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Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by Doug_G, Feb 5, 2012.
Ontario's power glut means possible nuclear plant shutdowns
Okay, everyone, get your EVs charging!
Hmm, I wonder if here in upstate NY we're getting pricing spillover from this. I was noticing astonishingly low electric rates.
That would be ironic, since our rates suck.
But you're both right. Rates in Ontario include capital recovery on the nukes build decades ago, because those investments were made under the regulated regime. The surplus power is being sold to the adjoining grids (New York and Midwest) at cheap-o prices, driving down wholesale prices there. There's a fair bit of discussion currently about setting an optimal export tariff; I won't comment on that because my staff is doing the analysis.
Export tariff? You want to tax the power? Legal under NAFTA? And won't that make it impossible for Ontario to balance the grid?
There already is an export charge. It's not a tariff in the usual sense; it's an apportionment of the cost of the transmission system to transactions sinking externally.
Wouldn't it make a lot of sense to lower the off peak rates? They barely differ from the peak and mid-peak rates we have now...
The retail rate? Yes. Too often utilities believe that they must charge all of the "fixed adders" across all hours. PG&E, for example, charges the same for transmission and distribution regardless of time of day, even on the time-of-day rate. That's not sound; it's far better to allocate those charges to high-demand hours and create more gap between on- and off-peak usage.
Yes, I'm very disappointed in the new TOU rates.
Originally we paid 7.5 cents per kWh above 600 kWh usage (plus taxes, delivery, regulatory, debt retirement => 13 cents).
Now the off-peak prices went down to 6.2 cents. Woo hoo.
Mid-peak is 9.2 cents, and on-peak is 10.8 cents. Ouch!
The net result is a massive electricity price increase. Even if by some miracle demand shifted enough to completely level out usage, it would still result in a 8% increase in rates, and that is extremely unlikely. The peak rates are 44% higher.
Luckily I do almost all of my charging late at night so I'll probably save $3 a month.
Interesting. So if you charge off peak you'll save a whole $3 based on TOU rates. Clearly that is an adequate incentive to shift all of the EV charging to the wee night hours. :tongue:
Let me clarify. I'll save $3 on EV charging compared to before the TOU rates were introduced.
Peak EV rates will be 4 cents more expensive. I'll be saving $9 or $10 a month by charging at night instead of on-peak.
The pricing anomalies make the case for a full flow through of market pricing (including the negative prices that Ontario regularly exports power at) all the more compelling. Such pricing would kick start the market for more effective demand management and storage technologies. Query if this could be accomplished through the existing TOU meter technology in Ontario?
Domestic rates include a component called the "Global Adjustment". This is essentially a "bucket" where certain provincial costs are "socialized". Things like higher than market rates paid to certain legacy generators, the exorbitant rates paid under the FIT and microFIT programs for renewable energy, the provincial conservation programs and such. Anyone remember a couple of gas plants that got cancelled for political reasons? Global Adjustment. Large consumers pay market pricing plus Global Adjustment whereas smaller consumers (residential, small commercial) pay regulated rates that include an average cost of power and include the Global Adjustment component. Imports and exports are based on the market cost of power only which can go low (sometimes negative for an hour or two) but can also go high. The fact is, when we have a surplus of power, it's likely that our neighbors do too, so the market is going to push the price down. I honestly don't see Ontario shutting down baseload nukes for anything other than scheduled maintenance.
What are the off, mid and on times? Here peak is M-F 7am-8pm, (weekends and actual holidays are off peak). (Shoulder is 12pm-4pm, but my TOU supply treats shoulder as peak). We're probably around 68% off-peak with some peak shaving, and we'd have a higher percentage but we hang dry clothes. Oil rather than electric heat though. 68% off peak compared to 32% on peak under your rules would be 7.672 cents, or a 2.29% increase.
Explained here. Note that these prices are the non loss adjusted commodity price only and do not include volumetric delivery and regulatory charges nor taxes.