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diy solar

My Base Electric Rate is Increasing by 31.5% Next Month

My well pressure pump froze and cracked. Ordered a new one the next day. It sat in a ups trailer for almost three weeks before it made it here. Once it did, I had it in place in about five minutes. That’s when my daughter let me know that there was a “waterfall on the back of the house”…the on demand hot water heater suffered a catastrophic freeze event as well. We were boiling snow to fill the toilets on a propane burner outside until we were able to use 4wd to get to my neighbors house to fill up giant white igloo coolers with his well water.

Fortunately, we had plenty of bottled water and food on hand.

Good times!

That sucks! Only thing I lost / or had damaged, aside from my sanity was all my fridge/freezer food.

I didn't have any propane to heat water. I was just bringing snow inside in buckets and putting it in my bathtubs to let it melt for toilet water. I was also using candles to try to heat up water for instant coffee and such to stave off caffeine headaches. Fortunately, we keep/kept lots of drinking water on hand.

Needless to say, I was very unprepared for something like that. I'm a little better prepared now. I have multiple propane tanks on hand and a propane/gasoline generator.. many lifepo4 batteries and chargers, a standalone 12v victron inverter that I've verified can run my fridges/freezers and an electric hotplate, a small bluetti that can run my freezer. I set up my Prius so it can run as a generator to recharge all my batteries / run the Victron directly if need be.

I still don't have a whole house solar powered automatic backup system in place, but at least I can boil water, heat up a can of soup, run an electric blanket.. etc..

Baby steps to preparedness, but I'm getting there.

Side note, just something wild. During the freeze, while I was gathering up snow in buckets outside.. the neighborhood rabbits (which usually run on sight) would come right up next to me and eat the grass that was unearthed from the snow scooping. They lost all sense of fear out of desperation for food.
 
PEC says that they had to increase electricity import rates because cost of purchasing electricity has increased. At the same time, they haven't changed the amount they pay you to buy your excess PV generation.
 
PEC says that they had to increase electricity import rates because cost of purchasing electricity has increased. At the same time, they haven't changed the amount they pay you to buy your excess PV generation.
This is why i am off grid. I would rather have my fridge fight my oven than give power for free to these thiefs.
 
PEC says that they had to increase electricity import rates because cost of purchasing electricity has increased. At the same time, they haven't changed the amount they pay you to buy your excess PV generation.
The first part was really why I posted this. If the cost of electricity is causing a 30% increase in the cost of base generation, then I would think that would be an indication of what others may be seeing soon as well.

On the investment side, I see it as more of a hedge or insurance...which I know many see as an investment. Curious what people think the cost of electricity is going to get to in the next 3 to 5 years and beyond. If this EV thing really happens, the cost of electricity should increase dramatically.
 
There's "base cost", and then there's "fees" which are just another way to extract more money from everyone. Overall, the total bill is going up, along with constraints, restrictions, rules, regulations ... and more fees, as fast as they can find a "name" for the new fee.

Put in a parallel solar RE system, independent of the grid, and start throwing devices over to it. Little to no code or electrician mess (unless you are not very diy-natured).

Start with an inverter, battery-bank (expandable), and charger that runs from grid (or generator). You'll have coverage in an outage, and a built-in UPS function. Start as small or as large as you can afford. This preps you for outages, and you've gained independence from them.

Then add panels and mppt, and skip the grid or generator, which is still there as backup. This starts to reduce your grid bill.

Finally, cut the cord for everything except the high-load stuff (AC units, water heaters, etc.) ... leave those on the grid until you've sorted out how to get them off the grid, or do without the massive loads (where possible).

Some folks might do a bit of this with a "solar generator", but you can buy much more componentry for the same price as these things, and run parallel with something you built. You can start very small, and work your way up to a very large system. Because there is no inter-tie, there is no complexity. It just works ...

Hope this helps ...
 
In all fairness, I am pretty happy we have the ability to flip a light switch and have the lights come on...whenever I want. There is a cost to everything.

I have certainly been to other countries where that is not a certainty...nor is fuel. Everyone needs to eat and put food on the table.

I think the biggest issue is not the cost as much as it is what the utility wants now to run in parallel. PEC is a fairly small operation and their Distributed Energy Agreement is crazy to me. They want access to the onsite facilities whenever they want..and for me to sign off on it. I think their new backup power agreement has the same provisions. This is not emergency use authorization...it is any time for any reason. That ain't cool and it makes me wonder what the heck is going on when people feel that is ok.
 
This tracks our electricity rates (AUD) over past eight years we have been in our current home. Can see the sharp rises this calendar year.

HTmrgsR.png

FIT is feed-in tariff, credit for exporting excess PV generation.
Daily fee is the daily service charge.
Controlled load is a utility controlled circuit for dedicated loads, in my case used for water heating.


We moved to time of use tariffs in mid 2019.

My response to all this over that same period has been to significantly reduce our demand for grid supplied energy.

Screen Shot 2023-09-17 at 6.04.59 am.png

On the supply side this was initially done via adding grid-tied solar PV in 2018, then more recently an off-grid PV and battery storage system in 2022.

On the demand side we have undertaken various energy reduction and efficiency measures. Replacement of end of life appliances with more efficient options, better home insulation and use of PV diversion technology for water heating.

Adding to consumption was the addition of a new second dwelling, occupied from start of 2020.

Over the last 12 months our grid energy consumption has been just 7.5% of what it was during our first full year here.

Getting it down further starts to get into diminishing returns territory but I am still working on these demand reduction aspects and may at some stage add a bit more off-grid PV capacity. The main remaining item of grid power draw is our ducted aircon at night for both Winter heating and Summer cooling. Summer requires much more aircon energy than Winter here.
 
On other threads, and other forums, I try to encourage folks to read these documents:

1. your grid provider "contract" you sign to get the electricity turned on
2. your state's PUC "contract", that both you and the grid provider operate under

These are intertwined, and do a good job of covering every angle of why it's all your fault, and we can come onto your property, and it doesn't matter if your neighbor caused the problem, and so on ...

There is much more of the "we now own you, and your neighbors" in these documents than one realizes ... it's why I went off-grid over a decade ago.

Everyone should read both sets of documents, as one feeds the other in both directions ... it will scare the crap out of you, and get you off-grid, or at least, off-grid in parallel.

Hope this helps ...
 
Yeah. They have two agreements and the one for “backup” systems appear to have just changed to be in line with the parallel agreement. I was planning on going the backup angle…but, I am not sure now
 
If this EV thing really happens, the cost of electricity should increase dramatically.
Depends on how people charge them. I'm sure Texas' "Free Nights" plans will go away though. I drive about 7,500 miles a year and use 2MWh for charging. Much can be done during the day where that just limits my solar export to the utility, a win-win. I'm trying to add ~5MWh to my annual generation (currently ~13MWh, roughly matching consumption) along with storage for better grid independence. I had a way to calculate it before, but I think of the 2MWh/year in charging only about 400kWh comes from the grid today, mostly when I failed to plan and have two back-to-back trips to town which use ~100 miles of range.

TLDR: My EV charging does not set peak demands and only reflects about a 17% consumption increase that can easily be offset by PV.

[edit] Actually just ran the calculation for the last 12 months. I imported 38kWh from the grid to charge my car out of 2.21MWh total consumed.
 
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EV's, wish they made financial sense for me, hotter summers, aging infrastructure. The immediate way they affect my parish is we're experiencing more and longer brownouts. I read my neighbors posts on FB about losing AC's and appliances. Solar gives me a sense of control but mainly it's just a lot of fun!
 
EV's, wish they made financial sense for me, hotter summers, aging infrastructure. The immediate way they affect my parish is we're experiencing more and longer brownouts. I read my neighbors posts on FB about losing AC's and appliances. Solar gives me a sense of control but mainly it's just a lot of fun!
The answer is more solar... encourage your friends and neighbors to add solar (and storage) to "set them free!" Eventually EVs are likely to make financial sense to you; today for a new car in the $35-40k price range they are a slam dunk and that will propogate to other segments of the market in time. Never going to the gas station again is so nice.
 
Even with that increase, you're enjoying some of the cheapest rates anywhere. My base is .055 but you get zapped using power during peak hours & even if I use 0 power, the monthly connection fee is $30.
 
Here in Maine, we now pay the 5th highest price in the nation for electricity. The geniuses in our legislature initially tied the price for solar reimbursement for commercial solar farms to the price of natural gas, which is the primary fuel used to generate electricity for all of New England. So, when the price of natural gas skyrockets, as it has in recent years, so does the price of the one viable energy source that could help to offest it. Gee, thanks, politicians! Hey did some work to allegedly fix it going forward this year, but that remains to be seen. Sure makes a good argument for going off grid, I know that. Keep 'em away from me, I'm thinking.
 
PEC says that they had to increase electricity import rates because cost of purchasing electricity has increased. At the same time, they haven't changed the amount they pay you to buy your excess PV generation.
Cause PV don’t do crap when the sun goes down yet the power needs to come from someplace to keep the lights on after 7pm

Incentivizing batteries is the next focus, sadly the rate structure and intergration hasn’t developed fast enough.

Either way these prices are sooo cheap, I’m jealous, I bet hardly anyone will notice the change in their bills.
 
Here in Maine, we now pay the 5th highest price in the nation for electricity. The geniuses in our legislature initially tied the price for solar reimbursement for commercial solar farms to the price of natural gas, which is the primary fuel used to generate electricity for all of New England. So, when the price of natural gas skyrockets, as it has in recent years, so does the price of the one viable energy source that could help to offest it. Gee, thanks, politicians! Hey did some work to allegedly fix it going forward this year, but that remains to be seen. Sure makes a good argument for going off grid, I know that. Keep 'em away from me, I'm thinking.
Hey you knuckleheads voted down the HQ DC line in the illegal referendum ballot in 2021.

If Tom Saviello would openly admit to taking money from Natural gas plant associations for spewing his “anti corridor” BS, the line would already be built and flowing and all of New Englands generation rates would be better. Also CMP and Versants default generation rates were nothing compared to National Grids MA rates last winter, they were close to $0.30-0.35 for generation alone.

The only upside I see is that Maine just shoved it up MA ratepayers due to the projected 50% increase in costs of the line from the illegal referendum. I’m all for sticking it to MA.

You voted for you’re politicians, can’t really blame them, you get what you deserve. ?

Good luck with pine tree power referendum this fall! I’m so for state owned utilities vs investor owned utilities, but “hate voting” isn’t the proper way.
 
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