Are you a net producer or consumer of electricity?

I consume more electricity than I produce.
No votes
0
I produce more electricity than I consume.
25%
1
It's pretty close - let's call it a net-zero.
75%
3
 
Total votes: 4
QueenBee
Posts: 1564
Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2010 5:14 pm
Delivery Date: 20 Jun 2011
Leaf Number: 2062
Location: Bellevue (Seattle), WA

Re: Are you a net producer or consumer of electricity?

Sun Jun 24, 2012 6:42 pm

leafetarian wrote:Another thing they tell me is that my PG&E bill is too low to make solar financially viable. My usage is between 320 kwh - 450 kwh per month (not more than 500 kwh). Is that also a problem?
I am OK with longer solar payoff if somebody can work with my roof shading issues.

Can you recommend any solar companies that will give me solar report?


Sorry, different state. Up here since I was doing it myself I hired someone to do the solar path analysis. Even with my 28% annual shading the combination of federal rebate, sales tax exemption, state 15.4 cents per KWH production credit and significant savings doing it myself it still made financial sense.

You use enough electricity that you would still need a significant sized system to generate a surplus. I guess one issue is that the cost of the electricity you use is cheaper than someone that is using a ton more.

Do have any clear east/west exposure? This ends up affecting your production something like 15% which shouldn't be enough for it to not be worthwhile.

QueenBee
Posts: 1564
Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2010 5:14 pm
Delivery Date: 20 Jun 2011
Leaf Number: 2062
Location: Bellevue (Seattle), WA

Re: Are you a net producer or consumer of electricity?

Sun Jun 24, 2012 6:55 pm

leafetarian wrote:Can you recommend any solar companies that will give me solar report?


Funny timing. Check out this thread: viewtopic.php?f=45&t=8272&p=208221#p208219

klapauzius
Posts: 1658
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:19 pm
Delivery Date: 25 Jan 2011
Leaf Number: 0197
Location: Seattle, Wa

Re: Are you a net producer or consumer of electricity?

Sun Jun 24, 2012 8:58 pm

I am a net consumer, used to be 66% self sufficient from our 4 kW solar, but now with the leaf down
to 50%... Seattle is not the sunniest place, but the rainy cold summers have their advantages (think battery life) too :D

Yanquetino
Posts: 478
Joined: Tue May 11, 2010 7:47 am

Re: Are you a net producer or consumer of electricity?

Sun Jun 24, 2012 9:11 pm

I am a net producer... at least so far this year. We'll see how the electrons stack up as the days grow shorter and the angle lower. In the meantime, I am happy to put my zero-emissions surplus into the grid to help charge your Leafs.

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ChrisJConklin
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2012 4:38 pm
Delivery Date: 29 Mar 2012
Leaf Number: 8930

Re: Are you a net producer or consumer of electricity?

Tue Jun 26, 2012 1:28 pm

Have a 3.92 KW system in Hawaii, which of course has great solar insolation and is producing a little over the rated 6,600 KwH annually. Until we started driving/charging (L2) at home the LEAF, we were net producers, utilizing about 5,000 KwH annually for household needs. After a couple months with the LEAF, seeing about 4.00 Wall to Wheels KwH efficiency, I'm estimating about 2,800 KwH annual consumption for charging - which will clearly require an upgrade of our net metered PV system to zero out.
Hawaii has the highest residential electrical costs in the nation, currently running about $ 0.36 per KwH for a typical user, with a 7% inflation curve over last 5 years....which makes using solar more critical to EV economics than maybe so in other places with more reasonable electricity rates. Our power company, HECO, uses a running cash credit reconciliation process, but at the end of a 12 month period, any cash credits go back to them and you are zeroed out for the next 12 months. Their feed in tariff program, wherein one can sell power to the grid at a long term fixed rate, is generally considered unfavorable to residential users because it locks in about $ .21 per KwH provided for a long period. HECO also has a TOU program specifically for EV users, but it is indexed so that you pay 0.06 less than the going rate for off-peak charging, and if you happen to charge during peak hours, you pay $ 0.02 more than the going rate. And the user has to pay for the separate meter dedicated to the EV charging circuit - so I'm not sure that is such a great deal.
As I have TED to monitor both the PV system generation and household consumption, with a 3rd independent monitor for the EV charging circuit, I should be able to nail down the EV consumption data pretty well with a few more months experience with the LEAF.
One question I have, that I will probably post in the battery/efficiency sub-forum, is whether I can expect the efficiency of the battery to degrade over the years of operation - or just the battery capacity. Since our short commute doesn't make the expected degradation in battery capacity (e.g. range on a single charge) a major issue, what about efficiency. Can I expect the wall-to-wheels efficiency to degrade with time, even at a lesser rate? Some say no, but it seems that as a battery's capacity to carry power gets reduced over time, it's ability to receive that power and to convert it to mechanical power would be less than when it is brand new. Another factor to consider when designing the solar system upgrade...including the 0.5% annual de-rate in PV production, electrical rate inflation, increase in household consumption with two growing kids...and the like. :D

devprius
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2012 4:05 pm
Location: Bay Area, CA

Re: Are you a net producer or consumer of electricity?

Tue Jun 26, 2012 4:29 pm

Phoenix wrote:
leafetarian wrote:
Question:
For the net producers, does your utility send you a check? Specifically, I want to know what it might take to make PG&E in CA to pay net solar producers? It sounds no brainer to me as they have no problem paying polluting coal / gas power plants and nuclear power plants. Why not pay families producing excess solar electricity?


I was told by PG&E that they pay only 4 cents a kWh and you have to be a net producer. Cost-wise because of time of use, my bills showed a credit of $300, but since my kilowatt usage was a positive instead of a negative figure, I don't get a check for $300. Next year, EVs can charge free at my house if it looks like I have a monetary credit. (BTW, we should start such a network of solar PV in the SF Bay Area. Perhaps to especially welcome apartment/condo dwellers who need charging.)

From a policy standpoint, PG&E does NOT encourage energy efficiency which its Pacific Energy Center espouses.


Phoenix, are you on a net metering rate schedule? I'm told that the law recently changed and now utilities must write you a check if you have a credit at the end of the year (or whenever your 12-month true-up cycle ends). You should now get a check for $300.

We just put a 4.94 Kw system on our roof and we are waiting for PG&E to swap the meter so we can turn the system on. It's killing me seeing the panels up there and not being allowed to use them.

Phoenix
Posts: 243
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2011 5:53 pm
Delivery Date: 19 Apr 2011
Leaf Number: 1511
Location: SF Bay Area, CA

Re: Are you a net producer or consumer of electricity?

Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:45 pm

DevPrius: Not what PG&E's solar division (based in San Jose) told me. Yes, I am on net metering. If you are in PG&E's service area, you only get paid at the annual true-up if your net kwh usage is a negative number. Yes, the law changed so you now can get reimbursement (set at 4 cents per kwh) when you are a net producer. But this is not to say you get reimbursed for the net monetary credits shown on your monthly statements.

devprius
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2012 4:05 pm
Location: Bay Area, CA

Re: Are you a net producer or consumer of electricity?

Wed Jun 27, 2012 1:24 pm

Phoenix wrote:DevPrius: Not what PG&E's solar division (based in San Jose) told me. Yes, I am on net metering. If you are in PG&E's service area, you only get paid at the annual true-up if your net kwh usage is a negative number. Yes, the law changed so you now can get reimbursement (set at 4 cents per kwh) when you are a net producer. But this is not to say you get reimbursed for the net monetary credits shown on your monthly statements.


PG&E has done a pretty poor job on their website explaining how net metering and credits is supposed to work. I finally found the section that says that if you produce a surplus of electricity, they'll pay you for it, but at wholesale rates. In another part, they talk about how you can carry the credit forward indefinitely now, but don't go into detail if that's a credit at retail rates, or just raw Kwh. And I haven't found an explanation of how the credit works when you are a net-consumer of power, but have earned a money credit due to the fact that you produced a lot of electricity during peak times but used little of it, and instead shifted usage to off-peak times where the electricity is cheaper. Will they write me a check for the surplus money? Or is it another credit that gets carried forward indefinitely?

Phoenix
Posts: 243
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2011 5:53 pm
Delivery Date: 19 Apr 2011
Leaf Number: 1511
Location: SF Bay Area, CA

Re: Are you a net producer or consumer of electricity?

Wed Jun 27, 2012 2:11 pm

devprius wrote:
<<snip>> Will they write me a check for the surplus money? Or is it another credit that gets carried forward indefinitely?


Not for me--no check for the surplus money and I am on E-7. Nor does my credit get carried forward. It gets zero-ed out at the annual true-up. You may be on a different solar rate E6? If this is wrong, I am all ears.

devprius
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2012 4:05 pm
Location: Bay Area, CA

Re: Are you a net producer or consumer of electricity?

Wed Jun 27, 2012 4:08 pm

Phoenix wrote:
devprius wrote:
<<snip>> Will they write me a check for the surplus money? Or is it another credit that gets carried forward indefinitely?


Not for me--no check for the surplus money and I am on E-7. Nor does my credit get carried forward. It gets zero-ed out at the annual true-up. You may be on a different solar rate E6? If this is wrong, I am all ears.


We'll be on E6-TOU, if PG&E ever gets around to swapping the meter. 2 weeks and counting. They have 30 business days, or 6
calendar weeks, to do the swap and let us turn on the system for real. So in theory we have another 4 weeks to wait.

PG&E's website is contradictory with regards to NEM surplus generation:
From: http://www.pge.com/myhome/saveenergymon ... embilling/
it says:

6) Any remaining charges must be paid and any excess credits are typically zeroed out. However, once the AB 920 program goes into effect in 2011, if the customer is a "net generator," i.e., they provide more electricity (kWh) to PG&E’s grid than they receive from the grid over the 12 month annual billing cycle they may:

* a) Receive compensation for the surplus generation;
* b) Receive credit for the surplus generation and apply it toward subsequent kilowatt hours (kWh) supplied by PG&E, or;
* c) Not participate in either option.

As provided in AB 920, the details regarding these options will be developed and finalized in the coming months. PG&E will provide updated information as it becomes available.


But another FAQ at http://www.pge.com/myhome/saveenergymon ... ing/ab920/
doesn't mention anything about carrying the surplus generation forward. Looks like they were allowed to drop the provision for carrying the credit forward.

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