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PG&E Charging - Solar and EV

Discussion in 'Model S' started by cciesingh, Jan 16, 2016.

  1. cciesingh

    cciesingh Member

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    #1 cciesingh, Jan 16, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2016
    I am a PG&E Customer in CA and have recently had solar installed and activated by PG&E

    I have also switched to the EV Rate whic is cheaper charging at night but higher charges in the day.

    I have no idea what is the best rate to use for me, but I usually tend to charge my vehicle at night every 2-3 days. There is also an E6 rate.

    Any suggestions what would be my best options?

    Is Solar sufficient for charging the vehicle in the day? If so should I should switch back to the E1 rate?​
     
  2. CHG-ON

    CHG-ON Still in love after all these miles

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    If you can limit your charging to only 11PM-7AM weekdays, the EV rate is by far the best plan. Especially since you can now run, or supplement, your house with solar during the day. I only drive about 800-1000 miles per month. But my electric bill actually dropped 100/mth after moving to the EV rate, compared to before I bought the car. I now run my hot tub and other energy users at night, during the EV rate. I would do solar in a second. But I live in the mountains and while I get lots of light, I don't get enough direct sun all year to make it pan out.

    The thing to keep in mind is that, depending on the season, the peak rate can be 4X more than the night rate. That adds up fast if you charge during the day. Whether your solar array can power your car would depend on what it's output is when collecting those valuable rays.
     
  3. Electricfan

    Electricfan Member

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    I'm in Texas. I have free electricity after 9PM, and its 16.5 c/kwh after 6am.

    I obviously charge at night, and do my washing/drying at night or before 6am.

    I'm thinking of getting an on-demand water heater.

    My solar panels produce about 5 kw during the sunniest part of the day, and this covers all my house needs. It exports power most of the day.

    I feel like you can't go wrong with a plan that lets you charge your car at night, but I don't know what they're charging you during the day, so can't say for sure.

    All this gets more complex when Powerwalls become available. Not sure what I'll do then. But I know I want one!
     
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  4. tanner

    tanner Active Member

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    #4 tanner, Jan 16, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2016
    Just charge after 10pm during "super off-peak" - the time may vary for you. However, I have Souther Edison Electric and they sent me out a little fridge magnet after I switched over to the EV Rate plan (see attached image). IMG_5495.JPG

    As for whether solar is sufficient for charging during the day (note you can still charge during off-peak and not have to pay much), we'd need more information on the type of system they installed.

    Updated: after some ninja searches, I found the corresponding chart for PG&E: Electric Vehicles - Making Sense of the Rates | PG&E - just note that off-peak has been replaced with "partial-peak" and super off-peak with just "off-peak".
     
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  5. SanCarlos

    SanCarlos Member

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    Note that the OP has solar and so this may not be correct for someone that has both EV charging and solar generation. There have been a number of threads here (I believe) and on other forums and I think the general consensus has been that if you don't install a separate meter for the EV rate (and the cost of doing that eats up a lot of savings), then the E6 rate which is optimized for solar works best. The E6 rate has high rates at peak times, but those rates are also what PG&E pays for excess solar energy generated. I think that this generally offsets the slightly higher off-peak charges for times when you are charging an EV.

    All of that said, these calculations are really complicated and depend on how much energy you use and when you use it and the size and orientation of your solar system. Two suggestions for the OP: First, go to the company that installed your solar and see if they can help. They usually have sophisticated calculators for this sort of thing. I am surprised that they didn't have you switch to the E6 rate in the first place, but there may have been something about your usage that makes the E1 rate better. This is also an urgent question for the next few weeks because PG&E is changing its rate structure and only E6 customers will be eligible for grandfathering in to a new solar rate that is upcoming. (My solar company emailed me to make sure that I was on the E6 rate for this reason.) Second, google PG&E solar rate and EVs and you will find other discussions of this topic. In some cases, posters have developed spreadsheets that you can download. Make sure you read only recent threads since things have changed since last summer. Good luck!
     
  6. tanner

    tanner Active Member

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    If they're doing other things during the day, their solar system won't be enough to power it all and they'll start pulling from the grid.
     
  7. SanCarlos

    SanCarlos Member

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    That is true. However, most solar systems are sized so that they produce excess power during the day.
     
  8. tanner

    tanner Active Member

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    yes, but hardly any utilize a battery system to store said excess energy - hence Tesla's reason for developing the PowerWall.
     
  9. cciesingh

    cciesingh Member

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    I will go into the specifics.

    I have 16 panel solar, changed to EV rate as it seemed a good idea, did not research it.

    i drive 800 - 1000 miles a month.

    i can charge at night or day but currently charge after 11pm due to EV rate.

    Given my situation would it make sense to stick to EV rate or go to E6 or E1?

    i have also heard that the E6 rate will be removed in March
     
  10. SanCarlos

    SanCarlos Member

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    That won't be enough information if you want someone to to do the work for you. :wink: How many kW is your solar system? Different solar panels put out different wattage. How many kW do you use driving a month? Some people use a lot more than others for the same miles. What percentage of your electricity usage does your solar system produce? I'm not expecting answers. Just pointing out that no one will be able to answer the questions. The E6 rate goes away for new customers in March. Existing E6 customers will be grandfathered in until 2021. So it is good that you are looking into this because you have to make a decision quickly. Here is a blog post that details this. You can also call the PG&E solar hotline at 877-743-4112 and they may be able to help.
     
  11. tanner

    tanner Active Member

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    +1.
     
  12. mechapreneur

    mechapreneur Member

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    When I was investigating Solar, I heard many different stories about the way PG&E buys back the daytime power. The solar sales rep claims that they pay market rate during the day (roughly $0.36/KWh) and then you buy it back for cheap at night, which multiplies the KWh you generate during the day by a factor of 2-3. However, that seems to be the old net-metering method.

    I also heard that you simply get KWh credits during the day to offset your KWh usage at night. Any extra credits you have at the end of the year can be rolled to the next year or "trued up" for $0.03/KWh, which is well below the cost of solar. Therefore, you do not want to over provision your solar system.

    I never got a really straight answer from anyone as to which of these scenarios is true. And I did not buy the solar system so I have no actual experience with net-metering. But we did get the Model S and we did switch to the EV rate and our power cost has gone down substantially despite the massive increase in usage. I also moved our pool pumps to run 11pm-7am to take advantage of the low EV rates.
     
  13. FlatSix911

    FlatSix911 918 Hybrid

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    #13 FlatSix911, Jan 16, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2016
    Here is the PG&E Solar rate calculator posted by a member on another thread that is very useful. Thanks to Miimura :cool:

     
  14. Shaggy

    Shaggy Member

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    For comparison: Austin and solar

    The way Austin Energy does it: I buy every kW I use at various rates (Residential Electric Rates Line Items). They then buy every kW I produce at an annually set rate. 9 months ina dn I've yet to pay a penny. They offer time of use rates, but I have a big enough system that neither TOU or a battery system make financial sense. Current rules carry any negative balance forever and likewise never a check payout (a gift to the city). AE has the right to buy my production and claim green credits for 20 years (in exchange for their rebate). If I sell the house, the buyers have to agree to the same thing I did, but lose any credit I've built up.

    Currently my 20 SunPower e20 panels are slowly building up a surplus. It was sized based on my last year of bills when I had my PHEV.

    All this but our PHEV credit specifically excludes Tesla...
     
  15. aesculus

    aesculus Still Trying to Figure this All Out

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    Figuring out what your solar net at PG&E is not easy. The simplest way to explain it is that it works in reverse of your usage. Usage is on Tiers (4 of them). The more you use the more it costs you. Net energy metering follows the same Tiers. The more you produce each month the better rate you get (but it's in credits and not cash). So you work against your credits that offset any use you may consume. The Tiers are calculated month to month. Each month the Tiers are reset.

    At the end of the year if you have any remaining credit it is not given to you as cash, but they then apply a different rule that pays you a flat fee for the amount of total yearly over production and the credits are wiped clean. Last time I looked the payout was about 4 cents a kw hr. Not too good so it does not make sense to overproduce. In fact the best value for me seems to be when I produce just enough to stay within usage Tiers 1 & 2. It depends of course how much you paid for your solar system and the cost to run it.
     
  16. cciesingh

    cciesingh Member

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    I have been conducting some further research:

    I have recently moved into a new solar home and was on the E1 Plan, I only have one bill for 21 days which shows that I used 432 KWH (solar was not activated at the time)

    I switched to the EV Plan at the same time I activated my Solar and Picked up my Tesla :) My first bill on this plan is generated on 25th January.

    Looking at my circumstances from a High Level i think the E6 plan is perfect for me, I Work From Home Full Time therefore use energy at peak-times, not sure if Solar covers what I use in the Winter.

    Also I charge my Vehicle every 2-3 days for approx 4-5 hours at a time.

    The E6 Plan which is unavailable to enrol into from 1st March offers a slightly higher premium for off-peak charging (2c) but offers much cheaper Peak time rates and has a much longer off peak window.

    The EV Plan it seems is suitable for folks with Electric Vehicles and high charging requirements.

    If you have Solar then the best option is E6
     
  17. .andrew

    .andrew Member

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    If you have an iOS device, there is a great app that will look at *your* usage and do the math for each of PG&E's plans.

    Costs a few bucks but if you consider what it could save you, definitely worth the purchase.

    My PG&E Toolkit by Ndili Technologies, Inc.
    My PGE Toolkit on the App Store
     
  18. SanCarlos

    SanCarlos Member

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    That looks like a terrific app for $4.99. Going to download it and check it out. As everyone has noted it is almost impossible for a civilian to analyze these rates.
     
  19. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    I have run the numbers. I have a 9.5+kW system, am in the Bay Area, and EV-A is a clear cut winner over E6 for me. That said, I shifted my pool pump and cleaner to nighttime as well. My daytime utilization is near zero, so I sell back at almost 40c/kWh while purchasing at 10c. I run and forfeit a significant credit at each true-up. Regardless, we're adding more solar so that we can offset our energy use instead of just our energy costs.
     
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  20. FlatSix911

    FlatSix911 918 Hybrid

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