Kalifornia about to kill net metering if AB 1138 continues passing

time2roll

Photon Sorcerer
I don't think Edison can change the TOU fast enough to reflect the market changes from the solar generation. Right now I sell enough at peak hours to about pay for my off hours. Paying net less than 3 cents per kWh. The regulatory market is screwed up just as bad as these tariff changes. Prices are still reflective of the old system of generation, not on the abundance of solar. Ten months usage = $101.32 net energy charge, usage 4,052 kWh = 2.5 cents kWh. Has been good while it has lasted.
 

svetz

Works in theory! Practice? That's something else
It's all about trying to reform where the $ comes from to pay for CARE:
Existing law requires the commission to continue a program of assistance to low-income electric and gas customers with annual household incomes that are no greater than 200% of the federal poverty guideline levels, referred to as the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE)

I dislike perpetual taxes. I'd much rather pay a little more for a short period to create a self-sustaining solution (e.g., have the money go into a solar farm that created "public" energy) than pay forever, especially when that amount is sure to increase over time as energy prices escalate.

I realize that the not-written/understood benefit behind CARE is to protect the utility, but I don't know that they actually need that protection. What would be interesting is an accounting that shows any losses or where any excess money goes each year. That is, how are those tax dollars actually being spent? An analysis to see where the money was coming from before, where it will come from with the reform, and if the reform will actually handle the theoretical shortfalls would be nice too. For example, will the new reform penalize energy hogs (McMansion owners) more so than small energy producers (e.g., residential solar)?
 

GXMnow

Photon Sorcerer
It seems that what they are doing is moving the cost around more so that the amount paid for the actual energy is less, but the taxes and fees are more. When the change first happens, it does not look that big, but as you generate power in the day to offset power at night, the difference grows. They want to charge us for the cost to transport the energy we produce and push back onto the grid. That way when we over produce during the day, we get charged, and then have to pay again to have the power transported back to us at night when we have to buy it and our solar is not making power. What this is doing is making the value of having a home energy storage battery that much more cost effective and valuable. Any energy that goes through the power meter in either direction is going to be charged the delivery fees and taxes. So let's store our extra at home, and use it at night. My end goal is to make my meter stop in both directions. I am not there yet, but I am working on it.
 

zzyzx

Apprentice Neanderthal
It seems that what they are doing is moving the cost around more so that the amount paid for the actual energy is less, but the taxes and fees are more. When the change first happens, it does not look that big, but as you generate power in the day to offset power at night, the difference grows. They want to charge us for the cost to transport the energy we produce and push back onto the grid. That way when we over produce during the day, we get charged, and then have to pay again to have the power transported back to us at night when we have to buy it and our solar is not making power. What this is doing is making the value of having a home energy storage battery that much more cost effective and valuable. Any energy that goes through the power meter in either direction is going to be charged the delivery fees and taxes. So let's store our extra at home, and use it at night.
OK, so what I "think" I see happening in California is an on-going effort to continually and creatively adjust taxes/fees upward for those who believed grid-tied solar was good for the planet :ROFLMAO: , while reducing their reliance on the grid (y), reduce their out-of-pocket installation costs via federal and state incentives (y)(y) AND reduce their electric bill by selling excess solar production back to the utility (y)💰(y).
My end goal is to make my meter stop in both directions. I am not there yet, but I am working on it.
I don't think I want to play this never ending game. :mad: But I still want my house to be connected to the grid. Thus, I want my meter to always run in only one direction and be billed for only the grid power used.

However, I would like to harvest solar energy (off-grid with NO grid-tie) and have a large enough battery bank (off-grid with NO grid-tie) that would power my critical loads circuits, during times the grid is down. Essentially a backup system only. With a properly scaled solar array and battery bank, I should be able to increase my critical loads circuits and run them off the battery during the day with NO net metering!

Being a resident of Southern California (Orange County) and connected to the grid via SoCal Edison, I don't believe I can do this. It is my understanding that I cannot even get a permit to install rooftop solar that is NOT grid-tied.

Being grid-tied without solar, I pay a 3-tiered rate, depending on use. It currently ranges from $0.23/kWh (tier 1), $0.29/kWh (tier 2) and $0.37/kWh (tier3), depending on the season. I can live with this.

The constantly moving "goalposts" of net metering requires a spreadsheet to help tweak a system, so you can play the game. This is what I want to avoid.

PLEASE, someone tell me I am WRONG and that there is a straightforward way to do what I would like to do. ;)
 

GXMnow

Photon Sorcerer
I am also So Cal, just north of LA, I also have So Cal Edison. Putting in Solar, I was pushed onto the "Time of Use" rate. Currently, it is 23 cents per KWH all day except for 4 pm to 9 pm when it goes to 43 cents per KWH. With just the 4,800 watts of solar panels, grid tied with 3,900 watts of Enphase microinverters, it nearly cut my electric bill in half. My array is turned a little towards the evening, and it does help. The solar is able to meet all the needs of my home out to 5 pm most days, and to 6 pm some days. So I was only paying for peak rate power for just 3 to 4 hours. I have since added a storage battery, and I am able to store up a fair chunk of my extra production during the day, and run on the battery now out past 9 pm, so I am not buying any power at the high rate now. In fact, since the solar is pushing some power out from 4 to 5 pm, So Cal Edison is buying some of my power at the higher rate. My Mar to Apr electric bill gave me a credit of $17, the one before was near zero. SCE does offer a rate with a bit cheaper 17 cent per KWH, but it increases the daily charge before power, so I am not sure it is a good option for me yet. To get that rate, you need to have a plug in car, a high efficiency heat pump system, or a home storage battery. I have not declared my battery yet. Since it is repurposed Chevy Bolt cells, I am not sure I can get it approved. So I am trying to dial it in to not export from battery. I have it near perfect without my A/C running, but once it gets hot and I need to run the A/C a lot, I will have to mess with settings to try and zero out the power usage again. It is hard to justify the "Watt Node" box to add the auto adjusting grid cell to zero it for me. That unit will add about $600 to the cost, to maybe save another 20-30 cents a day. The way the battery is working now, I am saving about $1.30 a day over not having the battery with my solar. $1.30 a day does not sound like a lot, but at 350 days a year, that is $455.00 a year, or over $4,000 by the time these batteries won't hold a charge.
 

zzyzx

Apprentice Neanderthal
Putting in Solar, I was pushed onto the "Time of Use" rate. Currently, it is 23 cents per KWH all day except for 4 pm to 9 pm when it goes to 43 cents per KWH.
I am beyond impressed by what you have been able to do! Being an "Occam's Razor" kind of guy, I don't want to be pushed anywhere, but just want to pay my tier 1 rates and have an off-grid solar-charged battery to cover my excess power needs. My search continues . . . ☀️
 

GXMnow

Photon Sorcerer
If you setup a true "Zero Export" system, you do not even need to talk to your utility and you stay on your tiered power. But you should still get a permit and have the system inspected by the local building department. As long as you do not export power, the utility has no say in how you use power on your side of the meter. But if you push the meter backwards, you will get "caught". The Sol-Ark, Outback SkyBox, a Schneider system, and others can all be setup for zero export. Basically, you would be setting up in Hawaii HECO H14 mode. They do not allow any export in Hawaii on new installs now.

It was a bit of a balancing act for me. The way zero export works is your system has to just throw away power wen your batteries are full and your consumption is being met. The more storage battery you have, the less you will likely have to just toss out, but you have to weight that against the "Time of Use" credit you might get. My solar still exports at up to 1,600 watts while the sun is up, even while charging my battery up. If I was in zero export mode, that is a chunk of energy I would just be throwing away. I did the math on a few days a while back, and I typically have been exporting 5 to 7 KWH during the day, and then buying it back between 10 pm and 8 am the next morning after my battery falls to my reserve cutoff setting. I do that so I can keep over 7 KWH in the battery in case there is a power failure. If I had about double the battery capacity, I could keep running my house on the batteries all night until the sun comes up, and then charge harder so I would not export, but that is going to cost more. Is it worth it? "Storing" that 7 KWH's in the grid is cheaper than the batteries. But if you can't store in the grid, you don't have that option.

In my case, if I went zero export, I would probably cycle my battery only a little deeper, and it would curtail a bit for about 2 hours around solar noon on good sun days. Then run off the batteries to about 2 am. And just buy Tier 1 power from 2 am to 8-9 am when the sun can take over again. My current setup CAN'T do it without intervention. For this type of system, you need the bulk of the solar to be DC coupled charging. The Skybox and Sol-Ark both seem to be able to do it properly. To make my Schneider do it, I would need to use a Schneider charge controller for most of the solar and add a Watt Node to control the export power to zero. The inverter will constantly adjust it's output to match the consumption in the house. The solar charges the batteries. If consumption is low enough, the solar will top out the batteries, and the charge controller will reduce it's power from the solar panels, in effect throwing out possible energy production. If the load in the home exceeds the solar production, the battery will run down and once it reaches your cutoff setting, it will revert to using grid power. Once the sun charges the batteries high enough, the inverter can come back on and start the cycle over again. In a perfect setup, the battery would have enough to not have to revert to grid, and the solar would be able to put back everything you used while the sun was down, while also powering everything while the sun is up. For me to do that, I would need almost double the solar panel and battery that I have. The amount I would save by even completely eliminating my electric bill would take over 20 years to pay off the cost of the required extra gear. So buying a few hours of power is my better option. And as bad as they are making the Net Metering agreements, it is still cost effective for storing some power in the grid. It is just not as much savings as it should be when you first calculate it. I expected to save about 25% more than I actually did because of the time of use rate and my A/C running for those 5 hours of peak rate each day all last summer. But even without thinking about it, I still saved well over $1,000 in my first year of solar with no battery at all. With the battery, I expect to save close to $1,400 a year over no solar or battery. But that is hard to calculate as my system is not logging my true total consumption. I would need to add up what the solar produced to the SCE billed consumption, and also figure out the different rates etc. So I am just assuming my total consumption is close to what it was in the 2 years before solar. It should be close, but between converting to LED lights, but adding some new "toys" my consumption may have changed a bit.
 

zzyzx

Apprentice Neanderthal
If you setup a true "Zero Export" system, you do not even need to talk to your utility and you stay on your tiered power. But you should still get a permit and have the system inspected by the local building department. As long as you do not export power, the utility has no say in how you use power on your side of the meter. But if you push the meter backwards, you will get "caught". The Sol-Ark, Outback SkyBox, a Schneider system, and others can all be setup for zero export. Basically, you would be setting up in Hawaii HECO H14 mode. They do not allow any export in Hawaii on new installs now.
Now this is very interesting . . . and exactly what I want to do. A "Zero Export" system, a permitted rooftop solar install, and remain on my tiered utility billing system. I have NO interest in trying to cheat the system. What I am trying to do is create a "disaster preparedness" plan, so cost and payback are of no interest to me.

During normal times, I will use grid power (but no more than tier 1), while powering my critical loads panel (and any other loads to keep utility power within tier 1) with off-grid solar (during daylight) and off-grid battery (at night). Any excess power that could have been harvested will be ignored after critical loads and battery needs have been met.

I would like to "over-panel" the solar (built-in spare panels) as warranties and availability of replacement parts may not be available when needed. The same will be true of other "key" components.

In any event, MANY THANKS for giving me some more research options. (y) (y)(y)
 
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