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Austin Energy Rate Increase re:Solar
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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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John Kingman
Steiner Ranch

Posts: 16
Joined on December 27th, 2012
Austin Energy Rate Increase re:Solar
by John Kingman on July 30th, 2013

Quote:
... If AE wants the energy I produce that I do not consume they can come and get it. Then factor their transmission costs from my array to other customers. Instead of charging me for transmission to other customers and turning around and charging their customers for the same transmission seems like double dipping to me....

I don't understand this. Where did AE say they had transmission costs from your array to other customers? Link?
 
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John Kingman
Steiner Ranch

Posts: 16
Joined on December 27th, 2012
Austin Energy Rate Increase re:Solar
by John Kingman on July 30th, 2013

Quote:
... If AE wants the energy I produce that I do not consume they can come and get it. Then factor their transmission costs from my array to other customers. Instead of charging me for transmission to other customers and turning around and charging their customers for the same transmission seems like double dipping to me....

I don't understand this. Where did AE say they had transmission costs from your array to other customers? Link?
 
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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 30th, 2013

Perhaps paulsjv is referring to the fact that the Regulatory Charges on our electric bills include ERCOT transmission fees. The point I think is that there is virtually no transmission cost from his array to other customers and/or virtually no transmission cost to him. Yet both are billed for transmission costs through the Regulatory Charges and perhaps other transmission charges are embedded in the rates.

On my latest bill, from 6/19/2013 to 07/19/2013, I generated 1089 kWh and consumed 1092 kWh. Although only a net 3 kWh were transmitted to me, I paid transmission costs on 1092 kWh. Someone else is going to pay transmission costs on the 1089 kWh I put back in the system. There is your double dipping.

Then there are the Community Benefit Charges which include reimbursements to Austin Energy for solar rebates among other things.

If solar customers were able to keep their surpluses, it would not make us free riders on the system. We pay all of the same fees on the electric bill including fees to offset the rebates we received. Instead, if we could keep the surplus, Austin Energy could perhaps lower the rebate as the systems would pay for themselves more quickly and there would be incentive to build as efficient a home as possible and incentive to conserve as much energy as possible while living in the home.

By the way, the double billing program I referred to in an earlier post is for those Austin Energy solar customers who receive bills in the mail. City of Austin sends two separate bills each month to solar customers instead of one. One bill is for electricity only. The other is for the remaining utilities such as water, garbage collection etc. This is the program that probably costs about $25,000 annually. The only benefit I can see in it to Austin Energy is keeping the surplus solar. The total annual solar surplus that Austin Energy gains by this may not even cover the added expense of sending two bills instead of one.
 
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John Kingman
Steiner Ranch

Posts: 16
Joined on December 27th, 2012
Austin Energy Rate Increase re:Solar
by John Kingman on July 30th, 2013

As I understand it, there are three items on the bill which are based on total consumption, regardless of tier. These are the Regulatory Charges (ERCOT, I assume), Community Benefit Charges (street lighting, etc.) and Power Supply Adjustment (fuel charge). The ERCOT charge is miniscule compared to the fuel charge. If you're going to argue about double dipping, how about the fuel charge? Conceivably, the VofS could have been calculated to compensate for some of these charges, and if so, your bill would be pretty close to zero.

Of your total of 1092 kWh you say your net was 3 kWh, but you don't say what your Delivered Read or Returned Read were. Net is Delivered minus Returned, but that doesn't mean you only pulled 3 kWh from AE. Rather than someone else paying for 1089 kWh you generated, I believe you did. Someone else may be paying for the amount of energy you actually transmitted (Returned) to AE.

As for the double billing, I consider those two separate utility bills. Some of AE's solar customers live outside of the city limits, and do not receive bills from the City of Austin except for electricity. Nor do they receive some of the benefit from the Community Benefit Charge.
 
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commuter
Mueller Community

Posts: 147
Joined on January 23rd, 2008
Austin Energy Rate Increase re:Solar
by commuter on August 7th, 2013

http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2013/08/07/utilities-fight-back-against-residential-solar-adv.aspx

another article that explains some of the market dynamics affecting Solar adoption and Solar policies. Arizona seems to be in the thick of it right now, just as Austin Energy is going through. This article didn't explain the German model too well. Maybe one of our neighbors from Germany can point us to a better explanation.
 
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henningspruth
Mueller Community

Posts: 488
Joined on October 20th, 2007
Austin Energy Rate Increase re:Solar
by henningspruth on August 7th, 2013

Quote:
http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2013/08/07/utilities-fight-back-against-residential-solar-adv.aspx

another article that explains some of the market dynamics affecting Solar adoption and Solar policies. Arizona seems to be in the thick of it right now, just as Austin Energy is going through. This article didn't explain the German model too well. Maybe one of our neighbors from Germany can point us to a better explanation.


In Germany, there is no subsidy/rebate for the installation cost of solar panels. Rather, the utilities have to buy the all generated solar power (not just the surplus) at a pre-set rate that is significantly higher than the market rate. IIRC this subsidy is paid for by increasing the overall electrical rate, meaning the money comes from all electrical consumers and not tax dollars.

Henning
 
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shellrose
Mueller Community

Posts: 230
Joined on June 20th, 2008
Austin Energy Rate Increase re:Solar
by shellrose on August 25th, 2013

Just a thought about solar credit -

We put on a large rooftop system - 8.75kw - and have racked up quite a credit. Rather than losing the credit later this year, I wonder if all or part of it could be donated to others who struggle paying their bill during the summer? Does anyone know if this is possible?
 
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Kathy Sokolic
Mueller Community

Posts: 275
Joined on March 19th, 2008
Austin Energy Rate Increase re:Solar
by Kathy Sokolic on August 25th, 2013

And that's why you guys are so amazingly awesome. While I doubt it, maybe we can check into this!!
 
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danx111
Mueller Community

Posts: 1151
Joined on November 25th, 2008
Austin Energy Rate Increase re:Solar
by danx111 on August 25th, 2013

Quote:
Just a thought about solar credit -

We put on a large rooftop system - 8.75kw - and have racked up quite a credit. Rather than losing the credit later this year, I wonder if all or part of it could be donated to others who struggle paying their bill during the summer? Does anyone know if this is possible?


We're in the same position. I'd much rarther COA come up with a way to return the money they intend to keep: send us a check; deduct from other utility bill(s); reduce taxes; ..........
 
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