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  • #16
    Originally posted by Ward L View Post
    When I run the SCE model it says I will save $1/month by switching to a TOU contract over my current tiered rate. I ran the cases in Excel and decided as long as I have excess solar power I am best to stay on a tiered rate plan. Last year I had an excess of power and was paid $0.035/kWh. This year I am charging my EV with that excess power. Depending on the weather and sunshine, I expect to end up the 12-month billing period as perfectly balanced. I paid the monthly minimum all year and charged my EV with very cheap electrons incremental. How would a TOU contract save me any money? It seems I have more to lose with the TOU plan. For example, IF my electricity demand exceeds my solar generation, I could be paying as much as 46 cents on the peak TOU plan to charge my EV. I'll have to dig out my old spreadsheet I made to figure this out and update it. I'm pretty sure the Green Data download handled the export power correctly. I do appreciate your inquiring minds as this is difficult to figure out. If SCE can't do it right, how is Joe Solar Homeowner supposed to know what to do?
    With the PG&E EV-A plan and TOU plans, the 46 cents per kWh is not as bad as it seems. If you feed the grid a kWh during peak time, you get a 46 cent credit. You can charge you car at night for 12 cents. I am on the TOU EV-A plan with PGE and here is how my usage works out for 10 months

    Net Peak Usage (kWh)
    -193
    Net Part Peak Usage (kWh) -3578
    Net Off Peak Usage (kWh) 8597
    Net Usage (kWh) 4828

    As you can see, solar negates itself for me during peak and part peak usage. I send more energy to the grid during this time then I use. My off peak usage is crazy high, because that is when I charge my cars. I have used 4828 kWh more than what my panels produced, and it will cost me about $300.

    I really think that the TOU plan would be best for you, but I can't tell unless I look at your numbers. You can also push many of the intensive energy uses for your house during off peak times. TOU is worth it with an EV!


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    • #17
      Originally posted by discodanman45 View Post

      ......... I have used 4828 kWh more than what my panels produced, and it will cost me about $300.

      I really think that the TOU plan would be best for you, but I can't tell unless I look at your numbers. You can also push many of the intensive energy uses for your house during off peak times. TOU is worth it with an EV!
      $300 divided by 4828kWhrs is $0.06 per kWhr. It would be hard to beat that rate on a tiered plan. With a TOU plan and an EV you essentially have an opportunity to sell high and buy low. I think @J.P.M ignores that opportunity in his lengthy analysis about purchasing an EV.
      Last edited by Ampster; 02-25-2019, 11:37 PM.

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      • #18
        I just downloaded my hourly electrical use. Happy to send it to you but doubt you really meant to offer to look at my data. I pulled in 9,163.5 kWh and exported 9,418.5 kWh from the period Feb 20, 2018 to Feb 20, 2019. I first charged my EV on April 26 2018 and have used 2,649 kWh charging it. The 2,649 includes a very small amount of supercharging away from the house and is the actual kWh as expected at my house power meter. I'm a little surprised to have so much excess power back to the grid. .

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Ampster View Post

          $300 divided by 4828kWhrs is $0.06 per kWhr. It would be hard to beat that rate on a tiered plan. With a TOU plan and an EV you essentially have an opportunity to sell high and buy low. I think @J.P.M ignores that opportunity in his lengthy analysis about purchasing an EV.
          JPM makes good points about an EV. They are not really the best economic purchase, unless you meet some criteria
          1. You can take advantage of the subsidies available for them. I got back $13,500 on my Bolt EV making it a $25,000 car after taxes. This is a decent price, but I live in an area that gives good rebates and I am lucky enough to make a great salary to get back the full $7500 federal credit. BTW, this federal credit is BS. Everyone should get it as a rebate IMO.
          2. You drive a lot! My wife and I put about 50,000 miles a year on our two cars. Before EV's we used to spend upwards of $6000 in gas every year. You only save big on EV's if you drive them a lot.
          3. To really make out financially with an EV you also need to be in a state with net metering and TOU plans to charge your car at off-peak hours.
          Having my Bolt EV is going to be a money saver over the long haul. However, I am depending on the battery lasting 300,000 miles on it. I already have about 50,000 miles on it and it has basically no degradation from when I got it. Properly temperature managed batteries have shown to have minimal degradation. Please don't touch a Nissan Leaf with its passive cooling of the battery. If my Bolt lasts 300,000 miles it would have paid for itself in just gas...

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Ward L View Post
            I just downloaded my hourly electrical use. Happy to send it to you but doubt you really meant to offer to look at my data. I pulled in 9,163.5 kWh and exported 9,418.5 kWh from the period Feb 20, 2018 to Feb 20, 2019. I first charged my EV on April 26 2018 and have used 2,649 kWh charging it. The 2,649 includes a very small amount of supercharging away from the house and is the actual kWh as expected at my house power meter. I'm a little surprised to have so much excess power back to the grid. .
            The problem is they are ending those great TOU rates on March 1st... Your future should only increase energy demands as you might drive more or get a second EV. I know the 46 cents per kWh sounds crazy, but you would have crazy credits to play with. You could charge your neighbors for level 2 charging at your house

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            • #21
              My Enphase report says over that same 1-year period my 10k system of solar panels generated 16,053 kWh.

              Solar generation = 16,053 kWh
              Pulled in off the grid = 9,163 kWh
              Exported to the grid = 9,418 kWh
              My EV used 2,649 kWh (Gross consumption as would be reported by my house meter)

              I haven't had my EV the full year. I've estimated I use about 294 kWh/month charging it. When you factor in another 3 months of use, I'll use another 883 kWh for the EV making it so I end up buying 630 kWh of electricity by the end of my 12-billing period. If I assume 23 cents for incremental power that is about an extra $150 I will owe in May.

              Solar is great in SoCal.

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              • #22
                Jumping in here, because I'm quite interested in the EV game as well...

                I've got an 8.3KW system located in Las Vegas NV. I believe we average 5 hours of use-able sunlight in the winter and about 7-9 hours in the summer (maybe more?)
                I have not had my system running for a full year yet, but our Net Metering (NMR-405) fee schedule with NVEnergy is that anytime the system puts back on the grid, you receive 95% the going rate (95% of .11= approx $0.10) as a credit that can be used to offset your bill. In the past two months I have seen about $50 in credit to my account, equating to an excess of around 500kWh excess per month...


                Both the Chevy Bolt and the Tesla have looked attractive, but as the OP said, it's sticker shock.



                My curiosity is, what is the true overall cost of an EV vs ICE?
                How much per month is an average EV adding to your usage in kWh?
                What is the average Bolt cost per mile?
                The Tesla?



                For me, by the time insurance, maint, and fuel is factored in (the vehicle is paid off) my Toyota Tacoma runs at approx $0.26 per mile. (ROUGH estimate: my math is based on a few years ago and I may have used slightly different numbers at the time)

                (Currently I'm getting about 12 miles to the gal, $3.25 per gallon gas, and about $150 month for insurance.)
                I'm traveling around 700 miles a month for my daily commute

                35k for a car (esp used!) is pricey, but if $0 gas makes its way into my life, and the price per mile makes sense, the payment for 5 years may be worth it.
                Last edited by JakeTrilla; 02-26-2019, 01:12 AM.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by discodanman45 View Post

                  JPM makes good points about an EV. They are not really the best economic purchase, unless you meet some criteria
                  1. You can take advantage of the subsidies available for them. I got back $13,500 on my Bolt EV making it a $25,000 car after taxes. This is a decent price, but I live in an area that gives good rebates and I am lucky enough to make a great salary to get back the full $7500 federal credit. BTW, this federal credit is BS. Everyone should get it as a rebate IMO.
                  2. You drive a lot! My wife and I put about 50,000 miles a year on our two cars. Before EV's we used to spend upwards of $6000 in gas every year. You only save big on EV's if you drive them a lot.
                  3. To really make out financially with an EV you also need to be in a state with net metering and TOU plans to charge your car at off-peak hours.
                  .
                  Yes, the above are the good points. The only exception I would take to number 2 is probably a result of number 1. For example, for the past 5 years I have leased a Smart EV and then a Fiat 500e EV. I put $2,500 down and recovered that with the California rebate. The lease payments were $150 per month and I got $450 back from SCE on another California program. We only drove those cars about 4,000 miles per year. That example is only available in California and other ZEV states because the manufacturers heavily discount those cars so they can sell more Meredes Benz's and Chryslers. It is an unusual situation that only exists in California and a few other states.
                  Last edited by Ampster; 02-26-2019, 01:18 AM.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by JakeTrilla View Post
                    My curiosity is, what is the true overall cost of an EV vs ICE?
                    How much per month is an average EV adding to your usage in kWh?
                    What is the average Bolt cost per mile?
                    The Tesla?
                    I have averaged about 3.7 miles per kWh for the Bolt. 700 miles for your commute should be somewhere about 200 kWh. If you charge your car 30 kWh it takes about 33 kWh to do this. The reason for this is you lose about 10% of the energy during charging. I drive about 700 miles a week, so the money you save on gas won't be enough to financially make the switch with your 700 miles a month.

                    Insurance will be higher on any EV, because you are insuring a $35,000 car. It really isn't bad for me, but Safeco tends to be one of the insurance companies that doesn't charge that much extra for Tesla's. I also heard Liberty Insurance is also good for Tesla.

                    Maintenance is virtually 0 for the Bolt. However, if you are the type of person that needs to bring your car to the dealer to rotate tires and switch cabin air filters, you will still have to pay. I switch my own cabin air filters, takes about a minute to detach glove box to do so. I bring my car to Les Schwab to rotate tires. They do this for free for me since I bought tires in the past from them. I have only been to the dealer for updates and the first two free services. I have spent under $30 in maintenance for two years and 50,000 miles.

                    The Tesla is about $600 for the yearly service and inspection. They do quite a bit and the 2013 Tesla Model S is a luxury car, so I went into the purchase knowing that I would spend around $2000 minimally for the first 4 years of maintenance. I bought the car used for $35,000, however the original owner paid over $100,000. I have the panoramic roof, air suspension, upgraded audio, etc... Everything is warrantied for 2 years and up to 100,000 miles. The battery still has three years left and unlimited mileage. In fact, the first day I drove off the lot I heard a milling noise from the drive unit. They replaced it under warranty and gave me a P90D Model X as a loaner. I was picking the kids up from school with falcon doors for almost three weeks, it was cool and embarrassing at the same time!

                    My decision to go EV was more of a lifestyle change. I don't have to spend time with oil changes and filling up gas. I plug the car in each night and have a full tank ready in the morning. Long road trips are a PITA with the Bolt, it only charges at 40 kW maximum. I now only take the Tesla on long road trips. The supercharging network is amazing and takes half the time to charge. It is also free to use if you buy a used Model S, it basically comes with the car. You do have to pay now with new Tesla's. I can get 200 mile range in thirty minutes for free and there are always food places near the superchargers.

                    My decision to go EV is also an environmental one. I drive a 130 mile commute each day in one of the most polluted areas of the US, the Central Valley in California. With my long commute, I thought it was my responsibility to go electric. I also believe in the technology. An electric drivetrain is much more efficient and EV's have a smaller eco-footprint over their lifetime. These are facts. I want people to see me driving 100% electric and not needing gasoline. I go on 800 mile drives without any worries and I have met some great people. Being an EV owner is being part of a community. Once you drive an EV, even a Chevy Bolt, you will see that gasoline cars are a technology that will soon die.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by discodanman45 View Post

                      The problem is they are ending those great TOU rates on March 1st... Your future should only increase energy demands as you might drive more or get a second EV. I know the 46 cents per kWh sounds crazy, but you would have crazy credits to play with. You could charge your neighbors for level 2 charging at your house
                      I modeled my use using the TOU rates with SoCal Edison and come up with a $968 surplus over a year. I expect to break even on my current tiered plan. I don't know how they pay me for that as I am sure Edison isn't going to fork over that kind of cash. You were right, I made money selling power back to the grid during the peak hours. With the tiered rates, Edison pays about $0.035/kWh for excess power through the year. How do they pay you on the TOU rate plan? The other problem is I have a $145 true-up due when I change plans. My 12-month billing period ends in May. I had planned on paying that down with excess solar generation, but if I switch, I'll have to write a check. I'll give Edison a call and see what they say.

                      Thanks for the help, if it actually helps!!!

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Ward L View Post

                        I modeled my use using the TOU rates with SoCal Edison and come up with a $968 surplus over a year. I expect to break even on my current tiered plan. I don't know how they pay me for that as I am sure Edison isn't going to fork over that kind of cash. You were right, I made money selling power back to the grid during the peak hours. With the tiered rates, Edison pays about $0.035/kWh for excess power through the year. How do they pay you on the TOU rate plan? The other problem is I have a $145 true-up due when I change plans. My 12-month billing period ends in May. I had planned on paying that down with excess solar generation, but if I switch, I'll have to write a check. I'll give Edison a call and see what they say.

                        Thanks for the help, if it actually helps!!!
                        At the end of your modeled year they pay you at approximately $0.04 per Kwhr. Which is one thing I agree with J.P.M. about, that it is not worth the money they give you at that rate. . That is where an EV can help you drawn down those higher priced dollars. With a TOU plan they credit you at the rate that is in effect when you generate. The concept is you sell to them at high rates and your draw it down at low rates. Buy low sell high.
                        To optimize the change to TOU you have to change when your true up cost is close to zero. For you that may be April or May. You need to be able to predict that to optimize your recovery because the rate change does NOT go into effect until the next billing period. It is a critical timing thing to optimize the situation. That is the thing SCE won't tell you.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Ampster View Post

                          At the end of your modeled year they pay you at approximately $0.04 per Kwhr. Which is one thing I agree with J.P.M. about, that it is not worth the money they give you at that rate. . That is where an EV can help you drawn down those higher priced dollars. With a TOU plan they credit you at the rate that is in effect when you generate. The concept is you sell to them at high rates and your draw it down at low rates. Buy low sell high.
                          To optimize the change to TOU you have to change when your true up cost is close to zero. For you that may be April or May. You need to be able to predict that to optimize your recovery because the rate change does NOT go into effect until the next billing period. It is a critical timing thing to optimize the situation. That is the thing SCE won't tell you.
                          One thing that keeps crossing my mind lately seems to be a gray area not mentioned much, if at all. If I have a vehicle sufficient for my transportation needs, and fairly new, and I "like" it, where would I put the cost of a new EV to justify an oversized array ? Seems to me the only way to justify an EV before the end of the current vehicle's service life is by savings in fuel and maint. But if I've simply got excess generation capacity, seems like a new EV expense is a costly justification to what may be a mistake (the oversizing of an array).

                          I appreciate the new car bug, and the Porsche Taycan is gnawing at my brain daily, so maybe the question ought to be something like where does one put the cost of the brain gnaw ?

                          Even though it's a piddling amount, a yearly over generation payment of 50 bucks or so is still better than a, say, $400 - $500 /mo. payment for a vehicle (say a Chevy Bolt) that may be purchased with the justification of using electricity that may be around because of an ignorant sizing decision and not getting the $50/year.

                          Not saying it's good/bad, but my guess is a potential PV owner would need to drive a lot of miles/yr. to justify EV cost for the fuel and maint. savings alone over an ICE vehicle, and so, maybe not justifiable for a lot of folks from a cost effectiveness standpoint. However, I certainly appreciate the emotional need that can easily negate sanity with respect to vehicle ownership. I'm sure the makers of EV's feel the same way.

                          One other thought (and note Ampster - a bit off topic): Suppose EV';s REALLY take off (politics cause gas prices to double/some international B.S. crisis/whatever) with the result being the grid gets pushed past capacity at nite from all the charging taking place. What may/possibly may happen to T.O.U. rates and peak rate times ? Just wonderin'.

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                          • #28
                            JPM, I've wondered the same thing about how the power companies are going to generate enough power to charge up all the EVs. Maybe there is enough slack capacity at night that it won't be an issue. As far as the price of gas, as demand drops for gas, so will the price of gasoline. It will be awhile before EVs start impacting the price of gas, but it is amazing to think that we will have front row seats to watch and experience this automobile revolution. I've heard, but not sure I believe it, that you could burn gasoline in your power plant to generate electricity to power your EV more efficiently than burning the gasoline in your ICE. In any event, the experience of charging up your EV effortlessly at night vs buying gas at a station, the feeling that your EV is not spewing out fumes as you sit idling in traffic and the smooth and exciting torque of an electric motor will sweep over the country with amazing speed. Certainly there are some cold weather issues. I don't see the long haul trucks making their way over frozen mountain passes anytime soon. But someday....

                            And as far as me ignorantly over investing in solar panels, I knew what I was buying and I bought the largest system SCE would allow because I wanted to. It is no different than someone buying an $85,000
                            Porsche Taycan to drive from point A to point B. You could buy a $60,000 Tesla and save $25k. Neither one is necessarily being ignorant.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by J.P.M. View Post
                              One other thought (and note Ampster - a bit off topic): Suppose EV';s REALLY take off (politics cause gas prices to double/some international B.S. crisis/whatever) with the result being the grid gets pushed past capacity at nite from all the charging taking place. What may/possibly may happen to T.O.U. rates and peak rate times ? Just wonderin'.
                              Electric companies can change plans according to TOU to make it more profitable for themselves. PG&E used to have between 1 PM to 7 PM as peak. Now they go 2 PM to 9 PM as peak. This change was big for solar because you need to go a few hours at peak usage without solar. Because of the peak prices, it is much more beneficial to have West panels instead of East. If everyone installed West panels because of this, then PG&E could make peak hours from 7 am to 2 PM, making East panels more beneficial, The game could continue every few years.

                              If the grid is being used too much at night, then PG&E would grandfather the current EV-A rates and start a new TOU which would discourage night time charging. When I am charging both cars at night I am pulling over 17 kW just from my cars alone for 4 to 5 hours straight. Imagine if 50% of people did this... It seems like most TOU plans get grandfathered for at least 5 years, but they could just cancel them quickly if they want.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Ward L View Post
                                JPM, I've wondered the same thing about how the power companies are going to generate enough power to charge up all the EVs. Maybe there is enough slack capacity at night that it won't be an issue. As far as the price of gas, as demand drops for gas, so will the price of gasoline. It will be awhile before EVs start impacting the price of gas, but it is amazing to think that we will have front row seats to watch and experience this automobile revolution. I've heard, but not sure I believe it, that you could burn gasoline in your power plant to generate electricity to power your EV more efficiently than burning the gasoline in your ICE. In any event, the experience of charging up your EV effortlessly at night vs buying gas at a station, the feeling that your EV is not spewing out fumes as you sit idling in traffic and the smooth and exciting torque of an electric motor will sweep over the country with amazing speed. Certainly there are some cold weather issues. I don't see the long haul trucks making their way over frozen mountain passes anytime soon. But someday....

                                And as far as me ignorantly over investing in solar panels, I knew what I was buying and I bought the largest system SCE would allow because I wanted to. It is no different than someone buying an $85,000
                                Porsche Taycan to drive from point A to point B. You could buy a $60,000 Tesla and save $25k. Neither one is necessarily being ignorant.
                                In California we will find out soon enough about EV charging capacity at night. I believe about 7% of all cars sold in 2018 were EV's in California. Some of the Bay Area cities were over 20% in buying EV's. These numbers will continue to rise and night time charging will continue to grow. In about 5 years we will see changes to TOU rates. We might even see tiered TOU rates to make charging more expensive at night. Right now PG&E's EV-A rate is a crazy deal. I am only producing 75% of my energy needs and it will cost me under $300 per year to cover the remaining 25%. I just hope more people don't catch on to this!

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