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Texas owners: Free nights or Net metering

TNMP is slow rolling out 5G smart meters and when the AT&T 3g cell network shut down earlier in the year a lot of people essentially had dumb meters all of a sudden that had to be read by hand. This obviously doesn’t work for an hourly electric service. I had to call TNMP and get them to enter a service request to prioritize my replacement because Amigo was threatening to roll me into a regular plan at $.15/h. I’m guessing the lack of plans that you’re seeing might be somehow related.

From one of the RSPs: TNMP Customers will have some Disruption and Changes to Service | Rhythm

That’s interesting. I though the smart meter communicated back over the power grid.

I’m in an Oncor area and according to my google search, they have completed their upgrades. I do remember an Oncor guy coming out to work on my meter a few years ago. Guess that is when they swapped it out.
 
That’s interesting. I though the smart meter communicated back over the power grid.

I’m in an Oncor area and according to my google search, they have completed their upgrades. I do remember an Oncor guy coming out to work on my meter a few years ago. Guess that is when they swapped it out.
Power metering isn't my engineering specialty but I do know that TNMP uses the GE 210 series smart meter. The service provider can specify which comm modules to install and powerline communications is an option, along with cellular, mesh RF, and even Ethernet. I think TNMP specs out cellular only.
 
TNMP is slow rolling out 5G smart meters and when the AT&T 3g cell network shut down earlier in the year a lot of people essentially had dumb meters all of a sudden that had to be read by hand. This obviously doesn’t work for an hourly electric service. I had to call TNMP and get them to enter a service request to prioritize my replacement because Amigo was threatening to roll me into a regular plan at $.15/h. I’m guessing the lack of plans that you’re seeing might be somehow related.

From one of the RSPs: TNMP Customers will have some Disruption and Changes to Service | Rhythm
Yes, I did get my 'old' 3G meter swapped out shortly after my install. For a minute or two I thought that was my new net-metering meter but no, it was the 'dumb' meter. They put it on nearly every house in the neighborhood. Tesla has the new meter information to get my PTO going, but I'm thinking my PTO may be impacted by this ridiculous meter issue. When I went on Amigo's website it did not reflect the free nights plan. How did you get TNMP to swap out your meter and what did they replace it with? Are they already rolling our new smart meters in your area?
 
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Yes, I did get my 'old' 3G meter swapped out shortly after my install. For a minute or two I thought that was my new net-metering meter but no, it was the 'dumb' meter. They put it on nearly every house in the neighborhood. Tesla has the new meter information to get my PTO going, but I'm thinking my PTO may be impacted by this ridiculous meter issue. When I went on Amigo's website it did not reflect the free nights plan. How did you get TNMP to swap out your meter and what did they replace it with? Are they already rolling our new smart meters in your area?

I had Amigo’s plan before the hoopla around TNMP’s meter swaps so it showed up on their website and under aggregator websites like powertochoose.org and the like. We got TNMP to swap our meter by calling their support phone number and hounding them to put in a service ticket to have it swapped. Mainly my wife nagged them into submission.

Amigo had been calling me trying to get me to switch to a plain vanilla plan and there was no way in hell I was going to do that. I recall a particularly memorable conversation with their India based call center with the rep trying to convince me that their flat rate $.16/kWh plan was “great cheap” and would save me money over my $.24 free nights plan. I told him “buddy, I’m already hustling you guys to pay basically the grid minimum. Unless you’re going to start sending me checks there’s no deal”. But then I had to get TNMP off their butts to back me up. I wonder if Amigo or other companies would give you the free nights rate “off menu” if you could show them that you had the right meter…
 
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Thanks. I read a few of your posts to understand how the free nights work so it got me thinking to get free nights as well. :)

From what I see on GM's website, there is no "regular" version whereas all "All Nighter" plans say "Premier"...

Because of the price jump from GM and I specified the system to cover 100% of our usage, would I still see a lower cost with free nights? :rolleyes:
Our system was spec'd to cover 82% of estimated usage (we had it installed before the house was 12 months old, so we did not have a full year of usage). Now that we've been here for coming up on 2 years, our actual usage is lower that that estimate. For May, the system gave us 89% coverage, but was over 100% from Nov to April. I suspect we'll end our first full year on Solar in August at 90%+

As for the price jump, I would look at it and wonder if it really matters. In our case, 98%+ of our grid draw is during the free nights period (and the Tesla app show 0% grid draw on-peak, although if I go to the GM site, I see we were charged anywhere from 1 to 4 cents per day. Our renewal plan has rates about 6 cents higher than the plan that expires in a couple weeks -- and I estimated that will cost us at most an extra $1 per month. So we go from $5-7 per month to $6-8. Not a big deal.

The only thing you have to do is be aware of your daytime draw and plan things like charging to minimize grid draw. We occasionally charge the cars during the day, but only if we have excess solar so we minimize Powerwall draw. But if we need to charge one of the cars for an hour or so, even on a cloudy day, we can (that's part of what the Powerwalls are for...). We now have the option to grid-charge the Powerwalls -- I haven't activated that due to tax credit (I'll wait until the audit period is up on our 2021 tax return...).
 
We're new to TOU and are with amigo free nights, I've set the app to peak settings during the day and run the house off solar and battery but the excess is going to grid rather than recharge the battery. Is there a way to fix this rather than swapping to off grid every morning?
 
We're new to TOU and are with amigo free nights, I've set the app to peak settings during the day and run the house off solar and battery but the excess is going to grid rather than recharge the battery. Is there a way to fix this rather than swapping to off grid every morning?
Have you tried setting the export rate during peak to something lower? Right now the algorithm thinks it's maximizing your profit by exporting extra energy. I think lowering the export value might make it store the energy instead.
 
Is the PW designed to be charged and discharged everyday? No concern with battery degradation?
All batteries degrade no matter what and solar panels degrade as well. My 2017 Model X had 15% degradation after 5yr/60k miles... o_O

My solar panels and batteries were installed on 7/25/2022 and the setup has been working well. I also have free nights but the algorithm from Tesla is to start using batteries 1 to 2 hrs before the peak hour. I "think" it's because I set the reserve to 25% and normally I still have 45% 1-2 hrs before the peak.
 
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I love this thread! I'm coming on a 2 year old Houston system, but new EV owner. Unfortunately I just renewed with Mp2 last month due to an expired plan, I'm starting to do the mental math on why this thread is a game-changer. After 2 years of using my system (in my signature), I realized net-metering has zero benefits in Houston/Texas due to our electrical demands especially during the summer months. Yes the cooler months have smaller bills due to the credit, the summer months wipe it all out and then some more. Now with a month old EV, I'm starting to see the grid charge ($0.18 net meter Mp2 plan) becoming very expensive. With potentially a 2nd EV coming if/when the cybertruck comes out.. I can see huge bills with any drop of grid use. This free nights/weekends seem to be the hack if you will since I can pivot all the usage at nights as others said here and depend on the solar + 2PWs during non-free periods.

My system proved insufficient during the hottest summer months. My 2 PWs never charged to 100% during the day due to the high AC consumption. Add in the pool, my 2 PWs may be at 50% by sunset. Now add the EV to the mix, then I'm already seeing significant grid draw even now that it's cooler and less AC. I've yet to see a bill after my MP2 renewal with the EV, but I expect it to be shocking. So much that I'm now in research mode hence discovered this thread about free nights/weekends. I'm willing to pay the $200 MP2 termination to get over to a free N/W plan.

Questions:
- We essentially have 2 meters. One for incoming and one for export. How do you know which is which to provide the correct ESN to the new energy provider. I would expect them to have gotten smarter and realized that new enrollments (with 2 meters) would be a red flag that we figured this hack. Do you provide the meter ID or just let them figure it out when you switch.
- I see some examples of plans here, but some of these are probably no longer available. Any suggestions on new plans? I see the reminder to look for zero TDU even during the free period.



Risk:
- I had two (2) inverter failures over the past 12 months. These came at the hotter summer months and the supply change issue caused a 2+ month delay before my system was restored. This was $$$$$ even under my old and cheaper plan $0.087. I can see a situation like this be a $1k bill during any solar failure where you're paying $0.25 k/w. So much I'm considering buying my own inverter as spare to quick swap if I believe I would get a $1k/month bill. This hack works, until it doesn't and you become 100% dependent on grid power as I've lived through twice.
 
Questions:
- We essentially have 2 meters. One for incoming and one for export. How do you know which is which to provide the correct ESN to the new energy provider. I would expect them to have gotten smarter and realized that new enrollments (with 2 meters) would be a red flag that we figured this hack. Do you provide the meter ID or just let them figure it out when you switch.
- I see some examples of plans here, but some of these are probably no longer available. Any suggestions on new plans? I see the reminder to look for zero TDU even during the free period.



Risk:
- I had two (2) inverter failures over the past 12 months. These came at the hotter summer months and the supply change issue caused a 2+ month delay before my system was restored. This was $$$$$ even under my old and cheaper plan $0.087. I can see a situation like this be a $1k bill during any solar failure where you're paying $0.25 k/w. So much I'm considering buying my own inverter as spare to quick swap if I believe I would get a $1k/month bill. This hack works, until it doesn't and you become 100% dependent on grid power as I've lived through twice.
1. Not sure why you have 2 meters. I only have 1.
2. I went for Just Energy. But if I could do it again, I probably will go for a plan that starts at 8PM instead of 9PM. I have my system for almost 3 months. Pre-PTO, my monthly charge was $5. Post-PTO, it was $10. EV6 at the moment and hopefully we can get our Rivian by the end of this yr.

Yes, risk is always there but I don't think the bill would be $1k as you need to look at the avg which is $0.16.
 
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Our system was spec'd to cover 82% of estimated usage (we had it installed before the house was 12 months old, so we did not have a full year of usage). Now that we've been here for coming up on 2 years, our actual usage is lower that that estimate. For May, the system gave us 89% coverage, but was over 100% from Nov to April. I suspect we'll end our first full year on Solar in August at 90%+

As for the price jump, I would look at it and wonder if it really matters. In our case, 98%+ of our grid draw is during the free nights period (and the Tesla app show 0% grid draw on-peak, although if I go to the GM site, I see we were charged anywhere from 1 to 4 cents per day. Our renewal plan has rates about 6 cents higher than the plan that expires in a couple weeks -- and I estimated that will cost us at most an extra $1 per month. So we go from $5-7 per month to $6-8. Not a big deal.

The only thing you have to do is be aware of your daytime draw and plan things like charging to minimize grid draw. We occasionally charge the cars during the day, but only if we have excess solar so we minimize Powerwall draw. But if we need to charge one of the cars for an hour or so, even on a cloudy day, we can (that's part of what the Powerwalls are for...). We now have the option to grid-charge the Powerwalls -- I haven't activated that due to tax credit (I'll wait until the audit period is up on our 2021 tax return...).
I just switched over to the reliant truly free 8pm-6am. Will need a little more time on it to play with the different options to see how it affects the bills. So far great that I don’t have to think about EV charge cost and now pool runs at nights.

Question on the audit comment. Can you elaborate on the audit period? I’ve turned on grid charging a few times, but wasn’t aware there is a risk to audit that may impact taxes. My system was installed 2 years ago and I took the deduction during my 2021 taxes. No where was I aware of how this may impact taxes except the brief comment on the tesla app for that feature toggle. Nothing more formal beyond that.
 
Quick update for those of us that are in TNMP area and have lost access to free nights. I noticed that a few retail providers are starting to creep back into the market. There are two "free nights" plans being advertised and a handful of free weekends ones. I used quotes because these two free nights plans still appear to charge the $0.05 /kWh grid charge off peak, based on the EFL. Prior to the meter fiasco that drove all those plans from the TNMP market there were options that were completely at $0.00
 
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Dose anyone know what are those two market securitization mean? I did the math based on 35% of usage during night time and the numbers are matching the total bill amounts without those two charges.
 
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Quick update for those of us that are in TNMP area and have lost access to free nights. I noticed that a few retail providers are starting to creep back into the market. There are two "free nights" plans being advertised and a handful of free weekends ones. I used quotes because these two free nights plans still appear to charge the $0.05 /kWh grid charge off peak, based on the EFL. Prior to the meter fiasco that drove all those plans from the TNMP market there were options that were completely at $0.00
Which companies were you able to find? I can’t find any of them even with the TDU night charges. We are in the same boat under TNMP.
 

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