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Power Cost Adjustment (PCA)

Andronova

New Member
Mar 29, 2021
3
0
MN
Looking for some insight/expertise/advice. Just got my model 3 on the weekend (was supposed to be a 13-week wait and less than 24-hours after ordering I had a call that they had one available... awesome but I now feel a little behind the 8-ball!)

My question is in trying to understand what PCA is and if it’s good? These are the options my electric company are giving me and I’m just not sure which is better based on the PCA bit. Any insight/explanation/pointers would be hugely appreciated. The opt


Option 1: Electric Vehicle Storage Charging Program

  • Energy rate during charging time is $.06 per kWh.
  • Energy rate is not subject to Power Cost Adjustment (PCA).
  • Charging time is eight hours per day, generally from 11 p.m. - 7 a.m.
  • Charging is not available all other hours.
  • Requires a separate meter socket and receiver to be installed on the outside of home.
  • Rebates up to $500. The EV must have a minimum of 4.5kW charger rating to qualify.
Option 2: Electric Vehicle Time-of-Use Program

  • Energy rate varies during the day:
    • From 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays - $0.21750 per kWh
    • All other hours and holidays - $0.06330 per kWh.
  • Energy rate will be subject to PCA.
  • Charging is available 24/7.
  • Requires a separate meter socket to be installed on the outside of home.
  • Rebates up to $500. The EV must have a minimum of 4.5kW charger rating to qualify.
Do I want to be subject to PCA? What does that do exactly? A couple of googles later and I’m more confused than ever.
 

Andronova

New Member
Mar 29, 2021
3
0
MN
This is the only other option - I have to buy the charger they state. Trying to find out what jt is


Purchase your ZEFNET charging station at the EnergyWiseMN Store

Selecting a high-quality electric-vehicle charger that meets your needs has never been easier! WH has partnered with Energy Wise MN to take the guesswork out of purchasing an EV charger. We’ve narrowed it down to our top three models, and we’ll help you find the one that best fits your lifestyle.

  • No metering outside the home, meter is onboard the unit.
  • Energy rate during charging time is $.06 per kWh.
  • Energy rate is not subject to Power Cost Adjustment (PCA).
  • Charging time is eight hours per day, generally from 11 p.m. - 7 a.m.
  • Charging is not available all other hours.
  • Rebates up to $1,000. The EV must have a minimum of 4.5kW charger rating to qualify.
But you have to buy one of their chargers:

A ZEFNet 7.7 kw charger, a 10 kw charger or an 11.5 kw charger.
 
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jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
14,287
18,082
Riverside Co. CA
Hmm.. I dont know what that is for your utility, I havent heard that term before. The cost of your power is so cheap (relatively speaking, compared to where I am) that its a bit hard to wrap my head around. What is your current cost for electricity? Meaning, are you going to penalized if you do nothing at all different and just charge your car at whatever current rates you have?
 
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Sophias_dad

Active Member
Supporting Member
Jul 29, 2018
2,179
2,465
Massachusetts
Hhttps://www.whe.org/your-electric-account/billing-payment/understand-your-bill/residential-rates.html

OP is currently getting charged these below items, combined:
  1. Basic monthly service charge: $17.90
  2. General service rate: $0.0950 per kWh
  3. Power Cost Adjustment (PCA), which is subject to change:
    1. $0.02266 per kWh, January - March
    2. $0.01750 per kWh, April
    3. $0.01866 per kWh, May
    4. $0.02975 per kWh, June - September
    5. $0.01558 per kWh, October
    6. $0.01866 per kWh, November - December
Interestingly, only option 2 remains subject to the PCA. Options 1 and 3 are a flat 0.06/kwh.

From https://www.whe.org/assets/documents/Financial/rate-schedule-reading-order-final-2020.pdf:
"The member will pay the cost and arrange to install all special equipment and/or additional switching mechanisms necessary to permit electric vehicle charging control." , so it is on OP to pay for the second meter in either option 1 or 2. I suppose it depends on the amount of driving OP will do, but right there and without doing the math I'd just avoid 1 and 2 and stick with the ~0.11/kwh rate as if you didn't have an EV.

Both option 1 and 2 would have promise, if Wright-Hennepin could get together with Tesla to use their HPWC gen3 wifi to do the time-of-use controls/monitoring, but that will never happen.

The three chargers available for option 3 are $395(7.7kw),$465(10kw),and $629 (11.5kw). (Each of these prices is after a $500 rebate) Given those choices, I'd take the 10kw version, assuming your electric panel can support that new 40 amp continuous draw. The 10kw can fully charge a model 3 long range overnight, every night, and is only $70 more than the 7.7kw version. The increased $164 to step to 11.5 instead of 10kw is unlikely to ever be needed.

OP needs to figure out how far he's gonna drive, and whether any of the options are worth it. I'll do a thumbnail sketch taking 12k miles per year:
12000 miles, times 300 wh/mile (250wh/mi plus various losses), you could debate its a bit more than that, but whatever
that's 3.6Mwh, or 3600kwh.

On the 0.06/kwh rate of option 3 or option 1, that's $216 per year.

On the just plain electric usage rate of 0.095+0.023003(average over 12 months, assuming the same usage per month), that's ~$425 per year. Note that the 0.023003 is subject to change over the years.

Note that none of these options can truly keep you from charging outside the prescribed times if you just use the UMC that comes with the car and have a decent outlet in the garage.

So the question becomes how much OP will drive, and how long they will stay in the house. They'll save $200 per year in electric bills, but the upfront cost of option 3 is $465 plus installation. I guess any solution OP takes will need some installation unless they already have a decent outlet in the garage, so maybe we should just consider that $465 as the incremental cost. So OP, do you plan to stay in the house for more than three years? Do you drive 12k miles per year, locally enough so you'll always charge at home? You can't consider the thousand mile roadtrip in the amount of charge-at-home miles.
 
Last edited:
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Sophias_dad

Active Member
Supporting Member
Jul 29, 2018
2,179
2,465
Massachusetts
Thinking further on this, the 10kw charger might be overkill since you aren't supposed to be 0-100% charging frequently. If we instead think about 20-90%, that's around 56kwh as a charge session on an 80kwh long-range battery. The 7.7kw charger will deliver 61.6kwh in 8 hours. Note that this assumes you don't leave for work before the allotted charging window ends.

A potential benefit to Option 1 is that since they(or someone) are putting in a separate meter, they might be completely bypassing your own meter and panel, so you might not have to consider the extra load put on your meter/panel as you would with option 3. I'd be interested in the costs for the option 1 install, out of curiosity.
 
Upvote 1

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
14,287
18,082
Riverside Co. CA
Hhttps://www.whe.org/your-electric-account/billing-payment/understand-your-bill/residential-rates.html

OP is currently getting charged these below items, combined:
  1. Basic monthly service charge: $17.90
  2. General service rate: $0.0950 per kWh
  3. Power Cost Adjustment (PCA), which is subject to change:
    1. $0.02266 per kWh, January - March
    2. $0.01750 per kWh, April
    3. $0.01866 per kWh, May
    4. $0.02975 per kWh, June - September
    5. $0.01558 per kWh, October
    6. $0.01866 per kWh, November - December
Interestingly, only option 2 remains subject to the PCA. Options 1 and 3 are a flat 0.06/kwh.

From https://www.whe.org/assets/documents/Financial/rate-schedule-reading-order-final-2020.pdf:
"The member will pay the cost and arrange to install all special equipment and/or additional switching mechanisms necessary to permit electric vehicle charging control." , so it is on OP to pay for the second meter in either option 1 or 2. I suppose it depends on the amount of driving OP will do, but right there and without doing the math I'd just avoid 1 and 2 and stick with the ~0.11/kwh rate as if you didn't have an EV.

Both option 1 and 2 would have promise, if Wright-Hennepin could get together with Tesla to use their HPWC gen3 wifi to do the time-of-use controls/monitoring, but that will never happen.

The three chargers available for option 3 are $395(7.7kw),$465(10kw),and $629 (11.5kw). (Each of these prices is after a $500 rebate) Given those choices, I'd take the 10kw version, assuming your electric panel can support that new 40 amp continuous draw. The 10kw can fully charge a model 3 long range overnight, every night, and is only $70 more than the 7.7kw version. The increased $164 to step to 11.5 instead of 10kw is unlikely to ever be needed.

OP needs to figure out how far he's gonna drive, and whether any of the options are worth it. I'll do a thumbnail sketch taking 12k miles per year:
12000 miles, times 300 wh/mile (250wh/mi plus various losses), you could debate its a bit more than that, but whatever
that's 3.6Mwh, or 3600kwh.

On the 0.06/kwh rate of option 3 or option 1, that's $216 per year.

On the just plain electric usage rate of 0.095+0.023003(average over 12 months, assuming the same usage per month), that's ~$425 per year. Note that the 0.023003 is subject to change over the years.

Note that none of these options can truly keep you from charging outside the prescribed times if you just use the UMC that comes with the car and have a decent outlet in the garage.

So the question becomes how much OP will drive, and how long they will stay in the house. They'll save $200 per year in electric bills, but the upfront cost of option 3 is $465 plus installation. I guess any solution OP takes will need some installation unless they already have a decent outlet in the garage, so maybe we should just consider that $465 as the incremental cost. So OP, do you plan to stay in the house for more than three years? Do you drive 12k miles per year, locally enough so you'll always charge at home? You can't consider the thousand mile roadtrip in the amount of charge-at-home miles.
Many people here willing to go the extra mile for others with this kind of help / information, is one of the reasons that even before I was a moderator here I visited this site every day.

This is an incredibly helpful post, thanks for taking the time to help out a new owner with some detailed analysis!
 
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ATPMSD

Active Member
Mar 12, 2021
1,164
1,042
Atlanta, GA
Option 1 seems to be the better deal for charging since 11 pm to 7 am is more than adequate for charging, especially if you install a 14-50 plug or a TWC. Also, you can still use your 120v outlets or install a second plug off the main panel, if you really need the option to charge outside of the defined timeframe. And of course you can use a Supercharger or something like ChargePoint stations for the occasional need.
 
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jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
14,287
18,082
Riverside Co. CA
Wow is right. Unnecessarily complicated and restrictive. I've never heard of an electric company that makes you put another meter on your house in order to charge an EV. Also they make your buy a charger from them? What a scam.

Putting another meter on your home for EV charging is an option in CA, if you want certain rates. Our rates for electricity are prohibitively expensive anyway, though. They also want you to put another meter on your home out here if you get a solar system larger than a certain size, or have more than XX amount of battery storage on site (like powerwalls), but that rule is changing.
 
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Reactions: Gasaraki
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Andronova

New Member
Mar 29, 2021
3
0
MN
Holy smokes! First off, thank you for the replies and detailed information. A LOT to take in here and glad I wasn’t the only one overwhelmed by the electric company. I’ve reached out to the electric company for costs of the install! I’ll keep you posted!

Again, cannot thank you enough!!!
 
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brkaus

Well-Known Member
Jul 8, 2014
8,507
7,141
Austin, TX
Putting another meter on your home for EV charging is an option in CA, if you want certain rates. Our rates for electricity are prohibitively expensive anyway, though. They also want you to put another meter on your home out here if you get a solar system larger than a certain size, or have more than XX amount of battery storage on site (like powerwalls), but that rule is changing.
I have a separate meter in Austin. Actually, it’s behind the primary meter.

They reduce the main meter measurement by the energy that goes through the EV meter at off peak times. (Simplified)
 
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Sophias_dad

Active Member
Supporting Member
Jul 29, 2018
2,179
2,465
Massachusetts
They reduce the main meter measurement by the energy that goes through the EV meter at off peak times. (Simplified)
I wonder if they also have remote access to disable the EV meter output at peak times. Sounds like they should(or should add it), given the power issues Texas seems to be having.
 
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brkaus

Well-Known Member
Jul 8, 2014
8,507
7,141
Austin, TX
I wonder if they also have remote access to disable the EV meter output at peak times. Sounds like they should(or should add it), given the power issues Texas seems to be having.

It’s a pilot rate plan. They did not claim that ability, although it would be reasonable.

they did reserve the right to replace my EVSE with one of their choice. I assume for even more fine grain control.

If I exceed 10% of the monthly EV energy use in prime time I believe all usage gets billed that month as prime time use.
 
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ATPMSD

Active Member
Mar 12, 2021
1,164
1,042
Atlanta, GA
People with PG&E that install the EVB rate plan meter pay $0.33 minimum per day regardless if they take energy through the meter or not. That way PG&E makes some $ even if the owner unplugs things from the meter. Sad.

I guess if you paid them to install the meter than I undertand, but they still have to maintain it. And if you did not pay them to install it then you are suggesting they should eat the cost of the meter, installation and maintenance so you can reduce your electric bill?
 
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miimura

Well-Known Member
Aug 21, 2013
7,199
7,152
Los Altos, CA
People with PG&E that install the EVB rate plan meter pay $0.33 minimum per day regardless if they take energy through the meter or not. That way PG&E makes some $ even if the owner unplugs things from the meter. Sad.
This metering cost is inconsequential for an EV-B customer. Feel bad for customers that have very small loads like some HOA common area lighting or a community antenna amplifier. The usage is so small, you're really paying monthly for metering and minimum charges just for the privilege of having electricity.

Generally, I think that Sub-Metering should be mandated to be made available by regulators. The fact that people have to pay crazy Peak prices for their A/C in exchange for getting cheap off-peak EV charging is not right. The utilities, especially the California IOUs could easily implement sub-metering for EVs with their own meters, yet they did this ridiculous trial with third party EVSE based metering. Just allow the customer to install a meter socket next to their EVSE and put a normal SmartMeter there. Program the billing system to charge for the EV usage on that meter and subtract it from the main meter. Very simple. But no, the IOUs force you to disconnect your main service and add a splice ahead of the existing meter to install a second meter. This is an unnecessarily onerous procedure for something that can be done in software in the billing system.
 
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holeydonut

Active Member
Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
3,108
2,458
East Bay NorCal
This metering cost is inconsequential for an EV-B customer. Feel bad for customers that have very small loads like some HOA common area lighting or a community antenna amplifier. The usage is so small, you're really paying monthly for metering and minimum charges just for the privilege of having electricity.

Generally, I think that Sub-Metering should be mandated to be made available by regulators. The fact that people have to pay crazy Peak prices for their A/C in exchange for getting cheap off-peak EV charging is not right. The utilities, especially the California IOUs could easily implement sub-metering for EVs with their own meters, yet they did this ridiculous trial with third party EVSE based metering. Just allow the customer to install a meter socket next to their EVSE and put a normal SmartMeter there. Program the billing system to charge for the EV usage on that meter and subtract it from the main meter. Very simple. But no, the IOUs force you to disconnect your main service and add a splice ahead of the existing meter to install a second meter. This is an unnecessarily onerous procedure for something that can be done in software in the billing system.


I thought an EV-B customer was still paying normal TOU rates on the base home energy, and that only the actual second meter was at the EV-B rate?

Are you saying every EV-B customer is paying $0.56 per kWh for all kWh their house uses from 2pm to 9pm today? That is... so astronomically brutal. Yeah $0.33 per day regardless of energy usage on the sub-meter is peanuts hah. People would literally have a higher energy bill staying on normal TOU than moving to EV-B unless they were driving 150 miles a day or something and they aren't home to use energy until 9pm.
 
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