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Austin Energy Rate Increase re:Solar
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ineoeni
Mueller Community

Posts: 103
Joined on May 18th, 2008
Austin Energy Rate Increase re:Solar
by ineoeni on August 26th, 2013

I thought the donation idea was pretty solid. I just reached out to Austin Energy on behalf of the Mueller Megawatt Project to see what alternatives they'd be open to instead of them recapturing our solar credit at the end of the FY. Maybe donating it is a compromise they'd have trouble saying no to.


 
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danx111
Mueller Community

Posts: 1151
Joined on November 25th, 2008
Austin Energy Rate Increase re:Solar
by danx111 on August 26th, 2013

Quote:
I thought the donation idea was pretty solid. I just reached out to Austin Energy on behalf of the Mueller Megawatt Project to see what alternatives they'd be open to instead of them recapturing our solar credit at the end of the FY. Maybe donating it is a compromise they'd have trouble saying no to.




Since AE is city owned I'd prefer to ask the City Council to return the money.
 
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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 August 26th, 2013

At a minimum, Austin Energy should allow the surplus to carryover to future years. The Value of Solar credit will be adjusted annually to reflect market conditions. In future years, the credit could be low enough that a net-zero consumer in kWh could still have a bill to pay. However, the flaw with this approach is that the surplus may not be available to those of us who have installed the solar if we have moved before the surplus is available.

And, the larger issue remains that there is no incentive to build or remodel to net-zero energy consumption. The best strategy, from purely a return on investment approach, is to maximize solar instead of building the most efficient structure.

Those of us who are exhibiting the best behavior by consuming less energy than our solar systems produce are penalized by receiving less than 12.8 cents per kWh.

I think we should definitely reach out to the city council. I don't know who to start with. I doubt any of the council members are aware of how the net-zero consumers are being treated under the current plan.
 
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danx111
Mueller Community

Posts: 1151
Joined on November 25th, 2008
Austin Energy Rate Increase re:Solar
by danx111 on August 26th, 2013

Quote:
At a minimum, Austin Energy should allow the surplus to carryover to future years. The Value of Solar credit will be adjusted annually to reflect market conditions. In future years, the credit could be low enough that a net-zero consumer in kWh could still have a bill to pay. However, the flaw with this approach is that the surplus may not be available to those of us who have installed the solar if we have moved before the surplus is available.

And, the larger issue remains that there is no incentive to build or remodel to net-zero energy consumption. The best strategy, from purely a return on investment approach, is to maximize solar instead of building the most efficient tructure.
Those of us who are exhibiting the best behavior by consuming less energy than our solar systems produce are penalized by receiving less than 12.8 cents per kWh.
I think we should definitely reach out to the city council. I don't know who to start with. I doubt any of the council members are aware of how the net-zero consumers are being treated under the current plan.



Here's the link to email all Council members:http://www.austintexas.gov/mail/all-council-members
Directly addrsss City CouncilMonthly, on Thursday, Noon: http://austintexas.gov/department/city-council/2013_general_citizen_communication_schedule.htm

 
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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 August 26th, 2013

Quote:

...

I have spoken with Tim Harvey, AE's Solar Manager, and he ... mentioned the following:

1. Any annual credits forfeited by the solar owner would be rolled in a customer benefit fund. I don't know if this is the fund for electricity assistance for low-income customers or if its part of the renewable energy fund itself.
2. AE may be amenable to shifting the reset date from January 1st to October 1st. I might suggest a mini-online petition to collect interest before submitting to AE.

I hope this helps clarify the situation.
Dusty
[by langhugh on October 11th, 2012]

It seems like they were planning to roll forfeited credits into a customer benefit fund last year, is that not still the case?

John

 
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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 August 28th, 2013

Thanks all for having this post.

I was trying to find out more information on whether the zeroing of the solar credit was still going to occur, and stumbled on this forum. I am disappointed to see that it is.

I also have a $235 credit right now, I put quite a bit of solar on anticipating a future electric car. I have done 3 separate PV installations, including one in 2007 that was quite expensive and had a 20 year payback. We installed a total of 18.4kw.

We are all electric, so resetting the credit on January 1, most likely means we will have a bill for January that we have to pay $$ for and then a credit most the rest of the year.

I sent a letter to Leslie Libby showing my support to roll over the credit from year to year, not sure it will amount to anything.

Any way for us to find the 15 Net-zero folks and all sign up for rolling the credit over, its really only an accounting issue for AE, as they don't want to show a 'debt' at the end of the year.

Elliot Johnson, AIA
 
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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 August 28th, 2013

Good point about the January bill - that hadn't occurred to me. If I have a bill in January, I will not pay it and let the credits catch up to it. Even if there are late fees, I doubt they will be even close to the surplus I have accumulated by the end of the year.
 
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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 August 28th, 2013

I think there are a lot more than 15 folks who could have a credit come January 1st. I support Oct. 1st if it has to happen, since that should coincide with the changeover from summer to winter billing and likely the non-net zero folks will have no credit at that point. I think it's also the end of the fiscal year for AE.

John
 
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Hellojustice
Mueller Community

Posts: 52
Joined on August 16th, 2008
Austin Energy Rate Increase re:Solar
by Hellojustice on August 28th, 2013

I received a letter last year along with all solar customers that stated:

"Austin Energy will recommend to the City Council that the zero reset occur at the end of the fiscal year (end of summer) rather than at the end of the calendar year (middle of winter). This provides a more equitable result as envisioned in the design of this solar program enhancement."

I noticed that in the recent discussions a January reset is discussed. I thought the change had been made to an October 1st reset. Does anybody know the answer to this? A January reset makes no sense as previously discussed in this forum..
 
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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 August 28th, 2013

Quote:
I received a letter last year along with all solar customers that stated:

"Austin Energy will recommend to the City Council that the zero reset occur at the end of the fiscal year (end of summer) rather than at the end of the calendar year (middle of winter). This provides a more equitable result as envisioned in the design of this solar program enhancement."

I noticed that in the recent discussions a January reset is discussed. I thought the change had been made to an October 1st reset. Does anybody know the answer to this? A January reset makes no sense as previously discussed in this forum..

I emailed Leslie Libby on July 25, 2013, and her response was: "I think it has been moved to 1/1/2014."
 
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