TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

Special charging rates available in my City

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by ummgood, Sep 27, 2016.

  1. ummgood

    ummgood Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2016
    Messages:
    283
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    I live in Austin and right now my power bill is really high in the summer. I have no solar and my house is a huge power hungry mess. We have 3700 sq.ft. of house with a pool etc... I know I am not as high as I was paying in California but right now in the summer I easily hit the highest tier on my power bill. Getting a solar system has crossed my mind but my roof I feel isn't very decent for solar. I have lots of peaks/valleys and even a turret looking section. I honestly don't know on the south side how they would get all those panels up there.

    Anyway I was looking at my city's rebates etc... for solar and noticed they have a special program for EV charging at home. You basically sign up and then you get what looks like unlimited charging off peak for $50/month AND free charging at the stations around town. Now I am not sure if I am reading this right. I would have to get a second meter installed on my house for this and have it hooked up to my charging port in the garage. I am not sure if this would be worth while or not... I probably drive right now about 10k miles a year in my truck but I am guessing if the Tesla were available we would use it on the weekends more than our minivan if it meant free fuel. Right now given our current gas prices I pay about $70-80/month for fuel on my truck. I know a car the size of a Model 3 would be cheaper to fuel but if I had a BMW 3 series or an Audi A4 I know I wouldn't get that good of mileage because I like to drive "enthusiastically" where in the truck it feels like a blob so I drive it like a blob. My '05 Mustang GT I averaged about 15mpg which is worse that my truck to put it in perspective. And I had a Ford focus for a week and I averaged about 23mpg in that so I don't tend to drive for efficiency.

    Here is the page...
    http://austinenergy.com/wps/wcm/connect/2ec866e7-4556-407b-baed-207b227c9441/ResidentialPilotPrograms.pdf?MOD=AJPERES

    The car charging section is at the very end...
     
  2. ummgood

    ummgood Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2016
    Messages:
    283
    Location:
    Austin, TX
  3. ummgood

    ummgood Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2016
    Messages:
    283
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Here is the south facing side of my house. I really don't know where the panels would go...

    [​IMG]
     
  4. ummgood

    ummgood Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2016
    Messages:
    283
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Maybe I should have put this post in the Charging section if a mod wants to move it. I am a future Model 3 buyer.
     
  5. Booga

    Booga Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2016
    Messages:
    362
    Location:
    Ohio
    How much do they charge per kWh? Does it vary by time of day?

    If you assume that a 55 kWh battery will deliver 215 miles of range and you pay 13 cents per kWh, then this is what it'll cost you in a year without that $50/month plan.

    10,000 miles: $330
    15,000 miles: $495
    20,000 miles: $660

    You'll see that compared to $600/year, the break even point is somewhere between 15k and 20k miles per year of travel, depending on the specifics. Their plan will be useful to you if you anticipate driving more miles (and charging at home when doing so rather than at superchargers on the highway) than 15-20k per year, or if you intend on using the city chargers. My bet is that if you have charging at home, you won't really need city chargers much. Even the base model will start your day with up to 215 miles of range every day and even more with an upgrade.
     
  6. Trips

    Trips Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2015
    Messages:
    152
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    Not a solar expert but and learning more each day. The minimum fees that you would pay to stay hooked up seem really high. If the new Powerwall coming out next month can power your pool, car and other parts of your house for $50/month that might be an option. I am guessing the utilities were not planning for a car charger to be able to power all of your house.
     
  7. ummgood

    ummgood Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2016
    Messages:
    283
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Thanks for the break down. If I could get my wife on electric then that would really make a difference because we could charge two cars off of the $50/month.

    I provided a link to the rates. We don't pay based on time of day but based on how much we use each month. Basically my house gets in the upper tiers for electric easy 4 or 5 months out of the year. Winter and Spring I probably get into the second highest tier. So any car charging will probably be in the highest rate tier easy most of the year. It should still be more cost effective than my gas truck and I want a Tesla so I am not comparing against a Prius or something like that (that car doesn't appeal to me at all). If I wasn't getting the Model 3 I probably would get an Audi S4 used or something along those lines so I still would be in the similar range as my truck as far as fuel consumption. (Plus my truck is getting up in age so I use my wife's van when I need to run errands so my truck is strictly a commute car unless she needs to go somewhere when I do. I am guessing if I had a new car I would drive it more to run errands instead of my wife's van).

    Honestly that is an option but I don't know if I would feel right powering my house off the power wall from that meter if it is earmarked for car charging honestly. I could probably get away with it but I probably would not feel morally right doing so.
     
  8. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2016
    Messages:
    1,227
    Location:
    Palmdale, CA
    The second meter installation might add a pretty high initial cost to overcome for your plan as well. Around here, adding a second meter for an EV plan was going to cost me upwards of $1500-$2000. But I am living in CA, so maybe your utility is more reasonable with the 2nd meter requirements. I would get some bids by electricians for that part before you decide.
     
  9. ummgood

    ummgood Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2016
    Messages:
    283
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    I definitely probably would go this route if I was in California. We were in the wine country and the power bill on our house there was near what it was here in Texas but we didn't have a pool or two A/C units. Plus we didn't have to cool our house all day only from 2 to 6p.m. because we had a whole house fan that would cool the place off at night and then close up in the morning.

    I'll check into quotes for the electrician work. I am going to have to get a charging plug installed in my garage anyway so I'll get quotes for both. Since I'll already have the person out doing things it might not be as large of an incremental cost as it would be to have it done if I already had a plug out there.

    Plus I don't know if I'll need a larger service connection due to my power usage. After we bought the house we switched the stove to gas and we have a gas drier instead of electric so we have extra but I don't know with the pool pump added last year what our total load is and what we would need. So an electrician definitely has to be involved. Thankfully we have DC charging at work for free so I can charge there for a bit until I get my house situated.
     
  10. Booga

    Booga Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2016
    Messages:
    362
    Location:
    Ohio
    My mom would likely benefit from the Model 3, but she's cautious when it comes to any kind of a change in her life, especially her car. My bet is that she will want one after she sees how easy mine is to drive and how safe it is. Her driving is in the city and she has a garage to park in, so there is no range issue at all even with just the base model.

    As a strategy, I wouldn't try to push her on an electric car before getting your's, but offer it once you get it and she sees just how great it is.
     
  11. ummgood

    ummgood Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2016
    Messages:
    283
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Thanks that is probably what will happen. Right now we have 3 kids at home and we really need the storage and people hauling ability of our Honda Odyssey. Right now the only electric that will suitably replace that is the Model X and frankly it is way too expensive and the interior choices that Tesla made make it not as versatile as the Odyssey. (I am mainly referring to the fixed back seats in the middle row).
     
  12. Booga

    Booga Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2016
    Messages:
    362
    Location:
    Ohio
    Nod - the X really is too expensive. I'm curious to see the smaller SUV that Tesla has planned, because that could possibly work well for a lot of people.
     
  13. Garlan Garner

    Garlan Garner Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2016
    Messages:
    3,204
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    I don't pay anything to remain hooked up to the grid. I have a 20 year interconnection agreement with ComEd of Illinois. On another note - unless the powerwall prices come down....I can't consider them as an option.

    BTW, my panels are installed on the east and west sides of my house and they produce far more energy that what I need for the year.

    You can track my solar progress in my signature of this post.
     
  14. ummgood

    ummgood Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2016
    Messages:
    283
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    This is interesting...

    I am not too good at this but here are my consumption rates so far during the summer:
    Jun - 2200kW
    July - 3200kW
    Aug - 3300kW
    Sept - 2500kW

    Our lightest month was Feb at 991kW. How many sqft of panels would you need? I am not sure if the East side of my house would get as much sun because of large oak trees.
     
  15. Garlan Garner

    Garlan Garner Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2016
    Messages:
    3,204
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    Very interesting. You are using quite a bit more power than I am on a monthly basis. I'm averaging 1400KWH less on a summer monthly basis. Of course you live in Texas and I suppose your AC is constantly running in the summer. The sq ft of our homes are approx. the same.

    I would say this to everyone though - Any solar is better than no solar.

    Even if you can't recoup all of your Electrical usage.....solar is the most maintenance free solution I have found. I have had wind turbines of all kinds as well as hydro generators and solar is the easiest by far to have. It makes no noise, and has no moving parts - ( unless you consider all those electrons running around like busy little bees).
     
    • Like x 1
  16. jonnyg

    jonnyg Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2016
    Messages:
    171
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    I'd be surprised if you're allowed to hook up a Powerwall to the meter/outlet designated for car charging. Certainly that would violate whatever agreements you would sign when doing that plan. At least that was what I found when I looked into the special EV charging rates/plans in my area.
     
  17. jonnyg

    jonnyg Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2016
    Messages:
    171
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Try this website: Project Sunroof

    Should help you understand how much sun your house gets, how many panels you would need, etc. I think there are others like it too, but that's the one I'm familiar with.
     
  18. Garlan Garner

    Garlan Garner Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2016
    Messages:
    3,204
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #18 Garlan Garner, Sep 27, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2016
    I'm not sure what you mean by hook up a Powerwall to the meter, but indeed you can. The whole objective of solar is to spin the meter backwards on you home and/or to charge a battery of some kind. Many people think solar is designed to power things in your home. Nope - spin that meter backwards and let the grid power your home. There are very few solar systems that can provide the necessary startup current to get AC units going. Let the grid do it.
    My meter spins 13000 times backwards and maybe 5000 times forward in an entire day during the summer. However it only spins 4000 times backwards and 5000 times forward in the winter months with the short sun cycles. Anyway - you get the gist. Then every year come April 1st I "true-up" with the power company for the year and the last 3 years has yielded a $1800 check to me for the overage I produced for the year. That's with my 54 panels facing east and west. Just think if they faced south.

    Below is my setup except that I don't use powerwall - its a little too expensive for my taste. My son and I installed the whole shebang. I have 2 of these systems below as I split my 54 panels between 2 inverters. You can access my cloud based monitoring platform from my signature at the bottom of this post. I hope this helps someone.

    StorEdge%20Flyer_Grid-tied%20and%20Backup_NA_letter_3.png
     
  19. ummgood

    ummgood Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2016
    Messages:
    283
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Thanks! I'll probably get quotes and see how it would help. I think if it could get me down a couple tier levels it would save me some big money. (depending on the cost of my system). I might be able to get some on the south side of my roof but not too many. My roof is crazy it has so many peaks/valleys I really don't know how many I could get on there.

    We have two A/C units. One is 4.5 ton and the other is 3 ton. They run all the time in the summer (we normally have summer pushing 100 if not over). We don't have our house set to unusual temps either we keep it at 78. I am planning on switching out our thermostats for smarter ones to see if I can help with that at all. I might be able to have the upstairs work less in the summer when the kids are in school or are not up there but it isn't something I can easily schedule.

    The other big usage is our pool but I have that as efficient as possible. Our pool runs all day/night using 60watts. Then it runs for 2 hours using about 1000 watts. We just had the pool put in last year and it has all the energy efficient stuff. In fact my power bill is less than last year but that is weather related so I can't say that I can tell how much the pool really effects our bill. Plus I switched most of the house bulbs out for LED last year so I think that alone offset the cost of the pool.

    You're probably right about that...

    It doesn't work in my area it says :(

    Thanks again for the info. I think what he means is the EV special rate thing I referred to in the first post would probably not allow me to hook up a power wall and attach it to my house. What he was saying is use the free energy from the car charger in my house to load up a power wall during the off hours and then during the day run the house off the power wall to reduce my energy consumption on the main power grid. The details of that agreement seem to state that you can only use the power from that extra meter to charge a car.
     
  20. Garlan Garner

    Garlan Garner Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2016
    Messages:
    3,204
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    I was reading your post concerning your AC units and I remembered one last huge thing that I didn't even anticipate when I installed my system is the air-gap that exists between the panels and the roof. This air-gap has caused my roof shingles to be at least 60 - 90 degrees cooler thereby resulting in my AC units not having to work half as hard in the summer months. My attic was significantly cooler. I noticed this because I have an attic fan that would usually come on before I got solar panels and I was wondering why I never heard it after I installed the panels. I thought it was broken until I went up there and was shocked that it was only 95 degrees in the attic on a 95 degree day and it was because the panels blocked the sun from hitting the roof and the ventilation is just that much better. This was a huge unanticipated bonus.
     

Share This Page