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Xcel Time of Use Rates in Colorado

DavidL312

Member
Oct 17, 2018
36
7
Denver
Just popped in here so see if there's any updates. As someone pointed out earlier, TOU is going to extend the solar payback period. 60% to 70% of my power is going to be at the lowest tier (my panels get more sun in the morning). Makes me want a power wall (though the economics still probably isn't there -> hmmm, they have extended the solar rebates).

I suppose it makes sense from the power grid standpoint. Xcel doesn't necessarily need the power at the time we are producing it, and we are still getting to use the grid as a backup power source. Even a powerwall would not be 100% efficient (net metering is like a 100% efficient battery).

Any sign of a forced switch over to TOU? I still don't have the right meters.
 

Zaxxon

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Dec 11, 2012
4,674
21,523
Colorado
Any sign of a forced switch over to TOU? I still don't have the right meters.

My understanding is that the meter changes are now happening but will not be complete until the end of 2024. So you have somewhere between 0 and 1,400 days before you're forced to switch to TOU.
 
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DavidL312

Member
Oct 17, 2018
36
7
Denver
My understanding is that the meter changes are now happening but will not be complete until the end of 2024. So you have somewhere between 0 and 1,400 days before you're forced to switch to TOU.

:)

Thanks.

I have a friend who did solar about a year after me. He already has these weird meters where the number are constantly jumping around and seem impossible to read directly. I guessing these are the TOU meters ?

He wasn't initially on TOU. I suppose they can switch him over anytime.
 

MorrisonHiker

S 100D 2021.32.20
Mar 8, 2015
10,143
9,663
Colorado
Just popped in here so see if there's any updates. As someone pointed out earlier, TOU is going to extend the solar payback period. 60% to 70% of my power is going to be at the lowest tier (my panels get more sun in the morning). Makes me want a power wall (though the economics still probably isn't there -> hmmm, they have extended the solar rebates).

I suppose it makes sense from the power grid standpoint. Xcel doesn't necessarily need the power at the time we are producing it, and we are still getting to use the grid as a backup power source. Even a powerwall would not be 100% efficient (net metering is like a 100% efficient battery).

Any sign of a forced switch over to TOU? I still don't have the right meters.
They are starting the install of smart meters for all customers in 2021 but as @Zaxxon mentions, it will be years before everyone's meter has been upgraded. Looks like they plan to only have peak rates for 4 months of the year. :(

https://www.xcelenergy.com/staticfi... Filings/TOU/CO-TOUFiling-Customer-Notice.pdf
 

Zaxxon

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Dec 11, 2012
4,674
21,523
Colorado
I have a friend who did solar about a year after me. He already has these weird meters where the number are constantly jumping around and seem impossible to read directly. I guessing these are the TOU meters ?

Depends what you mean by jumping around. My TOU meter has several readings, but once you get your head around the procession of #s it is readable. Includes kWh pulled from grid, kWh sent to grid, time, date, etc.
 

DavidL312

Member
Oct 17, 2018
36
7
Denver
They are starting the install of smart meters for all customers in 2021 but as @Zaxxon mentions, it will be years before everyone's meter has been upgraded. Looks like they plan to only have peak rates for 4 months of the year. :(

https://www.xcelenergy.com/staticfiles/xe-responsive/Company/Rates & Regulations/Regulatory Filings/TOU/CO-TOUFiling-Customer-Notice.pdf

hmmm, thanks. Peak, Off-Peak. Is there a shoulder rate still in there? Or just two rates now?
 

DavidL312

Member
Oct 17, 2018
36
7
Denver
Depends what you mean by jumping around. My TOU meter has several readings, but once you get your head around the procession of #s it is readable. Includes kWh pulled from grid, kWh sent to grid, time, date, etc.

So can you read the total power on that thing? I was thinking it was just showing power snippets over small time intervals. My friend could not figure out how to read the meter (to compare solar production numbers).

Did you find instructions on how to read the meter ?
 

Zaxxon

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Dec 11, 2012
4,674
21,523
Colorado
So can you read the total power on that thing? I was thinking it was just showing power snippets over small time intervals. My friend could not figure out how to read the meter (to compare solar production numbers).

Did you find instructions on how to read the meter ?

Total energy, yes (and also point-in-time power).

No, haven't found instructions. Just figured it out by taking the numbers down and comparing to my PV monitoring reports and Tesla-reported home usage until I confirmed what was what.
 

MorrisonHiker

S 100D 2021.32.20
Mar 8, 2015
10,143
9,663
Colorado
hmmm, thanks. Peak, Off-Peak. Is there a shoulder rate still in there? Or just two rates now?
Previously, the part-peak rates were in effect from 9 am to 2 pm and from 6 pm to 9pm on weekdays and 9 am until 9 pm on weekends. Peak was weekdays from 2 pm until 6pm. 9 pm until 9 am was off-peak.

On January 1st, 2021, the changes things. There are still three different rate periods but they've greatly reduced the part-peak hours. Now part-peak is only 1 pm until 3 pm on weekdays and peak is 3 pm until 7 pm on weekdays. All other hours are off-peak.

It sounds like when they move all customers to ToU, there will only be peak and off-peak. Peak would only be on weekdays between 3 pm and 7 pm from June through September.
 

DavidL312

Member
Oct 17, 2018
36
7
Denver
Previously, the part-peak rates were in effect from 9 am to 2 pm and from 6 pm to 9pm on weekdays and 9 am until 9 pm on weekends. Peak was weekdays from 2 pm until 6pm. 9 pm until 9 am was off-peak.

On January 1st, 2021, the changes things. There are still three different rate periods but they've greatly reduced the part-peak hours. Now part-peak is only 1 pm until 3 pm on weekdays and peak is 3 pm until 7 pm on weekdays. All other hours are off-peak.

It sounds like when they move all customers to ToU, there will only be peak and off-peak. Peak would only be on weekdays between 3 pm and 7 pm from June through September.

Thanks,

So no more mid-rate, and only peak only during the summer months. I'll have to think about it. I think I can live with that. I was mostly not liking the fact that I'd have to buy back power at a higher rate then what I'm producing it at. A few months only will lessen the effect.
 

MorrisonHiker

S 100D 2021.32.20
Mar 8, 2015
10,143
9,663
Colorado
Thanks,

So no more mid-rate, and only peak only during the summer months. I'll have to think about it. I think I can live with that. I was mostly not liking the fact that I'd have to buy back power at a higher rate then what I'm producing it at. A few months only will lessen the effect.
Yes, that's what's been proposed but of course things could change.

I really liked it the way it was before since there was more of a financial incentive to install more solar and Powerwalls. We like that we still produce most of our power but the credits we earn won't go as far to cover our winter usage.
 

DavidL312

Member
Oct 17, 2018
36
7
Denver
Yes, that's what's been proposed but of course things could change.

I really liked it the way it was before since there was more of a financial incentive to install more solar and Powerwalls. We like that we still produce most of our power but the credits we earn won't go as far to cover our winter usage.

Yea, the high peak rate is great for Power Wall people. It's still a big expense with a long (if ever) payback period. Can help Xcel a lot too. They should throw in a 1-2k rebate on a power wall install. That would be interesting.

So are you happy with your powerwall. How's it work during power outages? Can it charge when the grid is off? What Inverter do you have?
 

MorrisonHiker

S 100D 2021.32.20
Mar 8, 2015
10,143
9,663
Colorado
Yea, the high peak rate is great for Power Wall people. It's still a big expense with a long (if ever) payback period. Can help Xcel a lot too. They should throw in a 1-2k rebate on a power wall install. That would be interesting.

So are you happy with your powerwall. How's it work during power outages? Can it charge when the grid is off? What Inverter do you have?
We've been almost 100% satisfied with our Powerwalls. We were lucky enough to earn them from the referral program so that helped our ROI a lot. ;) We did put in two solar systems back in 2018 and 2019. Due to COVID shutting things down, I've been working from home for nearly a year. That meant a lot less driving and we generated over 4000 kWh surplus in 2020. If I'd still been working in the office, we would've come closer to breaking even with production/consumption. The peak and part-peak credits helped so it was a bummer when we got the notice on 12/31/20 that they'd changed the ToU schedule for 2021 and greatly reduced the part-peak period.

Our Powerwalls have gotten us through several outages and normally they charge just fine during outages and let us keep everything in the house running, including being able to still charge our cars. Tesla released a software update last year to enable the cars to reduce or stop charging during grid outages so that they won't drain the Powerwalls. We did have a problem on a 48 hour outage back in early 2019. In brief, our Powerwalls got us through the first 24 hours without any problem but on the second day, the Powerwalls were drained down to 5% and shut off. They then got into a cycle where they would try to turn back on but then they would raise the frequency for the solar inverters, shutting things back off. Tesla modified some settings on our inverters and Powerwalls and we haven't run into that issue again. Later in 2019, we did an 8 day off-grid test without any issues, even with 8" of snow. In 2020, we had a derecho that knocked down nearly all the power poles in our neighborhood and the grid was down for 48 hours. Our Powerwalls and solar worked perfectly and we actually ran an extension cord to our neighbor's house to keep their refrigerator running.

Our two solar systems are 20.5 kW and we have four inverters:
2018 system: Delta Solivia 7.6 and 2 Delta Solivia 5.8 inverters (no shade on 4 arrays)
2019 system: Solaredge HD Wave 3800 (with optimizers)

While our solar panels only add up to 20.5 kW, you'll see that our inverters are oversized (so no clipping) and we've actually seen over 22 kW generation at peak production on some days.

We did have problems with Xcel last year where they were providing dirty power on our transformer (shared with 5 neighbors). This caused the Powerwalls to kick in and power the house over 860 times last summer, sometimes more than 36 times per day. While we never lost power, the Powerwalls frequently had to shut off solar production, causing our production to be 20% less on some days. After 6 months of complaining to Xcel, we finally got a new transformer installed and it is only shared with one neighbor. Hopefully this year we don't see any 'outages' due to dirty power. On our best days last year, we produced 143 kWh. I'm hoping we can hit 150 kWh or even 160 kWh on our best days this year, assuming the grid stays up. We produced 98.5 kWh yesterday and might hit 100 kWh today. :cool:
 

DavidL312

Member
Oct 17, 2018
36
7
Denver
Holy crap, you system is huge. Thanks for all the
We've been almost 100% satisfied with our Powerwalls. We were lucky enough to earn them from the referral program so that helped our ROI a lot. We did put in two solar systems back in 2018 and 2019. Due to COVID shutting things down, I've been working from home for nearly a year. That meant a lot less driving and we generated over 4000 kWh surplus in 2020. If I'd still been working in the office, we would've come closer to breaking even with production/consumption. The peak and part-peak credits helped so it was a bummer when we got the notice on 12/31/20 that they'd changed the ToU schedule for 2021 and greatly reduced the part-peak period
....
Our two solar systems are 20.5 kW and we have four inverters:
2018 system: Delta Solivia 7.6 and 2 Delta Solivia 5.8 inverters (no shade on 4 arrays)
2019 system: Solaredge HD Wave 3800 (with optimizers)

Wow, thanks for all the detail. Holy crap, your system is huge. I'm so small (7 kw solar) it's amazing you can even see me down here.

You must be quite a power user.

Interesting your Xcel problems. Amazing they upgraded the transformer for you.

That's very cool.
 

Zaxxon

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Dec 11, 2012
4,674
21,523
Colorado
Holy crap, you system is huge. Thanks for all the


Wow, thanks for all the detail. Holy crap, your system is huge. I'm so small (7 kw solar) it's amazing you can even see me down here.

You must be quite a power user.

Interesting your Xcel problems. Amazing they upgraded the transformer for you.

That's very cool.

Yeah, some of us other Coloradans marvel at @MorrisonHiker 's setup (and their slate of Teslas in the garage ;)). I've got an 8.9 kW system with zero Powerwalls. This covers about 2/3rds of our total usage, including charging 2 Teslas.
 
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DavidL312

Member
Oct 17, 2018
36
7
Denver
I've been poking around this again.
I need to give XCel a call.

You can opt-out, but it sounds like that incurs a $12/month manual meter reading fee.

It seems like it should be technically possible to install the new (remote accessible) meters, but still provide the "opt-out" rate structure.

 
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