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Our Power Company Looks to be Cheating Us - Again.

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  • Our Power Company Looks to be Cheating Us - Again.

    I don't think this is the correct place to bring this for answers and resolution.
    But, I think it's a place to start trying to understand and get this fixed.

    Our electrical provider seems to be either inflating our electrical usage, or reducing our PV output.
    Our electrical usage vs provided numbers on the meter have lost about 30 KWh in the last 2 to 4 days.

    We had a micro-inverter in our roof mount PV system fail.
    While getting it identified and replaced, I shut the PV system off for almost the whole month of June.

    When the system was turned back on, still short one micro inverter, we still produced more than we were using.
    Our negative production quantity was coming down, but not as fast as it would have with all the panels working.

    About a month ago the bad micro inverter was replaced.
    The negative production number came down even quicker.
    About a week ago, our negative PV provided number turned positive.
    We had finally produced more than we had used.
    A couple of days later our now positive excess production number jumped 20 to 30 KWh to the negative again.

    This is not the 1st time I've seen hints of something wrong with what the electrical company tells us on the meter.
    About 3 years ago, I was seeing something screwy going on on the meter, we were being shorted.

    Then, the county forced us to evacuate for 3 to 4 months because of a volcanic eruption.
    Power was turned off.
    By the time we got back into our home, the power company had replaced the old meter with a new one.
    The problem seemed to be fixed.
    They never made any effort to admit or correct the overcharges made to us.
    So, I dropped it and let it go, figuring it would be too hard, if even possible, to get any restitution.

    Now, it seems to have begun again.
    I have not contacted them about this yet.
    I have no trust in them to be truthful or correct things.
    I don't necessarily trust the government's controlling bodies either.

    Where would be the best place to take this problem, if I'm correct, to get correction and restitution?

  • #2
    Originally posted by voyager View Post
    I don't think this is the correct place to bring this for answers and resolution.
    But, I think it's a place to start trying to understand and get this fixed.


    Where would be the best place to take this problem, if I'm correct, to get correction and restitution?
    Since it seems you don't trust the POCO (there seems top be a lot of that going around), the best place to start is with your own education as to what your utility's rate and policy structures are.

    Although you haven't said yet what country you're in, I suspect most of what you'll be looking for is a matter of public record, although it'll take some digging and don't be surprised it's a bit like peeling and onion with layers or interconnected stuff. FWIW, in such situations I try to remember nothing can replace persistece.

    Do the research, then it'll be up to you to do the hard work and actually figure out what your system is producing and what the POCO is supplying to you. Then, with your gained knowledge of what the POCO ought to be doing, or have already done, see if you can recreate what they've been doing and reconstruct your bills.

    Having done this method before, I appreciate that it's a PITA, but I learned a lot doing it. My semi-educated guess is that if you do what I suggest and do it thoroughly, you will also learn a lot.

    One surprising thing (to me at least) I learned was that with a thorough understanding of POCO policy - and some help from the POCO to answer INFORMED questions rather than ignorant, uninformed rants, my POCO was quite helpful if I applied a bit of professional and non confrontational persistence.

    If you do it correctly, you'll find out they are either screwing you, or they are not. But until you educate yourself, you'll not know.

    If you do what I've done, my money is on you'll find that the perception you have that you're getting screwed has its roots in your own ignorance. Either way, you'll gain some knowledge which is never a bad thing.

    BTW, welcome to the forum of few(er) illusions.

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

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    • #3
      Thanks S-F for your response.
      You've kinda confirmed my feeling as to how difficult it'll be to get this worked out for myself.
      It's almost as if they've made the system so difficult to understand on purpose, to stop most anyone from digging into it.

      So that I can see and document what is happening, I'm going back to what I was doing when I first had the PV setup installed: record the meter's figures at 8am and 7pm every day, to record night time usage and daytime production.
      That should give me a good indication of what is actually happening over time.
      Any reporting problems should become apparent.
      If there are any, it'll be easier to isolate them.
      Any errors against me are already lost , once again.

      I realize how foolish this question is.
      But got to ask it any way.
      Is there any way to automate getting records of the meter's figures for usage and production?
      Last edited by voyager; 09-11-2021, 03:59 AM.

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      • #4
        Experience here is, it is very easy to misplace 5kWh a day, I have burned up that much
        in the PV system wiring losses over a 10 hour sun day. Some pretty precision
        measurements are needed to pin things down more accurately. One way to help keep
        track is with this style meter, available surplus now for less than the cost of the box it
        mounts in. This one was originally used by the PoCo on my house, but they let me
        have it when a NET METER was installed. I built it into my energy monitoring system,
        have had good correspondence between my estimates and the PoCo billing.

        This meter had indicators that would only count up, but a drop of glue defeated the
        readout reverse gear, so now it counts up or down depending on direction of energy
        flow (as seen with direction of disc rotation). Bruce Roe

        BiDirMtr.JPG
        Last edited by bcroe; 09-11-2021, 05:23 PM.

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        • #5
          I agree with the earlier advice that data is key to being able to understand the the issue and communicate your concerns to your Power Company.
          9 kW solar. Driving EVs since 2012

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          • #6
            Originally posted by voyager View Post
            Is there any way to automate getting records of the meter's figures for usage and production?
            Yes there are a number of ways to do that depending where you are at. If you are in the USA some utilities support HAN devices that connect with smart meters that have Zigbee. There are devices that use current transformers (CT) to measure generation and consumption. If you have a camera with time lapse settings you could use that to record your meter readings. Can you post a picture of your meter and that might provide a clue as to where to start.
            9 kW solar. Driving EVs since 2012

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