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  • Wholesale of Retail Net metering?

    In the literal Lone Star state (aka Texas) we have a --national-- state grid that is effectively isolated from rest of world and offers a "free market" power.

    ERCOT (Electric Reliability Council of Texas) has a Wholesale rate, and retailers like NRG, Green Mountain, TXU, Gexa, Cirro, etc sell at Retail rate (obviously higher price).
    There are over 60 Retail Electricity Providers in Texas offering hundreds of energy plans and rates.

    Only a few of them offer rates with Net Metering
    And what I have found is a pattern of:

    Buy-back at Wholesale prices with ROLLOVER of credits to next month
    Buy-back at Retail prices with NO-Rollover of credits to next month

    QUESTION: which of the 2 systems is better contract? I was unable to find what a companies mark-up is, but about 50% seems to be what I see.
    My bill is a rather low (by Houston) rate of $0.13/kWh, but the graph below shows wholesale (from March 2022) is $0.085 per kWh.
    Side note: one provider offers wholesale to customer (with a $9.99 monthly fee, which is only good for big users).


    ERCOT Wholesale price history Houston area (webp image, cannot upload to this forum)
    Wholesale price Houston area






    ercot-exhibit1.png



    solar pete

    Pete, I can post industry and news links I used for research (no solar business).
    Also web sites that discuss which Texas retailers support net-metering.

  • #2
    Originally posted by GoingElectric View Post
    In the literal Lone Star state (aka Texas) we have a --national-- state grid that is effectively isolated from rest of world and offers a "free market" power.

    ERCOT (Electric Reliability Council of Texas) has a Wholesale rate, and retailers like NRG, Green Mountain, TXU, Gexa, Cirro, etc sell at Retail rate (obviously higher price).
    There are over 60 Retail Electricity Providers in Texas offering hundreds of energy plans and rates.

    Only a few of them offer rates with Net Metering
    And what I have found is a pattern of:

    Buy-back at Wholesale prices with ROLLOVER of credits to next month
    Buy-back at Retail prices with NO-Rollover of credits to next month

    QUESTION: which of the 2 systems is better contract? I was unable to find what a companies mark-up is, but about 50% seems to be what I see.
    My bill is a rather low (by Houston) rate of $0.13/kWh, but the graph below shows wholesale (from March 2022) is $0.085 per kWh.
    Side note: one provider offers wholesale to customer (with a $9.99 monthly fee, which is only good for big users).


    ERCOT Wholesale price history Houston area (webp image, cannot upload to this forum)
    Wholesale price Houston area






    ercot-exhibit1.png



    solar pete

    Pete, I can post industry and news links I used for research (no solar business).
    Also web sites that discuss which Texas retailers support net-metering.
    I'm going to assume when you ask which "system" is better you mean which will be the most cost effective for you in the long run.

    Without knowing much about the bigger picture particulars with TX POCOs and also knowing little about your particular situation with regard to use patterns and plans, it's not possible for me to offer more than a wild guess as to which way to go.
    You ask a question that needs a lot more information before an informed opinion can be offered and so it's a big question.

    But I'd offer a general statement that it's usually good to start with an analysis of the situation taking long term goals into account including an energy budget to meet those goals. Then, see what tools/assets are available to meet those goals, often a mix of energy sources including conservation efforts, and then determine which mix of those tools/assets are the best match with your priorities and goals including ease of use, cost effectiveness other priorities that best fits the goals you set keeping in mind that PV is only one of several tools that are available to meet whatever your goals might be.

    Beyond that, if I was in TX and had convinced myself PV was the best choice to meet my goals, I might first look at not oversizing the system and then look at what you call the retail plan with no rollover and know that there is no perfect way to predict the future. I base that SWAG on the idea that retail will probably be more $$'s to me than wholesale, and a not oversized system will cost less than an oversized system. I'd then be able to meet my goals with as little commitment of funds on a system and optimize the overall cost effectiveness by getting retail for what I do generate.
    But, again, all that thining is predicated on the limited information I've got to witk with so take it for what it's worth.

    Also, as part of my design and meeting goals, I'd also look at all the other plans that don't offer net metering. There may be one or more that offer prices and features that may make more long term $$ sense.
    In spite of what you may hear or read, PV is not necessarily the most cost effective way to meet a long term electricity need.

    Take what you want of the above. Scrap the rest.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by J.P.M. View Post
      Also, as part of my design and meeting goals, I'd also look at all the other plans that don't offer net metering. There may be one or more that offer prices and features that may make more long term $$ sense.
      In spite of what you may hear or read, PV is not necessarily the most cost effective way to meet a long term electricity need.
      That is point, see if a rate with no metering is best, and don't worry about surplus power, to which a smaller system would be better (that is, less chance of generating more than needed, getting no return despite on extra)

      Comment


      • #4
        You might take a look at the following site if you have not already:
        https://quickelectricity.com/2018-so...back-programs/

        Pulse power has the month to month rollover credits in addition to buying back the power at retail rates. This is the one I’m looking at possibly going with once my solar is up in active. I still have to verify their solar plan retail rates.

        in Texas you have to watch out for every kilowatt hr you use Ercot/encore will charge a transmission rate of ~$0.05 per kWh. So even if the electric company buys back your excess power at retail and you generate more than you use, you will still owe a small bill every month in a transmission charge.


        The other thing I have seen with some of these power companies is that their solar plan retail rate is higher than a non-solar retail rate then they just buy it back at wholesale from you.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Thescoutranch View Post
          You might take a look at the following site if you have not already:
          https://quickelectricity.com/2018-so...back-programs/

          Pulse power has the month to month rollover credits in addition to buying back the power at retail rates. This is the one I’m looking at possibly going with once my solar is up in active. I still have to verify their solar plan retail rates.

          in Texas you have to watch out for every kilowatt hr you use Ercot/encore will charge a transmission rate of ~$0.05 per kWh. So even if the electric company buys back your excess power at retail and you generate more than you use, you will still owe a small bill every month in a transmission charge.


          The other thing I have seen with some of these power companies is that their solar plan retail rate is higher than a non-solar retail rate then they just buy it back at wholesale from you.
          Thanks for the info!

          Yes, I do see the pricing shenanigans too, and of course the transmission fee.
          Other tactic is to be close to even, and not worry about rates or rollovers.

          How far you on your install? I am on hold as I resolve my roof issue.

          Comment


          • #6
            Late into planning. Getting ready to apply to Encore for to start the permitting process/interconnect agreement

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by J.P.M. View Post
              Beyond that, if I was in TX and had convinced myself PV was the best choice to meet my goals, I might first look at not oversizing the system and then look at what you call the retail plan with no rollover and know that there is no perfect way to predict the future. I base that SWAG on the idea that retail will probably be more $$'s to me than wholesale, and a not oversized system will cost less than an oversized system. I'd then be able to meet my goals with as little commitment of funds on a system and optimize the overall cost effectiveness by getting retail for what I do generate.
              But, again, all that thining is predicated on the limited information I've got to witk with so take it for what it's worth.

              Also, as part of my design and meeting goals, I'd also look at all the other plans that don't offer net metering. There may be one or more that offer prices and features that may make more long term $$ sense.
              In spite of what you may hear or read, PV is not necessarily the most cost effective way to meet a long term electricity need.
              Not the OP, but how would you plan based on the fact that these plans will change probably long before there's an ROI on most installs? Does it make more sense to then just continue with a regular meter and bill and let others adding to the grid help absorb any future cost increases?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by SamirD View Post
                Not the OP, but how would you plan based on the fact that these plans will change probably long before there's an ROI on most installs? Does it make more sense to then just continue with a regular meter and bill and let others adding to the grid help absorb any future cost increases?
                Looking at market future prediction, 1/3 of Texas generation is from Nat Gas, and that is expected to increase in price, adding to the expected increase for electric generation.
                There is no prediction where price of Texas electricity will NOT rise, just a Q on how much/how fast.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by GoingElectric View Post

                  Looking at market future prediction, 1/3 of Texas generation is from Nat Gas, and that is expected to increase in price, adding to the expected increase for electric generation.
                  There is no prediction where price of Texas electricity will NOT rise, just a Q on how much/how fast.
                  Yes, but the question is if adding the extra expense of a PV system will be higher at some point after others have already added capacity and brought a regular metered price down in relation to a PV system cost.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by SamirD View Post
                    Yes, but the question is if adding the extra expense of a PV system will be higher at some point after others have already added capacity and brought a regular metered price down in relation to a PV system cost.
                    Valid concern, but demand for electricity will only go up. I see more and more houses add external lights, pools, and other enhancements.
                    And then there is EV.

                    My plan is to switch from Gas to Electricity. Water heater done, range done, heating using portables (rarely so cold need heater), our only big item is cloths dryer.
                    Have an 8.1 kW solar.
                    I estimate I will save about $2850 off annual utility bills

                    BEV is on short list, saving gas money too.

                    So no matter which way my electric (and gas) bill will go, I will be well ahead.

                    Comment

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