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Understanding PGE/SVCE electricity bills/TrueUP

SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
9,072
9,787
SF Bay Area
We are fairly new to our solar/PWs--PTO with PG&E as of end of October 2020. We've been on an EVA2 rate plan due to charging our Teslas at home (Non-peak midnight - 3pm) Our city for some time now has been opted in to electrical generation service through Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE) like many residents in the SF Bay Peninsula and South County area. We had received our "final" electrical bill from PG&E covering the period up to PTO last month; and just the other day received 1) our PG&E "blue bill" for electrical usage under our NEM2 solar/storage device billing, as well as 2) a black and white multi-page monthly statement showing PG&E distribution along with SVCE generation charges.

Being new to all this we called PG&E and SVCE to better understand how billing would be done from now on. We were told we will be getting our Monthly "blue bill" from PG&E which we should pay from. We will also be receiving from PG&E a monthly statement (with calculations) reflecting our usage and charges or credits from SVCE's generation (not a bill just a statement).

Our PG&E TrueUp is November of each year; and SVCE does a TrueUp in April of each year at which time a check for any credit overage will be sent according to limits etc of their plan. PG&E will allow you a one-time change to your TrueUp if requested (we'll likely wait a whole year to see how things go. Since we don't get our generation from PG&E, not sure TrueUp time really matters that much).

Our PG&E blue bill for electricity is minimal, basically fees and distribution charge. Our B&W statement reflected our current credits since no electricity was needed from the grid (8.16kW system, gas furnace). SVCE, unlike PG&E, calculates credits at the same rate as they would charge for usage (per Peak, Partial Peak, Non-Peak hours).

Curious how those with both PG&E and SVCE combined service have faired and whether there is anything else we should understand about the new billing. Thanks.
 
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getakey

Active Member
Jan 28, 2020
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"SVCE, unlike PG&E, calculates credits at the same rate as they would charge for usage (per Peak, Partial Peak, Non-Peak hours)."

No, PG&E calculates it the same way. If you are sending back to the grid at Peak, you get credited at Peak rate.
 

miimura

Well-Known Member
Aug 21, 2013
6,271
5,903
Los Altos, CA
"SVCE, unlike PG&E, calculates credits at the same rate as they would charge for usage (per Peak, Partial Peak, Non-Peak hours)."

No, PG&E calculates it the same way. If you are sending back to the grid at Peak, you get credited at Peak rate.
The difference is that SVCE will pay credit balances at face value for excess generation, even if you are a net kWh consumer. Below $200 credit at true-up will be rolled forward though.

The other key point with respect to SVCE is that if you have a positive balance on the SVCE portion of your blue bill, you will have to pay it. SVCE does not carry payable balance forward in the true-up, they only carry credit balances forward. So, if you start your annual cycle in the Winter, you may have to pay in the beginning and will carry a larger credit balance into the Fall.
 
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miimura

Well-Known Member
Aug 21, 2013
6,271
5,903
Los Altos, CA
Here is a sample of the SVCE page from the blue PG&E bill. My solar is so small relative to my usage that I didn't have any negative months in 2020.

SVCE Blue Bill Sample.jpg
 
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getakey

Active Member
Jan 28, 2020
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"The difference is that SVCE will pay credit balances at face value for excess generation, even if you are a net kWh consumer."

do you mean net kWh Producer?
 

SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
9,072
9,787
SF Bay Area
"The difference is that SVCE will pay credit balances at face value for excess generation, even if you are a net kWh consumer."

do you mean net kWh Producer?

I think they are one in the same, PG&E looks at us as Producers under their Interconnection Agreement and as indicated on the SVCE account number above we are Customers to them.

Here’s our first blue bill showing SVCE Winter rates and tiers this year. With no AC used and gas heating during winter I think we will be running an SVCE NEM credit balance until air conditioning time. As we’re adding some charge to our cars off and on around noon when our PWs are full and not generally sending excess to grid, not sure what kind of a NEM balance we’ll have come our April TrueUp with SVCE. Sounds like it might get rolled over into next period and offset some of our Summer usage from what @miimura stated.

7FC139CC-94D0-4F7F-B143-1318DDEC3C1F.jpeg
 

getakey

Active Member
Jan 28, 2020
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415
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wow - are SVCE rates that much lower than PG&E?

I actually ran up my biggest credits in the summer even though AC usage is on and I live in much hotter weather than you (near Sacramento). Before I installed heat pump, I had gas heat, but still used more electricity than produced in the Winter
 

SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
9,072
9,787
SF Bay Area
@getakey if I’m not mistaken you have no choice but to have PG&E as your generation provider if you pull from the grid? We do get charged by PG&E for distribution (NEM2PS rate for Net Energy Metering Paired Storage, ours was 7.88 for this month). Our bill factors in all the same add on charges a regular PG&E customer would have plus some Vintage Power Charge Indifference Adjustment charge for switching over to SVCE (4.73 this month — adjusted cost to PG&E for pulling us out of the pool of paying customers for already PG&E contracted generation sources if I understand this correctly). Not sure if there’s anything else.

@miimura you said you had a small system. What’s your solar? Also do you have storage to help extend your solar?

I guess I didn’t post it above but we have an 8.16kW solar with 3PWs so when people look at our bill you can factor that in.
 
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getakey

Active Member
Jan 28, 2020
1,254
415
95762
@getakey if I’m not mistaken you have no choice but to have PG&E as your generation provider if you pull from the grid? We do get charged by PG&E for distribution (NEM2PS rate for Net Energy Metering Paired Storage, ours was 7.88 for this month). Our bill factors in all the same add on charges a regular PG&E customer would have plus some Vintage Power Charge Indifference Adjustment charge for switching over to SVCE (4.73 this month — adjusted cost to PG&E for pulling us out of the pool of paying customers for already PG&E contracted generation sources if I understand this correctly). Not sure if there’s anything else.

@miimura you said you had a small system. What’s your solar? Also do you have storage to help extend your solar?

I guess I didn’t post it above but we have an 8.16kW solar with 3PWs so when people look at our bill you can factor that in.

Very confused. You don't pull any from the grid??
 

SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
9,072
9,787
SF Bay Area
Very confused. You don't pull any from the grid??

Not right now. Our electricity is being generated by solar panels generally during the hours of 8-4pm when the app is showing the solar bell curve and the house then pulls from our 3 PWs before sunrise and after sunset. Again we have a gas furnace so our heavy loads are from our double oven and any car charging we do.

I’d say right now our “average” daily use is around 12-16kWh and with car charging added tends to be around 26-30kWh. We’re not driving much now so we alternate cars charging. Once the sun comes out we try to have our PWs recharged to 100% or close to it in the a.m. and then at noon charge one of the two cars for a few hours off solar, setting the rate at a lower amperage, to add some range miles to it (again not driving much just locally). If not cloudy we are able to add back to the PWs for a bit before the sun goes down. All of this will change come Summer and A/C use and when my husband isn’t WFH any longer.
 
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h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
2,487
425
auburn, ca
Not right now. Our electricity is being generated by solar panels generally during the hours of 8-4pm when the app is showing the solar bell curve and the house then pulls from our 3 PWs before sunrise and after sunset. Again we have a gas furnace so our heavy loads are from our double oven and any car charging we do.

I’d say right now our “average” daily use is around 12-16kWh and with car charging added tends to be around 26-30kWh. We’re not driving much now so we alternate cars charging. Once the sun comes out we try to have our PWs recharged to 100% or close to it in the a.m. and then at noon charge one of the two cars for a few hours off solar, setting the rate at a lower amperage, to add some range miles to it (again not driving much just locally). If not cloudy we are able to add back to the PWs for a bit before the sun goes down. All of this will change come Summer and A/C use and when my husband isn’t WFH any longer.
This is so much easier to do when one has a lot of things powered by gas. Like heating in specific. That is why when I see folks say they are going to have a zero true up bill, I just smile. What is there TOTAL energy cost! Not just electricity, but gas also!! Makes a huge difference for the folks who say they can run off the grid. IMO, using gas, is not being off the gird.

My house is 99.9% electric, with my heat pumps, gas dryer, etc. All I have on propane is our stove stop, water heater (which I have solar water heating panels :) , and my spa. My goal is to have a zero total energy true up, not just electricity. My heat pumps take a LOT of electricity per day!!! And I only run 5 out of the 10 heads normally. Since I only plan to put 2 PW's on my heaters, during the winter with such lower solar, no way could I use them only to heat my house.
 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
2,487
425
auburn, ca
Not right now. Our electricity is being generated by solar panels generally during the hours of 8-4pm when the app is showing the solar bell curve and the house then pulls from our 3 PWs before sunrise and after sunset. Again we have a gas furnace so our heavy loads are from our double oven and any car charging we do.

I’d say right now our “average” daily use is around 12-16kWh and with car charging added tends to be around 26-30kWh. We’re not driving much now so we alternate cars charging. Once the sun comes out we try to have our PWs recharged to 100% or close to it in the a.m. and then at noon charge one of the two cars for a few hours off solar, setting the rate at a lower amperage, to add some range miles to it (again not driving much just locally). If not cloudy we are able to add back to the PWs for a bit before the sun goes down. All of this will change come Summer and A/C use and when my husband isn’t WFH any longer.
IMO, if you using gas energy, you are putting from the grid. No different than distribution costs and support for electricity. Why do so many try to say gas cost are not grid costs?
 

SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
9,072
9,787
SF Bay Area
Given Tesla Energy sells solar panels and PWs that convert and use electrical energy and reduce or in some cases could eliminate the need to purchase electrical energy...and this is a Tesla Energy thread...pretty understandable when people mention the grid they are talking about the electrical grid.

Can’t speak for others but when talking about our usage I’ve tried to also mention the fact we use gas for our heating so newcomers realize heating isn’t included in the usage and thus enable them to better judge how their needs compare.

Our goal has never been to eliminate purchasing any energy source from a utility—electric or gas. I’d guess the vast majority of people buying solar and PWs would say the same. I know for us having heating and cooling during a PSPS or other outage has been the driving force along with the ability to not feel constrained by a costly electric bill when deciding how warm you keep your house during the winter or how cool during the summer and what appliances you use.

Perhaps starting a separate thread for those wishing to go completely off grid would better serve those interested in this topic and be less confusing?
 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
2,487
425
auburn, ca
Given Tesla Energy sells solar panels and PWs that convert and use electrical energy and reduce or in some cases could eliminate the need to purchase electrical energy...and this is a Tesla Energy thread...pretty understandable when people mention the grid they are talking about the electrical grid.

Can’t speak for others but when talking about our usage I’ve tried to also mention the fact we use gas for our heating so newcomers realize heating isn’t included in the usage and thus enable them to better judge how their needs compare.

Our goal has never been to eliminate purchasing any energy source from a utility—electric or gas. I’d guess the vast majority of people buying solar and PWs would say the same. I know for us having heating and cooling during a PSPS or other outage has been the driving force along with the ability to not feel constrained by a costly electric bill when deciding how warm you keep your house during the winter or how cool during the summer and what appliances you use.

Perhaps starting a separate thread for those wishing to go completely off grid would better serve those interested in this topic and be less confusing?
Yep, did as you suggested, started a different thread. I guess each of us define "energy" differently. I am trying to minimize my total "energy" cost, not just one type.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
8,900
9,917
Riverside Co. CA
IMO, if you using gas energy, you are putting from the grid. No different than distribution costs and support for electricity. Why do so many try to say gas cost are not grid costs?

Other than being an exercise in semantics, "the grid" in relation to THIS forum means "electrical grid" and pretty much everyone in this section understands that.

This is the "tesla energy" section, not the "energy, environment and policy" section of TMC. That section is here:

Energy, Environment, and Policy

In this part of TMC, the focus is on Tesla energy products, and how they compete / etc with other products. This is not the section for general "what is green?" discussions. The forum I referred to is for that.

Your question is a fair one, for that section. Here, in "Tesla Energy" since there are no "tesla energy" products that are gas, it is understood that the term off grid means not pulling directly from the electrical grid.
 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
2,487
425
auburn, ca
Other than being an exercise in semantics, "the grid" in relation to THIS forum means "electrical grid" and pretty much everyone in this section understands that.

This is the "tesla energy" section, not the "energy, environment and policy" section of TMC. That section is here:

Energy, Environment, and Policy

In this part of TMC, the focus is on Tesla energy products, and how they compete / etc with other products. This is not the section for general "what is green?" discussions. The forum I referred to is for that.

Your question is a fair one, for that section. Here, in "Tesla Energy" since there are no "tesla energy" products that are gas, it is understood that the term off grid means not pulling directly from the electrical grid.
Great, agreed.
 

miimura

Well-Known Member
Aug 21, 2013
6,271
5,903
Los Altos, CA
"The difference is that SVCE will pay credit balances at face value for excess generation, even if you are a net kWh consumer."

do you mean net kWh Producer?
No, I meant what I said. When you have only PG&E it is possible to have a dollar credit balance at the end of your true-up cycle and still use more kWh than you generated. In this case, PG&E will wipe out your entire credit balance with no compensation. It's simply gone. They will only pay you Net Surplus Compensation when you are a net generator. Even then, it's only about $0.03/kWh compensation.

On the other hand, when you are on a CCA like SVCE, your generation credits are separately tallied. If you have a credit balance on the PG&E portion of your bill for transmission and distribution, it will still be wiped out. However, the SVCE credit balance for generation will be paid out if above $200, or rolled forward into the next year true-up if less.
 
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miimura

Well-Known Member
Aug 21, 2013
6,271
5,903
Los Altos, CA
wow - are SVCE rates that much lower than PG&E?

I actually ran up my biggest credits in the summer even though AC usage is on and I live in much hotter weather than you (near Sacramento). Before I installed heat pump, I had gas heat, but still used more electricity than produced in the Winter
Here is the apple-to-apples comparison. This is based on the October 2020 rates since SVCE has not updated their rate sheet for the Jan 2021 PG&E rate increase.

EV2 Total Rates 2020-10.jpg

EV2 Unbundled 2020-10.jpg


SVCE EV2 2020-10 Rates.jpg

The SVCE Generation Service includes the PCIA and Franchise Fees that you don't pay if you're not on a CCA.

You will notice that the total rates are only fractions of a cent per kWh lower when you're on SVCE.

I always expect PG&E to increase rates. That's just the nature of the beast. However, the shady thing to me is that they are squeezing the CCAs by increasing the Transmission and Distribution portions of the rates while lowering the Generation rates. Just taking the Summer Peak rate as an example, the total rate increased by $0.00665/kWh while the Generation decreased by $0.00387/kWh. That means that they shifted $0.01052/kWh more into their pocket.
 

getakey

Active Member
Jan 28, 2020
1,254
415
95762
No, I meant what I said. When you have only PG&E it is possible to have a dollar credit balance at the end of your true-up cycle and still use more kWh than you generated. In this case, PG&E will wipe out your entire credit balance with no compensation. It's simply gone. They will only pay you Net Surplus Compensation when you are a net generator. Even then, it's only about $0.03/kWh compensation.

On the other hand, when you are on a CCA like SVCE, your generation credits are separately tallied. If you have a credit balance on the PG&E portion of your bill for transmission and distribution, it will still be wiped out. However, the SVCE credit balance for generation will be paid out if above $200, or rolled forward into the next year true-up if less.

Ok, you are referring to excess NEM credit.
 

getakey

Active Member
Jan 28, 2020
1,254
415
95762
Here is the apple-to-apples comparison. This is based on the October 2020 rates since SVCE has not updated their rate sheet for the Jan 2021 PG&E rate increase.

View attachment 624145
View attachment 624148

View attachment 624149
The SVCE Generation Service includes the PCIA and Franchise Fees that you don't pay if you're not on a CCA.

You will notice that the total rates are only fractions of a cent per kWh lower when you're on SVCE.

I always expect PG&E to increase rates. That's just the nature of the beast. However, the shady thing to me is that they are squeezing the CCAs by increasing the Transmission and Distribution portions of the rates while lowering the Generation rates. Just taking the Summer Peak rate as an example, the total rate increased by $0.00665/kWh while the Generation decreased by $0.00387/kWh. That means that they shifted $0.01052/kWh more into their pocket.

For SVCE, do you add the 3 columns together for the total rate?
 

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