Page 2 of 6 FirstFirst 123456 LastLast
Results 16 to 30 of 85

Thread: Another example of how utilities are total dirtballs

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    21,695
    Blog Entries
    1
    I agree with Mike. I have no school age children but I want education in my community so I pay taxes for that. Same for paying for the the grid whether you use a lot or a little. This can be the little discussed downside to residential solar. The original cost model that you made the decision on is still in place but the utility is allowed to change the rules.
    Take me to the hotel - Baggage gone, oh well . . .

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Posts
    3,082
    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Lawrence View Post
    Sounds like you have a product you want to sell, but have no customers, no distribution system, and none of the knowledge or experience that would be required to solve either of those problems.

    The propaganda must be pretty effective if you really think they should have to find customers for you, transport the product to them, handle billing, deal with complaints, maintenance, and do it all for free.
    So many problems with these statements.

    One. I already sell my product. To the only buyer I am legally allowed to sell it to - Duke Energy. By paying me below market rates, they make the choice to use their own distribution system to buy it from me.

    But now, they aren't really buying it from me any more, they are confiscating it. They are taking the surplus, but not paying me for it any longer. They are doing this by charging me $360/year, but only paying me back $286/year.

    I could understand a minimum rate if I wasn't supplying them with a large surplus of energy which they then profit from. I should be able to charge them $30/month for the right to buy that energy from me at 75% discounted rates compared to what they are then charging customers for the energy I just provided them. How is that any different?
    - Its not that Im so smart, its just that I stay with problems longer. Albert Einstein
    - Welcome to Florida. Where the old folks visit their parents

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Okotoks AB
    Posts
    3,312
    Blog Entries
    1
    Those who argue that the utility must be paid for use of their distributions system, I agree that they should. But to compare the cost of distributing their own generated energy to that produced by a homeowner is just ridiculous. As I said earlier, the power produced by the guy with a solar array only has to go as far as the nearest neighbor, not 100s of miles.

  4. #19
    Around here, when you get your permit for solar, they will only approve enough to meet your historical demand*. That avoids the situation you face. You made a choice to put in more solar than you need, and now you're complaining that you aren't getting paid enough for it.

    But in any case, whether you generate just enough for your own needs, or if you generate in excess of your needs, you need the power grid and you should pay your fair share for that.

    In the old days, before solar, the support for the grid was included in the price you paid for electricity, and it was graduated based on how much power you used. Now, we have to find a new way to pay for the grid in a fair manner. I expect we'll see a fixed charge for every home with a solar installation. The fight will be about the size of that charge. I'd be content with $10/mo but I'd oppose $50/mo.

    Mike

    *You can get a bit excess if you claim that you're going to purchase an electric vehicle.
    Last edited by Mike Henderson; 01-20-2022 at 10:15 PM.
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Wenatchee, WA
    Posts
    347
    Without getting into the specifics of how a particular utility does business... there's a little more to it than them just re-selling what you are 'giving' them. O&M costs on lines - particularly distribution systems, as someone noted above - are considerable. Some of that isn't just the cost of the copper wire between you and wherever the electrons eventually end up; it's maintaining all the protective devices that keep you, the supplier, and the customer, safe from shenanigans on either end of the line. Some of it's federally mandated requirements to maintain a certain amount of reserve power available, simply in the event that there is a large grid fluctuation, ready to help recover the system voltage and frequency. While on the one hand, it would seem like customer sell-back power would be a great booster for that reserve requirement... I have some serious doubts about it's viability in a practical sense. Solar (and wind, and most 'renewables' other than large scale hydro) pretty much sucks at providing grid stability. Kinda need stuff with 'big iron' behind it somewhere in the system to provide that kind of resilience.

    Add to that that the utility has no idea - and no control - over how much you might be supplying at any point in time, or how reliable your system actually is or isn't... it doesn't surprise me that they put such a low $$$ value on your power. Power prices can fluctuate wildly throughout the day, dependent on all manner of things. Supplying them with 'extra' power that they don't really need just means they have to jump through hoops to keep it from adversely affecting things. Most of the time they've already bought and paid for their expected power needs on long-term contracts at bulk rates which are very, very cheap.

    Why would they pay you a premium for your excess, simply because you couldn't calculate your power needs better and need to get rid of it?

    Spoiler: yes, I do work 'in the industry', albeit about as far away from Florida as you can get and still be in 'CONUS' aka WA state, and no, I don't work in retail/distribution (any more) - I'm in the (hydro) generation side of things.

  6. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Pratt View Post
    Those who argue that the utility must be paid for use of their distributions system, I agree that they should. But to compare the cost of distributing their own generated energy to that produced by a homeowner is just ridiculous. As I said earlier, the power produced by the guy with a solar array only has to go as far as the nearest neighbor, not 100s of miles.
    Actually, you can't tell where your electricity will be used. Could be next door, could be the next state. The grid is a "unit" and you can't break it down as you suggest.

    In any case, there are times when you'll have to pull power from the grid and that will likely come from a generating station (because you likely won't pull power while the sun is shining - because you're generating). All of us depend on "the grid" - the whole grid, not just the part in our neighborhood - and we have to pay to support all of it.

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  7. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Monte Milanuk View Post
    Without getting into the specifics of how a particular utility does business... there's a little more to it than them just re-selling what you are 'giving' them. O&M costs on lines - particularly distribution systems, as someone noted above - are considerable. Some of that isn't just the cost of the copper wire between you and wherever the electrons eventually end up; it's maintaining all the protective devices that keep you, the supplier, and the customer, safe from shenanigans on either end of the line. Some of it's federally mandated requirements to maintain a certain amount of reserve power available, simply in the event that there is a large grid fluctuation, ready to help recover the system voltage and frequency. While on the one hand, it would seem like customer sell-back power would be a great booster for that reserve requirement... I have some serious doubts about it's viability in a practical sense. Solar (and wind, and most 'renewables' other than large scale hydro) pretty much sucks at providing grid stability. Kinda need stuff with 'big iron' behind it somewhere in the system to provide that kind of resilience.

    Add to that that the utility has no idea - and no control - over how much you might be supplying at any point in time, or how reliable your system actually is or isn't... it doesn't surprise me that they put such a low $$$ value on your power. Power prices can fluctuate wildly throughout the day, dependent on all manner of things. Supplying them with 'extra' power that they don't really need just means they have to jump through hoops to keep it from adversely affecting things. Most of the time they've already bought and paid for their expected power needs on long-term contracts at bulk rates which are very, very cheap.

    Why would they pay you a premium for your excess, simply because you couldn't calculate your power needs better and need to get rid of it?

    Spoiler: yes, I do work 'in the industry', albeit about as far away from Florida as you can get and still be in 'CONUS' aka WA state, and no, I don't work in retail/distribution (any more) - I'm in the (hydro) generation side of things.
    California has so much solar that they occasionally have to PAY another power company to take it.

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  8. #23
    I agree with Alan. Yes we need a reliable grid, but Alan and I are net producers at a very low return rate as it is, given the cost PG&E and Florida Power charge other customers for the power we produce. The net effect of this is summed up in a NYT column, could have been the WP, this week by Arnold Schwarzenegger detailing the creation of his program to drive solar power. It has been successful in CA where he was Gov. Soon I expect to see the PUC will do the same as Florida but our charge is to be in the $57/mo range (CA). The net effect of this is it will dramatically reduce the amount of residential solar being installed and that is a problem for our children, our grands and the world. The issue here, one of the issues here, is that PG&E in not a reliable supplier. With fires, largely begun by a lack of investment in utility infrastructure, after all, they must protect shareholder value. I was recently out of power for 12 days with this last storm and this last summer several more days with fires. As monopolies these utilities have a responsibility to the public AND the environment. The transition to a more diverse grid is going to be difficult, costly and complicated. They can do better than kill the investment value of the early adopters. If this PUC change goes in I can give in to my remarkable case of the true red-ass and add batteries going off grid or suck it up. Batteries are very costly and screw up what was a good investment. Hey, well just change the playing field. Fossil fuels rule the day and certainly the shallow halls of congress. I built my own system buying direct and installing it myself. I have a six or seven yr or so pay-back. I installed it not for the $30k both local solar companies quoted me for a 6 kWh system but for $15.5K for my 7.5kwh system.

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Wenatchee, WA
    Posts
    347
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Henderson View Post
    California has so much solar that they occasionally have to PAY another power company to take it.
    Funny then that much of the hydro power in the PNW is sold to Kali... if they have so much excess

    Probably a matter of not having the power they actually need, *when* they need it. Much like residential buy-back programs.

    Just to be clear - I'm not against solar. I have a pretty fair-to-middling solar array on my truck camper. Makes perfect sense for that. Makes sense for residential use in areas with high power prices, and consistent reliable sun (generally *not* the PNW). What I don't like is some of these all out pushes for systems that are heavily reliant on solar... to the point where if something goes awry, they founder. Having a mix of power sources available - and like I said, something with 'big iron' backing it up, is a better idea in terms of reliability.
    Last edited by Monte Milanuk; 01-20-2022 at 10:34 PM.

  10. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Monte Milanuk View Post
    Funny then that much of the hydro power in the PNW is sold to Kali... if they have so much excess

    Probably a matter of not having the power they actually need, *when* they need it. Much like residential buy-back programs.

    Just to be clear - I'm not against solar. I have a pretty fair-to-middling solar array on my truck camper. Makes perfect sense for that. Makes sense for residential use in areas with high power prices, and consistent reliable sun (generally *not* the PNW). What I don't like is some of these all out pushes for systems that are heavily reliant on solar... to the point where if something goes awry, they founder. Having a mix of power sources available - and like I said, something with 'big iron' backing it up, is a better idea in terms of reliability.
    The excess is only during the peak solar generation time. As you pointed out, the power companies have long term contracts for power, and I guess hydro power from the PNW is a significant one.

    My guess is that it's cheaper to pay someone else to take the excess power than to try to adjust the major generating units.

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    New Westminster BC
    Posts
    2,145
    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Lightstone View Post
    So many problems with these statements.

    One. I already sell my product. To the only buyer I am legally allowed to sell it to - Duke Energy. By paying me below market rates, they make the choice to use their own distribution system to buy it from me.

    But now, they aren't really buying it from me any more, they are confiscating it. They are taking the surplus, but not paying me for it any longer. They are doing this by charging me $360/year, but only paying me back $286/year.

    I could understand a minimum rate if I wasn't supplying them with a large surplus of energy which they then profit from. I should be able to charge them $30/month for the right to buy that energy from me at 75% discounted rates compared to what they are then charging customers for the energy I just provided them. How is that any different?
    Do you actually believe $360 worth of electricity is "a large surplus of energy" to a utility like Duke? Their revenue is over $25 million, you are insignificant to them. They could burn up $360 in admin costs in a day if they had to treat you like a major supplier when you are supplying them with 0.0014% of their annual revenues.
    You say you are only legally allowed to sell to Duke. What prevents you from selling your product other than you have no way of distributing it? Unless you want to buy a trailer, load it up with batteries and a charging control system, charge up up and go door to door looking for someone who wants to charge up their home battery system from it or invest in a power cable to a neighbor who wants to buy power from you. I don't think your complaint is realistic.

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
    Posts
    7,201
    .
    Telsa batteries should last ten years so will they save $5,000 per year for you?

    With the size of my house, the climate, etc... I would need at least 3 Tesla Powerwalls to power the house at night. So, roughly $32-36K for batteries for night. And, with a few cloudy days in a row (unusual, but certainly not unheard of here), I might need 4 Powerwalls. So potentially close to $50K.

    Certainly not economically reasonable with net metering - even with the measly amount they pay me for surplus. There really is no scenario where they will ever pay for themselves with net metering. But if net metering disappears in Florida, I'll be buying battery backup the next day. I could easily charge the batteries with the daily solar output (again, except with a very cloudy/rainy day or two).[/QUOTE]

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    726
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Henderson View Post
    California has so much solar that they occasionally have to PAY another power company to take it.

    Mike
    We've got giant hydro batteries in BC and buy California power when rates are low and ship it back down when rates are high.

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Wenatchee, WA
    Posts
    347
    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Funk View Post
    We've got giant hydro batteries in BC and buy California power when rates are low and ship it back down when rates are high.
    'hydro batteries'?

    I think you're referring to 'pumped storage'... Kinda like a battery

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    New Westminster BC
    Posts
    2,145
    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Funk View Post
    We've got giant hydro batteries in BC and buy California power when rates are low and ship it back down when rates are high.
    I wasn't aware of any pumped storage installed in BC, where's it located?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •