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Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1

1 recommendation

[Electrical] Utilities want to charge for Solar Power



mackey
Premium
join:2007-08-20
kudos:13

1 recommendation

That's not surprising. Snakes will be snakes

/M


hitachi369
Embrace Your Rights
Premium
join:2001-10-03
Grand Rapids, MI
kudos:4
Meh, they could just raise whatever the equivalent privilege fee is to recoup any loses. I know I waste 15$ a month to my gas company, just to be connected, for the 3$ in gas I use every month in the summer. Who knows how much I am wasting already to my power company that are completely unavoidable.

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
reply to Jack_in_VA
This sounds like a good argument for deregulation of the electric grid. If deregulated, all customers pay separately for the grid and for energy production.

iknow_t

join:2012-05-03
reply to Jack_in_VA
it's like when they ask people to conserve energy, and have all kinds of rebates, then they said, we have to charge more for electric because we aren't making enough money!!.

scross

join:2002-09-13
Cordova, TN
reply to Jack_in_VA
If you are connected to the grid (as most solar customers are and will continue to be) then it only makes sense for you to pay some base amount for that connection, even if your net energy usage from the grid is minimal or negative. However, I suspect that what the customer considers to be a reasonable amount for this versus what the utility wants to charge might be very different.

The sad part of this is that the utility companies had (and may still have) a chance to get out in front of this. There are plenty of companies out there now making money by leasing solar equipment (which is still prohibitively expensive for the consumer to purchase directly in most cases) and selling the energy from that back to the customer. There is also plenty of money to be made by going around to consumers and especially businesses and showing them how to minimize their energy usage, and selling them the equipment and such to help them do that.

iknow_t

join:2012-05-03
said by scross:

If you are connected to the grid (as most solar customers are and will continue to be) then it only makes sense for you to pay some base amount for that connection, even if your net energy usage from the grid is minimal or negative. However, I suspect that what the customer considers to be a reasonable amount for this versus what the utility wants to charge might be very different.

The sad part of this is that the utility companies had (and may still have) a chance to get out in front of this. There are plenty of companies out there now making money by leasing solar equipment (which is still prohibitively expensive for the consumer to purchase directly in most cases) and selling the energy from that back to the customer. There is also plenty of money to be made by going around to consumers and especially businesses and showing them how to minimize their energy usage, and selling them the equipment and such to help them do that.

there already is a charge for that, no matter what amount of electricity you use, you pay that fee.. the utilities want to keep the income they had BEFORE solar energy took off, and then some.. just like when they raise rates for energy conservation..


02778712

join:2013-07-08
MA
reply to robbin
said by robbin:

This sounds like a good argument for deregulation of the electric grid. If deregulated, all customers pay separately for the grid and for energy production.

That's how it is here.


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
reply to Jack_in_VA
We already do. It's a line item on our bills. It has nothing to do with deregulation.


cableties
Premium
join:2005-01-27
reply to Jack_in_VA
"Utilities are afraid they will lose so many customers to solar power that they won’t be able to afford to build and maintain the grid"
But the biggest users are the companies, not residents. Convenience stores, businesses, manufacturing, etc, they are the largest consumer, right?

I am assuming these customers are already paying too much for electricity (cooling) and are trying to save. A utility trying to recover losses because it already over-charges seems to me, failing by mismanagement. Why not offer services to install and maintain solar plants for customers? Missing the boat?
Battery storage and maintenance? Inverter sales?
--
Splat


02778712

join:2013-07-08
MA
reply to Jack_in_VA
said by Jack_in_VA:

We already do. It's a line item on our bills. It has nothing to do with deregulation.

Yea Virginia was deregulated from 1999 to 2007 but it didn't help prices so they went back to regulated.


chamberc
Premium
join:2008-08-05
Irving, TX
reply to hitachi369
said by hitachi369:

Meh, they could just raise whatever the equivalent privilege fee is to recoup any loses. I know I waste 15$ a month to my gas company, just to be connected, for the 3$ in gas I use every month in the summer. Who knows how much I am wasting already to my power company that are completely unavoidable.

Perhaps if they built in the charges to have you connected into the amount you use, like employee benefits, pipe maintenance, on-call service folks, etc. Would it still be wasted?


djrobx
Premium
join:2000-05-31
Valencia, CA
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·VOIPO
reply to Jack_in_VA
SoCal Edison is working on this. They're looking at flattening the tiers a bit (raising the price of low usage tiers, but lowering the higher tiers), which I think is good and fair, but they are also looking at tacking on a base "because we can" fee for everyone, which I'm not as keen on. They want to charge all low-usage customers more than they are currently paying.

"Utilities are afraid they will lose so many customers to solar power that they won’t be able to afford to build and maintain the grid"

At least in SoCal, there's a cap on how many net metering customers the utilities need to approve. There's no danger of this happening. It's just a cash grab.

I am assuming these customers are already paying too much for electricity (cooling) and are trying to save. A utility trying to recover losses because it already over-charges seems to me, failing by mismanagement. Why not offer services to install and maintain solar plants for customers? Missing the boat?

Nail on the head. SCE has gotten away with charging people almost 3x the national average for power. Now they're faced with a bit of competition - instead of becoming competitive, they're going to gouge everyone (including non-solar customers) for as much as their buddies in the California Public Utilities Commission can "allow" without flagrantly exposing how corrupt they are.


gordom

join:2006-06-14
Antelope, CA
this reminds me of how states are now tacking fees onto vehicles that do not use gas or diesel (ie. cng, lpg, electric) to get their road tax money that would have normally been collected from the fuel tax


fartness
computersoc dot com
Premium
join:2003-03-25
Look Outside
reply to Jack_in_VA
My power company will charge me more if I opt to be powered by only clean fuel.


justin
..needs sleep
Australian
join:1999-05-28
kudos:15
Reviews:
·iiNet
reply to 02778712
deregulation has been a disaster in australia: price rises must be justified to the government by "required" investment in the network. The result is there is now a gold plated distribution network and peak kw prices are 48c, far outstripping inflation.
meanwhile the power producers pretty much offer the same product and price, but fall over themselves in front door salesman shady tactics.


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
said by justin:

The result is there is now a gold plated distribution network and peak kw prices are 48c

Your cost is $0.48/kWh? Good grief


02778712

join:2013-07-08
MA
said by Jack_in_VA:

said by justin:

The result is there is now a gold plated distribution network and peak kw prices are 48c

Your cost is $0.48/kWh? Good grief

This is the average kWh prices around the world in 2011.


justin
..needs sleep
Australian
join:1999-05-28
kudos:15
yeah it's 48 peak which is like 6 to 11pm and early morning and that is the time you can't use your solar. The feed in tariff was generous with government subsidy for a while but now it's woeful.


02778712

join:2013-07-08
MA
said by justin:

yeah it's 48 peak which is like 6 to 11pm and early morning and that is the time you can't use your solar. The feed in tariff was generous with government subsidy for a while but now it's woeful.

So about $0.45/kWh in US dollars.


justin
..needs sleep
Australian
join:1999-05-28
kudos:15
yeah. three months ago though, 55c !


tschmidt
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-12
Milford, NH
kudos:9
Reviews:
·Hollis Hosting
·G4 Communications
reply to Jack_in_VA
Here in NH transmission is separate from generation. The transmission network is regulated while generation is not. Transmission is billed, at least to residential customers, on a per kWh basis that bears little relationship with actual cost but at least the two are separate.

We have netmetering - any excess power sent back to the grid is credited at the same price as purchased power. I'm on the fence about that. One the one hand it is not fair the utility has to in effect pay retail rates for small power generation. On the other hand, particularly with solar, peak generation occurs during peak consumption periods so it reduces the need to fire up expensive peaking plants.

I'd love to see more small scale distributed generation but I think that will be a long time in coming.

justin See Profile mentioned Australia. Here is a residential solar installation from down-under.
»www.eevblog.com/2013/06/16/eevbl···llation/

/tom



Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
reply to Jack_in_VA
Here's another angle on Solar Panels on a roof that I bet very few consider when installing them: I'm surprised Insurance Companies haven't picked up on it since it has the potential to allow more damage from a fire.

The roof is on fire: Do solar panels hinder firefighters?

Rooftop solar panels become new enemy of U.S. firefighters


02778712

join:2013-07-08
MA

2 edits
said by Jack_in_VA:

Here's another angle on Solar Panels on a roof that I bet very few consider when installing them: I'm surprised Insurance Companies haven't picked up on it since it has the potential to allow more damage from a fire.

The roof is on fire: Do solar panels hinder firefighters?

Rooftop solar panels become new enemy of U.S. firefighters

I'm sure it's been considered but the rewards must outweigh the risks.

"The solution lies within properly training firefighters on how to combat blazes in the ever-growing presence of rooftop solar. "
The roof is on fire: Do solar panels hinder firefighters?

It sure sounds like the problem is poor firefighter training from the article you posted.

Title on those articles should be "Lack of training with solar panels become new enemy of U.S. firefighters" That wouldn't draw the headlines though.


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
I didn't title the articles. I just posted what was written.

The rewards are only for the owner.

Training? Probably will consist of just letting the structure burn as there would be no safe way to access the roof or enter the structure with all the weight of the panels overhead.

As a former volunteer fireman there is no way I would.


02778712

join:2013-07-08
MA
said by Jack_in_VA:

Training? Probably will consist of just letting the structure burn as there would be no safe way to access the roof or enter the structure with all the weight of the panels overhead.

They need to do more then just wave the white flag. It's estimated that a new solar panel is being installed every 4 minutes in the USA. Most likely it involves code changes to the roof to accommodate solar panels. Make no mistake there are solutions other then giving up.


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Probably some sort of device(s) to grab the panels and pull them off the roof to give firefighters access to the uncluttered roof so n holes can be cut in it to allow water to be put in from above.


02778712

join:2013-07-08
MA
said by Jack_in_VA:

Probably some sort of device(s) to grab the panels and pull them off the roof to give firefighters access to the uncluttered roof so n holes can be cut in it to allow water to be put in from above.

Maybe something like a steel support structure for the panels with a quick release that drops the panels off the roof. You could make the release with a solid steel pin that needs to be cut before they can be released to prevent accidents.

Maybe require all places need to have fire sprinklers installed if they want solar panels.

Tons of ideas on how to handle it.


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
said by 02778712:

said by Jack_in_VA:

Probably some sort of device(s) to grab the panels and pull them off the roof to give firefighters access to the uncluttered roof so n holes can be cut in it to allow water to be put in from above.

Maybe something like a steel support structure for the panels with a quick release that drops the panels off the roof. You could make the release with a solid steel pin that needs to be cut before they can be released to prevent accidents.

Maybe require all places need to have fire sprinklers installed if they want solar panels.

Tons of ideas on how to handle it.

Sprinklers and quick release sounds reasonable to protect the firemen. They will never be widely adopted though IMO. Insurance companies may require sprinklers in the future even if there are no solar panel. Sprinklers save lives and reduce losses from fires.


tschmidt
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-12
Milford, NH
kudos:9
Reviews:
·Hollis Hosting
·G4 Communications
reply to Jack_in_VA
said by Jack_in_VA:

Here's another angle on Solar Panels on a roof that I bet very few consider

I wonder how big a deal it really is. PV panels are going to be installed on south-ish facing roof. That means north facing roof is still available for ventilation.

Here in snowy NH raised seam metal roofs are pretty common - Since they cover the entire roof I think that is a significant issue.

I'll have to check with our fire department - you raise an interesting point.

/tom