What will be interesting to see how the general population reacts to Time Of Use rates. Most people with solar, benefit from TOU rates.
     
  13. miimura

    miimura Active Member

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    #13 miimura, Jul 9, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2015
    AFAIK, PG&E has an installed base ceiling above which they do not have to provide Net Metering to new solar installations. It will be interesting to see what happens at PUC hearings when we start to approach that ceiling.

    Edit: Ok, I just read Schedule NEM. It clearly states that the Net Metering provisions in that rate schedule shall remain open until at least July 1, 2017 and until the "Total Rated Generating Capacity" of all qualified customers under that schedule exceeds 5% of the "Aggregate Customer Peak Demand", or 2,409 Megawatts of nameplate generating capacity. After that, there is a "NEM Transition" period during which customers may stay on the NEM tariff for 20 annual true up periods from the time of their Permission to Operate. It also clearly states that there will be a "Successor Tariff". Repairs or modifications are allowed as long the system is not increased by more than the greater of 10% or 1 kilowatt. Modifications outside of this scope may be separately metered or the entire system can be moved to the Successor Tariff.
     
  14. 3mp_kwh

    3mp_kwh Member

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    Sounds right. If it's 5%, than that is on the STC rating of all the rooftop subscribers. After conversion, for what PG&E actually net meters, it is much closer to 1% of their peak load. A lot of states are going through the solar cap growing pains, and it sounds like a lot more is going on. I had a conversation with a CA utility who is decidedly focused upon solar growth, even beyond future wind. This is in the CA regions, where PV, or PV-battery, has only to beat CA's higher average kwh prices. The point of this, along with newfound $.04/kwh utility-scale solar, is that PG&E, SCE, etc. will likely dial up their utility scale renewable pursuits, as they turn around and look to modify down their obligations to roof-top. It goes like, "why should the rest of customers support ~$.15-.40/kwh net-metering, when we can get it for $.04". I know what the counter-argument sounds like, but don't be surprised if you own solar, and find yourself exploring limited behind the meter solutions sooner than you thought.
     
  15. Ampster

    Ampster Member

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    And the lower cost of batteries has also created opportunities and solutions sooner than I would have thought. For example even in the unlikely event that California limits the growth of net metered solar, there will be opportunities in the TOU environment to have a behind the meter solar battery system that could do load shifting. No utility permission would be required, just a simple building permit as long as the system is not grid tied. Since we know that by 2017 almost all rates will be TOU, there will also be opportunities for rate arbitrage.
     
  16. miimura

    miimura Active Member

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    After reading the PG&E NEM Tariff, I am pretty much guaranteed 20 years of Net Metering at this house (2 down already). As long as I don't move, I have lots of time to figure out a strategy to deal with reduced feed-in value after my grandfathered period ends. If I had to guess, I would think they would try to change the system so that they only credit you for the Generation portion of the tariff. In the case of Schedule EV, it is roughly 50% Generation and 50% Distribution/Transmission/Etc. in the Unbundled Rate tables. In that case, the arbitrage situation is even more skewed. Instead of selling Part Peak solar generation to the utility for 11 cents in the morning and cooking dinner with 43 cent utility power, you could store your morning generation and coast through the evening portion of the Peak rate period without drawing from the grid. Right now, we get full credit of 22.5 cents for morning solar generation.
     
  17. omgwtfbyobbq

    omgwtfbyobbq Member

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    It looks like the utilities are shooting for a $3/kWh monthly charge on solar, and PG&E/SDG&E are looking at other charges based on peak demand.

    For rooftop solar in California, one CPUC decision could change everything

    It's not a whole lot, but a little DSM and a 7kWh powerwall aren't a whole lot either. Over the powerwall's published lifespan (may not be accurate, but it should be close with a 10-year warranty), an owner is looking at ~$2500 in monthly PV charges with a 5kW system. If those demand charges are too high, I wouldn't be surprised if some customers went off the PV plan, disconnected the power to their main breaker, and went with DSM/a powerwall. They could still charge their EV at off-peak ev meter/plan rates, and connect back to the grid at night if need be. Assuming they isolated the PV/powerwall before reconnecting of course.
     
  18. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    Minor typo there; $3/kWh would be a huge fee! Here's the whole paragraph from the article you linked:
    Frankly the shift from 15¢ to 8¢ seems entirely reasonable to me; 8¢ is in line with what other renewable energy sources are paid and still almost double what a fossil-fired plant receives.

    I still wish that the utilities would charge all residential customers a flat fee for grid access (with the fee linked only to the panel size, i.e. the maximum draw on the system). But that would expose the cross-subsidies already in the system, where high-use residential customers (who are presumably richer) pay a disproportionate share of the residential sector's bill.
     
  19. Ampster

    Ampster Member

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    I couldn't read the quoted article, but I thought, several months ago, the CPUC was pointing them in the direction of TOU rates. The last rate change 4/15 was a shift of the peak rate to 2pm to 8pm.
    My community is in the process of adopting a Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) buying arrangement so now I will have to pay attention to the split between delivery charges and generation charges.
     
  20. miimura

    miimura Active Member

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    If they change the recently increased fixed $10/mo to $3/kW nameplate per month, that's fine with me. My small system would only be $13/mo in this new scheme.
     

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