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PG&E adding $10 a month to solar bill

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by Owner, Jul 4, 2015.

  1. Owner

    Owner Active Member

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    I'm not 100% sure this is correct. I'm already paying $11 a month for some connection fees, okay $10.95 but $11 essentially.

    Now they are going to add another $10 if you have a reasonable income. A total of $21 for basically being connected - this seems excessive. May be time to revisit going off grid by doubling solar panels?

    PUC approves big changes in state's electricity rate system - San Jose Mercury News
     
  2. GSP

    GSP Member

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    $21/month for a grid connection with net metering sounds reasonable to me. The cost to go off-grid will be much higher. Off grid is not as efficient use of resources, since you will need extra PV and battery capacity to meet your peak needs. This can be reduced by disabling some large loads during peak usage, as Solar City plans to do when they offer off grid solutions for Hawaii residents. Even then you will still need more capacity than utilities need to install per customer.

    Homepower.com is a good source for information on off grid power systems. They recommend enough battery to supply 2-3 days and an ICE generator as well.

    GSP
     
  3. fengshui

    fengshui Member

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    It's not a $10 fee, it's a $10 minimum bill. As such, since you're already paying $11/mo, you should see no change.
     
  4. Owner

    Owner Active Member

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    Interesting. I'm still not 100% clear on the $10 fee.

    I'm looking at my old bills and the number has changed around. I have old paper bills. This number has been: $12.39, $12.81, and recently has dropped to $4.73. So if they up it a bit it is okay. But I'm not sure what they are "upping".

    The $4.73 is broken down to

    Distribution $3.60
    Public Purpose Programs $0.20
    Generation $0.64
    Utility Users Tax $0.29

    There is also a new note in the online version that says

    "Your electric minimum charges for this period are $4.44 which may include applicable discounts and may be deducted from your energy charges at True-Up if your annual energy charges exceed the minimum charges."


    I know its not worth it to go off-grid, but not fond of PG&E

     
  5. electracity

    electracity Active Member

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    I don't like PG&E either. But you own a roadster and a model S. Paying a little bit for grid maintenance to help not push costs onto poorer people who can't afford solar is fair.

    Eventually, managing the grid and selling electricity is going to need to be done by separate companies.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Almost everyone who has owned an off grid house would gladly pay for a grid connection to avoid needing a generator. Managing home power without grid backup is fun until the first big problem.
     
  6. aesculus

    aesculus Still Trying to Figure this All Out

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    Where do you see them adding $10 for a reasonable income? In fact the report says those who make more than $137,000 will see a reduction of $5.78 a month

     
  7. cpa

    cpa Member

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    I read their press release:

    http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/PublishedDocs/Published/G000/M153/K072/153072586.PDF

    The way that I read it is that the minimum bill for us NEMS customers will increase from the aforementioned $4.75 +/- per month to this $10 minimum. However, if our total purchases from the grid during our one-year billing cycle are greater than the $120/year cumulative charge, we get credit for this when "true-up" time comes. I believe that this is because we purchase bundled service, and the per kWh charge of 16.35 cents (baseline) includes the amounts assessed for the monthly hit. Otherwise we would be paying twice for the same things.

    However, what is unknown now is how the NEMS program will flop out when the current policies expire in 2017. I am not confident that those of us with PV systems will be able to continue with the same fundamental billing practices that we now receive. We could (just speculation) be in for additional assessments for grid maintenance or a flat rate credit for electricity delivered but retail rates for electricity received.
     
  8. Owner

    Owner Active Member

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    That is for those w/o solar

     
  9. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    PG&E already has a line item for distribution. I have posted a sample previously. Why single out the solar generators to pay for more of it?
     
  10. FlasherZ

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

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    For what it's worth, our co-op has done the calculations and has figured our fixed cost for grid interconnection w/ net metering at roughly $35-40 per month, and that's what we pay for our meter charge. Admittedly our co-op is smaller and will not benefit from the scale of PG&E, but then again we don't have a profit motive, either. While every investor-owned utility is looking to get rid of net metering in favor of something else, our co-op's leadership is talking about paying cash for owner excess generation (up to 40 kW systems) rather than just giving credits for up to 90 days.
     
  11. cpa

    cpa Member

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    I think we can all agree on the fact that whenever there is a wholesale change in common situations with a "one size fits all" approach, that there will be winners and losers. There are so many variations on usage today, from 100% grid reliance to 100% self-generated with a surplus at the end of each annual "true-up" period. In short the utilities are faced with trying to aim at a moving target, particularly as new or expanding residential and commercial PV or wind turbines come on line.

    The utilities will more than likely err on the investor side leading to unintended consequences (and higher-than-expected rates and charges) benefiting few customers.

    And then, the public will figure out how to reduce their utility bills by adding stationary storage, more PV panels, etc., and then the utilities will change the billing structure to recover those costs, and then the public . . .

    It will become a never ending game of thrust and parry until the business models for utilities change.
     
  12. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    Don't undersell the desire of the CPUC to achieve good outcomes for consumers. Mike Florio is particularly strong on utility reform, and brings a strong intellect (graduate degrees from NYU and Princeton) and a New York-style cut-to-the-chase style. Certainly not a stool pigeon for the utilities.
     
  13. Merrill

    Merrill Active Member

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    What do you know about Michael Picker, he seems to be in bed with the California power companies like his predecessor.
     
  14. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    I've met Michael Picker about my wave project in California; he was helpful and supportive, but then again, my project fits in with the "big utility" model. Other than that, I can't say much about him.
     
  15. wk057

    wk057 Senior Tinkerer

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    It's the beginning of the end for net metering...
     
  16. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    Maine just passed a law requiring the utility commission to develop an alternative.
     
  17. wk057

    wk057 Senior Tinkerer

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  18. wws

    wws Member

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    #18 wws, Jul 10, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2015
    Thank goodness.

    I don't see a problem here.

    It will be interesting to see how this affects net metering customers. Do they calculate this as part of the December reconciliation? As others have mentioned, there is already a $4.73 charge every month just for the connection.

    Low income homeowners should be cheering over the cap&trade credit they suddenly got last month anyway. (I disagree strongly with the whole c&t thing, but my voice doesn't count in California.)

    The current Tier 3 and 4 rates are outrageous. They have forced many, including myself, to install solar systems.

    So there are really three tiers?


    Does this mean every home gets a TOU meter? (My house has had one for decades, but I know I am the only one in my neighborhood that does. I was the last person in my neighborhood to get a Smart Meter because of it.)
     
  19. fengshui

    fengshui Member

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    All Smart Meters support TOU, AFAIK.
     
  20. miimura

    miimura Active Member

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    Yes, on PG&E even if you have a tiered non-TOU rate plan, you can still see your hourly consumption on their web site under MyEnergy. My NEM SmartMeter reports in 15 minute intervals, not 1 hour like my parents' regular SmartMeter.
     

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