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PG&E - Separate Meter Worth It?

Discussion in 'Toyota Prius Plug-in' started by bilofsky, May 7, 2012.

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  1. bilofsky

    bilofsky Privolting Member

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    Is it worthwhile to install a separate meter to charge a PiP?

    I'm in Pacific Gas and Electric territory. With my solar panels, and the favorable E-7 rate (no longer available), I'm paying about 10 cents a kWh off-peak in summer.

    But in the winter, not generating as much electricity, I get up into tier 3 or even 4, and the cost goes up to 25.4 to 29.4 cents, or about the same cost per mile as gas.

    Those on the newer E-6 rate would be a couple of cents higher.

    So a separate meter on the EV E-9 rate would seem to make sense - 5.5 to 7 cents per kWh at night in the lower tiers and it probably wouldn't get above them.

    But there is a monthly meter charge, plus installation charges. So what are the costs and when is the break-even?
  2. Rebound

    Rebound Senior Member

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    I don't know anything about your consumption and what's causing you to go into Tier four, especially with solar. I think that's what you need to look at and that's where you should be spending the
    money. We're a family of five and we're under 500 kWh/month.

    With a PiP fully charging once/day, you're consuming an extra 90 kWh/month. Whatever savings that entails almost certainly gets eaten by the installation cost of a new meter. It's better to spend your money on a gas dryer, fluorescent bulbs, LED bulbs, a gas furnace, etc.
  3. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    Yep.

    Or maybe a couple more PV panels
    OP: do you know how your PV production is reimbursed ? I'm curious whether it is tiered also by amount or time of day produced.
  4. bilofsky

    bilofsky Privolting Member

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    Checking the bills, I might have overestimated the problem. One month last winter we used 422 kWh and got into tier 3. Otherwise we were in tier 2.

    Solar knocks us down into the lower tiers, but generation in winter is much lower and more electricity is used for lighting.

    We have a gas dryer and furnace and a lot of our lighting is compact fluorescent.
  5. bilofsky

    bilofsky Privolting Member

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    The electric rates are tiered and time-of-use. E-7 peak is noon to 6 pm weekdays, otherwise off-peak. Summer peak rates are higher than winter. (E-6 has three TOU periods and times are less advantageous for solar.)

    The bill is for the algebraic sum of energy produced plus used in each time period. Produce more than used: negative bill (credit) for that time period.
    1 person likes this.
  6. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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  7. Jozo

    Jozo PIP PIP HOORAY!

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    So I had a separate meter installed by the electrician who installed my L2. He charged $200 to install the hardware and SMUD, my e-company, came out and put in the guts. This meter only connects to my L2, so that I get a very reduced rate, particularly if I use it to charge off-peak, which I do.

    My usual winter rate is .0938/Kwh and my PiP rate is .0794/Kwh. Not sure what rates jump to in summer.
  8. Rebound

    Rebound Senior Member

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    Seems a lot easier to justify a second meter if your electric car consumes 500 to 1,000 kWh/mo, not the 90 that the PiP consumes.
  9. Jozo

    Jozo PIP PIP HOORAY!

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    Agreed. I spoke to my e-company green expert before choosing to install and he gave me enough info to ruminate on before deciding. In the end My decision to install was based on my assumption that I will only be driving something that plugs in from now on, so I may as well be ready.
  10. seek

    seek Junior Member

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    At what usage level does the next tier on the new meter kick in?

    If seems like you could optimize your savings by shifting some underutilized load from your primary meter to the second one.
  11. bilofsky

    bilofsky Privolting Member

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    Depending on location, the low rates apply to the first 290 to 540 kWh per month for most users. Then there's a sharp jump, to 16 - 20 cents for a household meter, or 25 - 29 cents for a second EV-only meter.
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