Major change in PG&E CA E9 TOU rates?
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Thread: Major change in PG&E CA E9 TOU rates?

  1. #1
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    Default Major change in PG&E CA E9 TOU rates?

    Anyone using or thinking of switching to the PG&E California E9 Time of Use rates should know that big changes are being discussed right now.

    The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) requested PG&E to suggest an alternate rate schedule with flat rates instead of the usual tiered rates. PG&E just filed their recommendation a few days ago and it would mean many customers would see their electric bill go way up. Especially Volt owners. The deadline for public comment appears to be October 17 which is just a couple weeks from now.

    The new rates appear to favor large, almost entirely off-peak, electricity usage but would mean large percentage bill increases for many people with more typical and moderate energy use such as Volt drivers who have modest battery capacity to recharge. Among other things, the new proposal would get rid of the limited daytime off-peak charging rates on weekends.

    A quick check appears to show that my own monthly E9a electric bill would increase over 50% and that I would be better off going back to the regular non-TOU E1 rate that gives me no financial incentive to charge off-peak.

    The new PG&E proposal is at http://www.pge.com/nots/rates/tariff...LEC_3910-E.pdf.

    There is a lot of good information over at http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopi...=5794&start=10.

  2. #2
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    I've had my Volt for about a month. When I called PG&E to get my rate plan switched from E1 to E9A, I was considering the E9A (whole house) vs E9B (separate meter) plan. The person that I talked with told me that she had heard that there were major changes coming for E9B, but that as far as she know E9A was not going to change. This seems to click with something that I read on the Leaf forum about the CPUC triggering PG&E to reevaluate E9B... And helpful as PG&E is, they responded by proposing revisions to both E9A and E9B. I had researched these convoluted plans quite extensively a couple of months ago, and published all the gory details here: http://craig.bonsignore.com/2011/07/...se-rate-plans/

    Tonight, after reading here about PG&E's proposed changes to E9A, I revamped my spreadsheet to look at the impact of the current E9A vs the proposed E9 plan vs. the non time-of-use E1 plan. My spreadsheet uses a year's worth of SmartMeter data, to which I have added the expected demand for charging the Volt at night. Results are consistent with what I have read that others have found: the new plan is much worse than the current plan, and also worse than a regular old E1 plan. So this change is going to have exactly the OPPOSITE of the desired impact -- it actually creates a DISINCENTIVE for EV owners use a TOU plan and charge during periods of low demand on the grid. Only PG&E could come up with something so absurd.

    I will post more on my website in the next day or two, and update this thread with a link. Protests must be filed by 10/17. In the mean time, here's a chart that sums up the impact in my case.

    10/8/2011: Chart updated - see new post below for details
    Last edited by cbonsig; 10-09-2011 at 02:10 AM.

  3. #3
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    You can't have it both ways, with the government forcing the power companies to shut down coal plants and replace them with solar and wind, and then start crying about your electric rates going up. Even Obama, because he still thinks he has a shot at getting re-elected, overruled the EPA on the powerplant restrictions (which would have further depressed the economy and caused higher rates) that they were going to mandate.

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  6. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob_Livonia View Post
    You can't have it both ways, with the government forcing the power companies to shut down coal plants and replace them with solar and wind, and then start crying about your electric rates going up. Even Obama, because he still thinks he has a shot at getting re-elected, overruled the EPA on the powerplant restrictions (which would have further depressed the economy and caused higher rates) that they were going to mandate.
    This comment could not be less relevant if you tried. :-)

    The PG&E electric mix included a mere 1.3% coal in 2009 which is the most recent data that I've seen.

  7. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff N View Post
    This comment could not be less relevant if you tried. :-)

    The PG&E electric mix included a mere 1.3% coal in 2009 which is the most recent data that I've seen.
    You've made my point completely. The People's Republic of California has already gone to the high-cost sources of electric energy and now it is time to pay the piper.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/article...-upgrades.html

    Besides these rate increases hurting the poor the worst (with apologies to us "rich" Volt owners - there is always class warfare waged by the liberals):

    The EPA has been a convenient punching bag for electricity companies, which have been arguing that onerous regulation is pushing up prices and giving electricity companies too little time to shutter older plants. But, the administration has listened, at least in part, to their concerns. In early September, President Obama gave a two-year reprieve to utilities on tougher ozone regulations because of fears the rules might harm the fragile economy.

  8. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob_Livonia View Post
    You've made my point completely. The People's Republic of California has already gone to the high-cost sources of electric energy and now it is time to pay the piper.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/article...-upgrades.html

    Besides these rate increases hurting the poor the worst (with apologies to us "rich" Volt owners - there is always class warfare waged by the liberals):

    The EPA has been a convenient punching bag for electricity companies, which have been arguing that onerous regulation is pushing up prices and giving electricity companies too little time to shutter older plants. But, the administration has listened, at least in part, to their concerns. In early September, President Obama gave a two-year reprieve to utilities on tougher ozone regulations because of fears the rules might harm the fragile economy.
    Most of that story is about electric rates that haven't risen very much over the last 20 years and about how those utilities are now planning to replace 40 year old obsolete and inefficient coal plants and upgrade transmission lines.

    I looked up PG&E's electric rates and they have gone up by less than the rate of inflation over the last 20 years. PG&E's electric rates have been flat for the last 1.5 years.

    The E9a rate changes being proposed have pretty much nothing to do with any recent or impending transitions away from coal. Likewise for the electric rates which have been fairly stable and are basically keeping up with inflation.

  9. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob_Livonia View Post
    The People's Republic of California has already gone to the high-cost sources of electric energy and now it is time to pay the piper.
    While it's true that CA has some of the highest prices for electricity in the country, it's also true that CA consumes less electricity per pop than any state. Why? Because the CA PUC only lets the utilities make a profit on transmission and distribution. It disallows profits on generation. As a consequence the utilities don't have an incentive to push consumption, resulting in low consumption rates. Hence, while someone in CA might pay more per kWh, overall they pay less for electricity than people in other states. (Would you rather buy 10 gallons of gas for $3 or 5 gallons for $4?).

    As for coal being a bargain, an existing coal plant might turn out a mWh for $98. One with pollution control upgrades might turn out a mWh for $135. A combined natural gas plant can produce a mWh for $65. Consequently, when a coal plant reaches EOL and a decision has to be made as to whether to upgrade or to replace it, rational economic actors choose to shut it down and to replace it. The low price of natural gas and the economics of electrical generation are ushering out coal plants. Blaming politics for their death is just BS. At worst politics might affect the timing of the closure by a few years. And that would not be a bad thing, because, as you know, if you're worried about the loss of aggregate demand and the resulting unemployment rate there isn't a better nostrum than large construction projects.

  10. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbonsig View Post
    Results are consistent with what I have read that others have found: the new plan is much worse than the current plan, and also worse than a regular old E1 plan. So this change is going to have exactly the OPPOSITE of the desired impact -- it actually creates a DISINCENTIVE for EV owners use a TOU plan and charge during periods of low demand on the grid. Only PG&E could come up with something so absurd.
    You do have to wonder what they're up to. They're not stupid so you have to assume that they don't want to shift demand or they do but want something else more.

  11. #9
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    Default Update, Spreadsheet, more details

    I did some more hacking on the spreadsheet, and found some bugs in the formulas. This stuff is crazy complicated, so it isn't surprising. The upshot is that the standard E1 plan isn't actually better than the proposed E9, but it is virtually equivalent. So the conclusion is the same: there is no reason for me to bother with E9, and under the new schedule, I should switch back to E1 and charge whenever I feel like it. Some more details, including a link to download my spreadsheet, here:

    http://craig.bonsignore.com/2011/10/...e-of-use-plan/

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  13. #10
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    Based upon my last EA9 bill (majority off peak and dipping into the 300% over tier), the proposed change will save me nearly $50 per month.
    Volt #3002

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