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  • SCE forcing me off TOU-D-A

    I got a letter from SCE telling me that they are forcing me out of my grandfathered TOU-D-A next month. They showed me the new TOU that they are recommending, PRIME. They also forecast my bill will raise about 3x! PRIME shifts my peak period later, does not give me any credits and raises the kWh pricing significantly. I think my super off peak (which no longer will even exist in the summer) is 50% (19€ vs 13€) more than what I pay now. Since I have an EV and a spa, that's gonna leave a mark. I am both venting and finding out if there are any other options others found other than budgeting for literally thousands of more $$ per year for my energy cost? I'm on NEM 1.0 from 2012 installation. I *HATE* these PUCs.
    Last edited by insaneoctane; 10-10-2021, 01:55 PM.

  • #2
    After being on solar for ten years has it paid for itself yet?
    BSEE, R11, NABCEP, Chevy BoltEV, >3000kW installed

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    • #3
      In California the only thing that is truly "grandfathered" is the NEM version.ie NEM 1.0 or 2.0. The rates and periods for TOU rates have changed as many as three times a year. Some of the changes are more drastic as insaneoctane has reported. The trends have been that the payback has lengthened. When I recently moved, I lost a very favorable EV rate that was quasi grandfathered but could not be transferred to a different residence. Fortunately I will be under the wire with NEM 2.0 before NEM 3.0 takes affect.
      9 kW solar. Driving EVs since 2012

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      • #4
        I noticed this earlier on their website and then received their letter. I was about one year away from my break even point. Now I will be two years since the new rate cuts the value of my production in half. The letter shows I will pay about four times next year as I did this year on all of the options. I am leaning toward PRIME since we are an EV household. The letter showed my best plan would be the tiered plan but that doesn’t consider the facts that I will slightly shift usage on the PRIME plan and the reduced driving from COVID this year. It has been a while since Super Off-Peak rates were at $0.13 per kWh. Their year’s rates were $0.16327 winter and $0.17364 summer. I think your chance to do something has passed. Maybe if you had tried to change the outcome of elections to the board or something.

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        • #5
          I'm back here on SolarPanelTalk for this very issue. We knew it was coming because with all the statewide solar production the noon to 6:00 period isn't peak anymore. The duck curve is real.

          For my household we are SCE nem 1.0 so we can go to tiered. I spoke with SCE yesterday; if your install was after 2015 you are NEM 2.0 and must be on TOU. The new TOU time periods are either 4 to 9 pm or 5 to 8 pm, after 80+ percent of the daily generation.

          It was sort of a freebie for us since our annual production (on a 6 kw system) is just over 9 mwh but our consumption is about 10.5 mwh. Except for last year we haven't paid for power in 6 years because of TOU (buy low, sell high). If we stay on TOU we would buy high and sell low. Instead we will go to the tiered plan and stay in the first tier where the cost is $0.26 per kwh, but it will still cost about $300 per year.

          The original TOU plan and tax rebates were a great deal. We are in year 7 of our install and I calculated our break-even at 8 years, but that assumed flat prices. So in actuality we probably already broke even. We also used more AC in the summer with solar than we did without. If you figure a 20 year system life even with some decommissioning costs we will have paid less than 1/2 as much for power than without solar.

          The current incentives aren't as good, but on the other hand the hardware costs for a new system are way less in only 7 years. I would totally do it again (with a few changes).
          Last edited by jimqpublic; 10-12-2021, 07:10 PM. Reason: Added info on our break-even.

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          • #6
            I got the letter about TOU-A going away. I switched to TOU-A about 2.5 years ago and now I'm wondering if I saved any money over my previous tiered rate. I'm going back to the tiered rate as the power rates are 26 cents, which is lower than the TOU rates. I export enough with my solar the cost of electricity doesn't matter much. I got my payback in 7.2 years last July.

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            • #7
              Based on your comment on another thread, you have a lot of over production so a tiered plan may make sense. I have been on TOU rates for ten years and they work for me. I actually had a dollar credit but it washed against my usage. I have two EVs which has allowed me to leverage TOU rates. It all depends on where you are standing.
              9 kW solar. Driving EVs since 2012

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              • #8
                Created an account to comment. I too got the letter. I am thinking of switching to prime. I'm on a PPA plan (not my choice, had to take over a system in buying the house). Is there a easy way for me to only generate during the hours of 4-9 PM? I know not much will be generated at those hours, but that's the only time where the PPA would be beneficial to me. Perhaps some sort of DC switch to disconnect the panels from the inverter except between 4-9 PM? Thanks in advance.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Ward L View Post
                  ............ I'm going back to the tiered rate as the power rates are 26 cents, which is lower than the TOU rates. I export enough with my solar the cost of electricity doesn't matter much.........
                  On another thread you said you are going to buy another EV so I would look at the rate differentials to decide if you should stay on the tiered plan. It all depends on your regular loads and whether it is convenient to charge your EVs late at night. I don't know what the current super off peak is with SCE but in PGE territory it is $0.19 per kWh. Also I get credit for solar production at much higher rates in summer and even in winter at a rate that makes the TOU EV rate better for me. Even on a tiered rate at $0.26 per kWh if you can utilize your over production to offset transportation costs it will economically be better than the $0.04 per kWh you are being paid at true up.
                  9 kW solar. Driving EVs since 2012

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by slrcurious55 View Post
                    Created an account to comment. I too got the letter. I am thinking of switching to prime. I'm on a PPA plan (not my choice, had to take over a system in buying the house). Is there a easy way for me to only generate during the hours of 4-9 PM? I know not much will be generated at those hours, but that's the only time where the PPA would be beneficial to me. Perhaps some sort of DC switch to disconnect the panels from the inverter except between 4-9 PM? Thanks in advance.
                    You can only do that with a battery, and the expense of a battery and it's wear, costs more than simply buying electricity.
                    Powerfab top of pole PV mount (2) | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
                    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
                    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

                    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
                    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister

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                    • #11
                      I think since I have been an exporter of kWh over the year, it doesn't matter much if I am on the TOU or tiered rate. I have an excess of kWh and they pay me 4 cents/kWh or less for my excess power. The off peak power rate is 13 cents with TOU and 26 cents with tiered. At the end of the relevant period year I have an excess of kWh and it doesn't matter if I used expensive kWhs or cheap kWhs, they pay me the same 4 cents for the kWhs I gave them.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Ward L View Post
                        I think since I have been an exporter of kWh over the year, it doesn't matter much if I am on the TOU or tiered rate........
                        Yes, that is correct.As long as you are an exporter.
                        I have two EVs and in the past on NEM 1.0 had True Ups where I had a dollar credit but was a net consumer of over a megaWatthour of energy. The two washed out and essentially I got that megaWatthour at no incremental cost. Obviously this would only apply if you began consuming more than you produced and had a dollar credit. I am now on NEM 2.0 and the Non Bypassable Charges do not make that strategy pay off in the same manner. I am mentioning it for the benefit of anyone on NEM 1.0 that could benefit from that kind of load shifting.
                        9 kW solar. Driving EVs since 2012

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by slrcurious55 View Post
                          Created an account to comment. I too got the letter. I am thinking of switching to prime. I'm on a PPA plan (not my choice, had to take over a system in buying the house). Is there a easy way for me to only generate during the hours of 4-9 PM? I know not much will be generated at those hours, but that's the only time where the PPA would be beneficial to me. Perhaps some sort of DC switch to disconnect the panels from the inverter except between 4-9 PM? Thanks in advance.
                          In addition to what Mike said, you are probably restricted from turning off your system by the terms of the PPA. If you have not figured it out yet, you do not own the system and cannot alter it. The only choice is to buy out the system if there even is an option to do that. That may not even be economically feasible. It may depend on your cost of funds.
                          Last edited by Ampster; 10-15-2021, 12:01 PM.
                          9 kW solar. Driving EVs since 2012

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                          • #14
                            I got my letter too, but I think it is wrong. According to their own website, as an NEM1.0 customer I have 5 yrs from my PTO which means a switch in June 2022. My letter says December 2021. I've already sent an email to my contact in the Regulatory Affairs department at SCE to see what's up

                            BTW - letter says my increase is between $525 and $830 per year! Tiered looks like the best option for me.

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                            • #15
                              I also got the letter regarding the switch from TOU-D-A to TOU-PRIME in December 2021. My annual electricity bill will go from ~$700 to ~$1,600 as we thoroughly enjoyed the arbitrage between on-peak solar generation and the super-off peak usage when our electricity demand peaked (2 EVs, old 5-ton AC compressor in the summer, radiant floor heaters in the winter). By my estimation, our $15K 4.8kW solar array has more than paid for itself when I factor in the 30% federal tax credit and $5K annual savings on gasoline/diesel. There are still a few moves I could do to further lower my costs and electricity demands by replacing our 20 year old AC compressor with a SEER 14-16 and properly insulate my old leaky house.

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