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Austin Energy Rate Increase re:Solar
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shelley hiam
Mueller Community

Posts: 56
Joined on June 24th, 2009
Austin Energy Rate Increase re:Solar
by shelley hiam on July 26th, 2013

Perhaps AE could send a rep to have a meeting with Mueller solar customers most affected by the change in billing BEFORE they wipe the credit away? Answer questions, explain the reasoning, etc. If people with 3k systems are still seeing a credit, I think it's safe to assume more than 7% of their solar customers are affected by this change.
 
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smittyhoo
Mueller Community

Posts: 445
Joined on November 4th, 2008
Austin Energy Rate Increase re:Solar
by smittyhoo on July 26th, 2013

Everyone running net zero or close on your houses...I'd be curious to know the following:
*Square Footage
*How many people in your household (especially under 5)
*At what do you keep your AC setting?
*System size

We have
*3000 when you include the garage apt (i.e. two A/C units)
*2 under 5 (one baby)
*A/C is kept at 76 during day (someone's at home and even if someone weren't at home it takes the AC so long to cool the house down on hot days we realstically couldn't make much higher) and 72 at night because that is the recommended setting for a baby. I don't know what the garage apt is kept at.
*7.8 system (half west/half south)

We don't even come close to net zero. We used to be net zero in the winter months prior to getting the Volt. I've put solar screens on all the south and west windows.

I have visions of all you net zero guys living alone in small houses with the A/C set to 82 (partially because the solar installer told us stories of sitting in people's houses that they were trying to sell to with sweat dripping down their foreheads because the AC was off or set really high in the middle of the summer). Is this the reality?
 
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shelley hiam
Mueller Community

Posts: 56
Joined on June 24th, 2009
Austin Energy Rate Increase re:Solar
by shelley hiam on July 26th, 2013

We have
1250 sq ft
2 people
Never turn the A/C warmer than 75, and am pretty liberal about turning it down to 72 to cool off.
6.1 system (all west facing)

And we run our (electric) clothes dryer much more than you might guess 2 people would (friends coming over to do laundry).

Currently have nearly $300 in credits.
 
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Scott Conn
Mueller Community

Posts: 45
Joined on November 4th, 2009
Austin Energy Rate Increase re:Solar
by Scott Conn on July 26th, 2013

"I have visions of all you net zero guys living alone in small houses with the A/C set to 82"

Pretty darn close.
1 person, 2 cats
4k system
1436 sq ft (maybe sort of small)
AC between 77 and 80, 82 when away at work. I don't like going from cold to hot. And, ceiling fans work very nice. Of course it drops further for guests.
Electric clothes dryer.
-349. in credits
 
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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 July 26th, 2013

1200 square feet, all electric except cooktop of dual fuel range. 2 people but with frequent guests. 8.2kW system facing SSW at almost exactly 30 degrees elevation. AC set to 74 in warm months but feels cooler because of the whole house dehumidifier, heat set to 72 in cool months. HVAC runs 24/7/365 with energy recovery ventilator. Air in the house is always cool, dehumidified and fresher smelling than outdoor air. I have never been in any home with better indoor air quality. HVAC system is absolutely silent. I only use 800 cubic feet of natural gas in an entire year which is about $5. Of course the minimum monthly fees add another $150 per year. I run solar electric surpluses almost every month except December and January when we are using the electric heat pump but not generating as much solar energy. All utilities including electric, water, wastewater, garbage collection, street cleanup, natural gas and property taxes are less than $400 per month. That is the benefit to building net-zero in an area of town with low priced houses.
 
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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 July 26th, 2013

1200 square feet, all electric except cooktop of dual fuel range. 2 people but with frequent guests. 8.2kW system facing SSW at almost exactly 30 degrees elevation. AC set to 74 in warm months but feels cooler because of the whole house dehumidifier, heat set to 72 in cool months. HVAC runs 24/7/365 with energy recovery ventilator. Air in the house is always cool, dehumidified and fresher smelling than outdoor air. I have never been in any home with better indoor air quality. HVAC system is absolutely silent. I only use 800 cubic feet of natural gas in an entire year which is about $5. Of course the minimum monthly fees add another $150 per year. I run solar electric surpluses almost every month except December and January when we are using the electric heat pump but not generating as much solar energy. All utilities including electric, water, wastewater, garbage collection, street cleanup, natural gas and property taxes are less than $400 per month. That is the benefit to building net-zero in an area of town with low priced houses.
 
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commuter
Mueller Community

Posts: 147
Joined on January 23rd, 2008
Austin Energy Rate Increase re:Solar
by commuter on July 29th, 2013

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/13/us/ideas-to-bolster-power-grid-run-up-against-the-systems-many-owners.html?_r=0

a great NY Times article on what's required to upgrade our current grid to support renewables, and the challenges from vested interests. The biggest question seems to be who pays for it and how.
 
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paulsjv
Mueller Community

Posts: 191
Joined on September 5th, 2008
Austin Energy Rate Increase re:Solar
by paulsjv on July 29th, 2013

With renewables who really needs a grid? IMO the grid is an old out dated idea. As renewables gain traction and the technologies advance then I can see how the grid will become a thing of the past and people move towards distributed power structures.
 
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commuter
Mueller Community

Posts: 147
Joined on January 23rd, 2008
Austin Energy Rate Increase re:Solar
by commuter on July 29th, 2013

I wouldn't throw out the baby with the bath water. I agree that some of the policies are archaic and protect vested interests, but let's not throw away investments that have already been made.

I would agree with you a bit more for rural and developing areas that are not well serviced by existing infrastructure. New deployments should be more distributed, while existing grids should not be replaced outright.
 
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paulsjv
Mueller Community

Posts: 191
Joined on September 5th, 2008
Austin Energy Rate Increase re:Solar
by paulsjv on July 29th, 2013

As renewable technologies get cheaper and the storage of energy becomes more efficient and cheaper why would anyone need the grid?

My point is - I can see how the grid will become a thing of the past as these things advance in time. I believe over time the grid will be replaced as things advance. It's just a matter of time. However, probably not in my lifetime. ;)
 
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