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Thread: Smart Meters and Grid Tie Solar Systems!

  1. #1
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    Default Smart Meters and Grid Tie Solar Systems!

    Well I have seen personally that the new Smart Meter is not Solar freindly. I sold them 27 KWs on a Analog meter and the Games began! The meter that the power company brought out would not go backwards at all. They after finally complaining for about 2 days strongly, programed the new meter that would not go backwards at all, to have 2 seperate readings.
    One reading of numbers of KWs that I buy from them and a second reading of KWs that I now sell them for .0495 per KW. There is no such thing as backing up power anymore and using what youve backed up. The only way I fully benefit from my system is to use all my heavy use items during the day when solar is available to cover the KW Hogs. And timers are really great for this when your not home. Because after sundown, its paying the power company period!
    Has anyone had issues with these Smart Meters with their power company? And if so what have you dealt with and what kind of agreement have you worked out. Here I beneifit only when the system is going on my high KW drawers. At night I try to keep it to a min.
    Smart Meters are Smart, but if you know how to outsmart them. Well its still all good!

  2. #2
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    That is unfortunate, My utility bills the same way but my utility just subtracts the generated amount from the grid amount to get a total for the month, (on peak is almost always in my favor). At the end of the year they pay $0.065 for any excess I have pushed into the grid overall anually. A bit unfair as they sold my excess to the neighbor @ $0.015 kWh but that is better than it used to be as they just kept the overage.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by livewire1 View Post
    Well I have seen personally that the new Smart Meter is not Solar freindly. I sold them 27 KWs on a Analog meter and the Games began! The meter that the power company brought out would not go backwards at all. They after finally complaining for about 2 days strongly, programed the new meter that would not go backwards at all, to have 2 seperate readings.
    One reading of numbers of KWs that I buy from them and a second reading of KWs that I now sell them for .0495 per KW.
    That is the way it is suppose to work. No new meters spin backwards. Utilities are smart and will punish you for violating contract terms.

    For example all you clever folks who buy one of those plug-in grid tie meters and hook up your home made panels thinking you arer saving money are pretty foolish. The power you generate back on the grid, is registered as power you bought. So you are being charged for the power you generate out to the grid, and then the POCO sells it again to your neighbor at your expense.

    Does not stop there either. If you do have a new smart meter, if you have one of those illegal set ups like above, the second you generate power out to the grid, it is detected and reported. You are now at the mercy of the POCO. At that point they can disconnect your service, report you to local code enforcement agency and will not reconnect you until you get approval from the local authorities and have paid them a nice fat reconnect fee.

    They have some other real nasty things they can do with Smart Meters like Time of Day billing. You are going to fall in love with that once you know what that means. They will also have the ability to turn things off in your home like your air conditioning, or your dryer.

    Beware of the smart meter, it is out to get you.
    MSEE, PE

  4. #4
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    It is not the meters fault it is the regulating agency who is responsible to set the rates. If the meter is an old one it will spin backwards or less forward. On a smart meter, it makes little difference if they measure the grid in coming and subtract from it the grid out going for a net amount. I consider that fair plus they never see the stuff I am actually generating at all, as that load is all contained on my side of the meter.

    TOU (Time of Use) rates actually made the decision for us to get a grid tie setup. They make sense for the utility as well, you pay for the extra on peak that they have to buy or the extra generation capacity they have to own to meet peak demand.
    Mine is 9AM to 9PM Mon-Fri $0.156 per kWh and $0.055 the rest of the time. My net on peak on the grid is really pretty low.
    Look here:
    http://phx-solar.dyndns.org:8081/Footprints.html

    My annual net $$$ is probably in my favor as the Utility allows me to Bank both on-peak and off peak kWh towards my future consumption. Then on Dec 31 they send a check for any excess in my favor at the rate of $0.065 kWh, by my calculations that should totally offset my monthly bill which is mostly fees, so my grid tie creates all my power needs and my net annual electric bill is negative.

    Non-TOU rate plans are actually more expensive overall assuming the Utility has the proper rate structure.

    The real danger as I see it is when you have compatible appliances and the meter has enough smarts to control to turn them off in times of excessive grid load. BTW I have yet to see any such appliances, but read somewhere there was a pilot of that going on.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by solar_dave View Post
    Mine is 9AM to 9PM Mon-Fri $0.0156 per kWh and $0.0055 the rest of the time. My net on peak on the grid is really pretty low.
    If you can buy power for 1.5 cents per Kwh, why on earth would you do anything with renewable energy that cost you 20 times more? I think you made a typo
    MSEE, PE

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunking View Post
    If you can buy power for 1.5 cents per Kwh, why on earth would you do anything with renewable energy that cost you 20 times more? I think you made a typo
    oops your right! I am really a capitalist, and my grid-tie system is paid for in under 4 years making me very happy.
    My TED 5000 system
    Sticking it to the power company one watt at a time!
    60 Ningbo Electric 175 watt panels and 12 Canadian Solar 180 watt panels with 2 PVP 5200 Inverters

  7. #7
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    Well Al. Tx. Tn and I beleive 3 other states dont recognize Net metering. I ordered a seperate meter that is certified and had it installed after the power companys meter. I know its useless if they wont allow net. But Ive busted them after hours as in DARK. 2000hrs to 0500hrs and their meter read 10 KW more than mine on one test. Since this happened Ive started to do a 30 day test after hours on this Smart meter, then Ill confront them. I dont trust a meter they can do what they will with the touch of a keyboard 30 miles away.
    Smart Meters are Smart, but if you know how to outsmart them. Well its still all good!

  8. #8
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    There is a BIG fraud case going on in Northern California, about PG&E's smart meters overcharging thousands of households, something like 30% of meters are bad.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike90250 View Post
    There is a BIG fraud case going on in Northern California, about PG&E's smart meters overcharging thousands of households, something like 30% of meters are bad.
    Something similar here in TX. The meters work perfectly, what is causing the 100 to 300% monthly bill increases is the Time of Day rates people get with the meters. TOD is designed to give the POCO huge rate hikes.
    MSEE, PE

  10. #10
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    What I have read about the CA situation is that a very few meters actually gave faulty readings and some were not installed correctly.

    Much of the crying is not much more than bar stool talk or what the barber told someone anyway.

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