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PTO from PG&E - when do I have to pick TOU rate?

dancudds

Member
Nov 1, 2019
96
24
San Francisco
I'm still on E1 non-TOU rate. I got my PTO and my usage on PG&E's dashboard shows me feeding back so I'm wondering why I'll be forced onto a TOU and what rate plan that will be!

My interconnect agreement had the checkbox " Stay on existing rate " checked :shrug:
 

miimura

Well-Known Member
Aug 21, 2013
6,486
6,245
Los Altos, CA
I'm still on E1 non-TOU rate. I got my PTO and my usage on PG&E's dashboard shows me feeding back so I'm wondering why I'll be forced onto a TOU and what rate plan that will be!

My interconnect agreement had the checkbox " Stay on existing rate " checked :shrug:
If you didn't get Powerwalls and didn't take SGIP, you may not be forced to change to TOU until EVERYONE is forced to TOU. That day will come. I'm just not sure when.
 

Bigtanuki

Member
Dec 19, 2016
151
145
Atascadero, California
Having worked for PG&E for 28 years, I'm not surprised that your interconnect agreement shows no change. It's a huge bureaucracy and everything takes a LOT of time. That being said you would likely save money being on a TOU rate. You can change via a link on their website and that goes pretty quickly. I believe they limit you to one change every 6 months.
Be aware that PG&E as well as the other major electric utilities in California are transitioning to TOU for everyone. The plan is to mover everyone to TOU to add "market forces" to how we all use electricity. You'll be glad you have the Powerwalls once you get it all figured out.
As an electric car owner I was able to get on the EV rate which really leveraged the powerwalls. My last two true-ups were negligible for the year.
I have a 4.1 kW PV system and 3 Powerwalls. I'm on the Central Coast in Atascadero so lots of good sunshine.
 
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dancudds

Member
Nov 1, 2019
96
24
San Francisco
Thanks guys - I have a PW so I think I should be moved to TOU.

All of my billing assumptions have been that I'll be on TOU. I understand for non-PW customers, being on the legacy tiered plans is better but perhaps I want to bank the extra credits now with a TOU. Unfortunately, their plan guidance will be based on my old usage. My tier 1 total cost is 28c/KwH which (assuming I get that NEM2.0 credit) seems just as good as I my solar will pump out 95% of the time (I have limited 4pm+ production due to shading etc).
 

charlesj

Active Member
Oct 22, 2019
1,239
271
Monterey, CA
Having worked for PG&E for 28 years, I'm not surprised that your interconnect agreement shows no change. It's a huge bureaucracy and everything takes a LOT of time. That being said you would likely save money being on a TOU rate. You can change via a link on their website and that goes pretty quickly. I believe they limit you to one change every 6 months.
Be aware that PG&E as well as the other major electric utilities in California are transitioning to TOU for everyone. The plan is to mover everyone to TOU to add "market forces" to how we all use electricity. You'll be glad you have the Powerwalls once you get it all figured out.
As an electric car owner I was able to get on the EV rate which really leveraged the powerwalls. My last two true-ups were negligible for the year.
I have a 4.1 kW PV system and 3 Powerwalls. I'm on the Central Coast in Atascadero so lots of good sunshine.
Are you able to fully charge the 3 PW on a sunny day after normal house usage?
Do you have much fog there as ytou are on the other side of the mountain range there?

I have a bit smaller one, 3.9 kW with 2 PW recently installed. Winters can be hard on production here with all the clouds.
 

jboy210

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Dec 2, 2016
5,386
3,340
Northern California
Thanks guys - I have a PW so I think I should be moved to TOU.

All of my billing assumptions have been that I'll be on TOU. I understand for non-PW customers, being on the legacy tiered plans is better but perhaps I want to bank the extra credits now with a TOU. Unfortunately, their plan guidance will be based on my old usage. My tier 1 total cost is 28c/KwH which (assuming I get that NEM2.0 credit) seems just as good as I my solar will pump out 95% of the time (I have limited 4pm+ production due to shading etc).

Hopefully your PWs should carry you through the 5-8 peak and perhaps even into the next day where you start getting power from the solar again. Depending upon your setup and planning it is possible to be 100% self powered for many days. So TOU rates have minimal impact.
 

aesculus

Still Trying to Figure This All Out
May 31, 2015
4,517
2,570
Northern California
Thanks guys - I have a PW so I think I should be moved to TOU.

All of my billing assumptions have been that I'll be on TOU. I understand for non-PW customers, being on the legacy tiered plans is better but perhaps I want to bank the extra credits now with a TOU. Unfortunately, their plan guidance will be based on my old usage. My tier 1 total cost is 28c/KwH which (assuming I get that NEM2.0 credit) seems just as good as I my solar will pump out 95% of the time (I have limited 4pm+ production due to shading etc).

It's a very difficult calculation to determine if you are coming from a non TOU plan to a TOU one. And if you run your PWs in Cost Based mode and time shift as much load as you physically can, it will be even more complex. But that is where you are going to get the most financial value.

You almost need to guess at how much load is being consumed by various devices in your home, for how long and when. Then once you have that info decide how much you can time shift. They you can come up with a new pricing/load model.

Then it gets kind of complex because with Cost Based mode the PWs will attempt to not use any grid power during peak and also send as much solar as they can during that time to get the most credit ($) for you. To do this they will generally need to charge the PWs to 100% during partial (off peak) depending on the TOU plan you are on. And of course there are options there too from regular TOU plans to EV plans.

Good luck.
 

Bigtanuki

Member
Dec 19, 2016
151
145
Atascadero, California
Are you able to fully charge the 3 PW on a sunny day after normal house usage?
Do you have much fog there as ytou are on the other side of the mountain range there?

I have a bit smaller one, 3.9 kW with 2 PW recently installed. Winters can be hard on production here with all the clouds.

Our system produces about 29kWh (max) on the summer solstice and about 12kWh (max) on the winter solstice. We live in Atascadero so it's pretty clear most of the summer with cloud cover being rare during the summer months.
Your system performance is likely different based on orientation, shading, etc., etc.. For our purposes, the battery gets to 100% for about 9 months a year. Usual summer usage leaves us at greater than 75% in the morning. We run the Tesla software in advanced, Time Based Control most of the time. TBC manages charging of the battery and distribution of the solar to home, battery, or grid to achieve 100% by the time we reach peak rates. During peak rates the home is powered only by the battery. Recent firmware updates have fixed a major vulnerability that occurs if you are charging an electric vehicle and the power goes out. Prior to the recent changes the situation where grid power goes down while vehicle charging is taking place could, very easily, completely drain the battery. This would occur because the reserve setting for the battery is bypassed when operating with the grid down. The newest software created a separate reserve value for this particular situation so there would always be enough in the battery to allow the PV system to start up in the morning.

The TBC is critical if you purchased the powerwalls using the SGIP funding. SGIP requires that the battery system must discharge the equivalent of 687kWh/battery back into the grid annually for five years. Tesla software assures that this will happen automatically. I'm not sure if any other home battery system can or will do this.

All other things being equal, I have to believe that the Powerwalls beat the pants off of the other systems out there if only for fact that they get updated firmware just like Tesla vehicles.

Feel free to DM me if you have any questions.
 
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