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Austin Energy Rate Increase re:Solar
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Jeffrey Dwyer
Mueller Community

Posts: 16
Joined on July 25th, 2013
Austin Energy Rate Increase re:Solar
by Jeffrey Dwyer on September 16th, 2013

Hello All,

This is my reply to a post in a related thread:

Hi Hellojustice,

I have surpluses nearly every month of the year except December and January. That is because I have electric heat, which uses a fair amount of energy at a time of year when the solar production is lowest. My home is truly zero energy in that I produce more electricity than I consume and use only $5 worth of natural gas annually to run my cooktop and burn no wood for heating. So, there are pros and cons for a reset date for different solar customers. A reset date of March 1 would benefit me the most. I could generate surplus from March through October, turn off my inverters and rest my system from November through February, restart my system in March and thereby preserve my investment in my inverters while still achieving net zero dollars on my electric bill and leaving no surplus.

BUT THERE SHOULD BE NO RESET DATE!!!

Austin Energy electric customers contribute to the rebate programs as part of the Community Benefit Charges which include the Energy Efficiency Services fee of .289¢/kWh which "recovers the cost of energy efficiency rebates and related costs, solar rebates, and the Green Building program offered by Austin Energy throughout its service area." This quote is from the City of Austin Electric Rate Schedules. This fee is charged to all AE electric customers.

Rebates are to encourage and reward responsible behavior and consumption of resources. Rebates are not loans and should not have to be reimbursed by the recipients in addition to the EES fees described above.

Here are the facts:

1) Austin Energy is paying 16.5¢/kWh to the Webberville Solar Farm.

2) Austin Energy is paying solar customers who use much more power than they generate 12.8¢/kWh.

3) Austin Energy is paying those who generate nearly as much as they consume to slightly more than they consume less than 12.8¢/kWh.

4) Austin Energy is incurring additional expense in printing, postage and payment processing by billing solar customers through two totally separate bills for electric and other services. The cost of this program may even exceed the revenue the utility would realize by confiscating solar surpluses! And the only apparent reason for the two bill system is to prevent the return of the surplus to those most responsible consumers who generate it.

5) The most responsible residential consumers of electrical resources in our community are being treated worse than those who consume much more power than they produce.

I think the solar surplus should be handled exactly as it was before the rate change. Any surplus at that time was simply credited to the Water/Wastewater/Garbage Collection/Street Cleaning portion of the bill. This was much fairer, continued to incentivize building the most efficient building envelope, continued to incentivize conservation, eliminated the need to generate two sets of bills for solar customers, and exercised the most common sense.
 
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Elliot Johnson
Mueller Community

Posts: 20
Joined on August 28th, 2013
Austin Energy Rate Increase re:Solar
by Elliot Johnson on December 7th, 2013

The Value of Solar Tarrif (VOS) will be going down from 12.8c to 10.7c. for 2014.

This will essentially increase your utility bill by 16% /-

If you are concerned about this, please reach out to your City Council. There is a link in David's newsletter.

Check out David Dixon's newsletter.

http://buildnative.com/solar-under-attack/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Solar Under Attack in Texas - December 7 2013&utm_content=Solar Under Attack in Texas - December 7 2013 CID_0c3f4c7c879645d81c895cfd0b9785e9&utm_source=AscendWorks Bullseye
 
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