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Hello watch out for these kind of amendments in your State.

They tried a lie and enough saw the truth. They tried to block homeowners from selling their solar power back to the grid. But there's no way you could figure that out from reading the wording.

I do believe they have the right to charge a surcharge as the power companies spend $ maintaining and building the grid. IDNK exactally what %, it probally varies from state to state.

https://www.facebook.com/FloridianSolar/?hc_ref=PAGES_TIMELINE&fref=nf
 

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Agreed - I'm quite pleased that sort of amendment didn't get made into law. Here in CA there are three major power companies (SDG&E, PG&E and Edison) and I'm quite sure if the FL attempt would have succeeded they would have tried that here.

What I don't understand though is why the power companies stick with their current means of designing rates. What I mean by that is a rate system with an absurdly small "customer charge", then usage rates that were very high compared to the wholesale power cost. Prior to small production really taking off that kind of system worked fine, but when you have little/zero/negative consumption the format breaks down since the utilities do have maintenance costs on the distribution network, plus costs to keep power plants at least available for use if needed.

Wouldn't it make more sense to have a reasonable "customer charge" that takes those known facility costs into account, then charge more reasonable per kWh rates? I'm lucky that I live in an area served by a municipal utility so perhaps I will try and suggest that to my elected officials!
 

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...Wouldn't it make more sense to have a reasonable "customer charge" that takes those known facility costs into account, then charge more reasonable per kWh rates? ...
The problem with lowering the per kW cost to the consumer is that it reduces their incentive to minimize their electricity consumption. That could lead to a worse outcome than discouraging solar adoption, since it affects a much larger proportion of customers.

It might make sense to have pricing like that specifically for the activity of putting power back into the grid rather than for both directions.

I like how net metering encourages solar adoption, but I was never convinced it fully makes sense from an economic standpoint. The timing, consistency and reliability of the supply of solar may or may not match what the power company wants or needs to buy. If it does not, maybe they should not be forced to buy it, or at least not at a price that may not match its value to them. I think solar could be encouraged more efficiently in other ways besides monkeying with the power market.
 

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The problem with lowering the per kW cost to the consumer is that it reduces their incentive to minimize their electricity consumption. That could lead to a worse outcome than discouraging solar adoption, since it affects a much larger proportion of customers.

It might make sense to have pricing like that specifically for the activity of putting power back into the grid rather than for both directions.

I like how net metering encourages solar adoption, but I was never convinced it fully makes sense from an economic standpoint. The timing, consistency and reliability of the supply of solar may or may not match what the power company wants or needs to buy. If it does not, maybe they should not be forced to buy it, or at least not at a price that may not match its value to them. I think solar could be encouraged more efficiently in other ways besides monkeying with the power market.
The next evolution would either be individual power wall that has gone down in price and this means that several trillion dollar potentials if each home have solar and battery energy storage, OR, a global supergrid and no need for large battery storage because the sun is always shining somewhere on earth 24x7. Both options are in the several trillion dollar price range.

I think it would be more realistic for me to wait when the battery storage prices comes down very low to justify its purchase. As soon as many EV cars gets decommissioned, there will be plenty of used EV batteries to go around and reconfigured as battery storage. Either way, it is good to wait. Then when the net metering laws gets booted out, I'll go off grid entirely.
 

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... Wouldn't it make more sense to have a reasonable "customer charge" that takes those known facility costs into account, then charge more reasonable per kWh rates? I'm lucky that I live in an area served by a municipal utility so perhaps I will try and suggest that to my elected officials!
We already do. A few months ago, PG&E instituted a $10/month 'minimum charge' on all customers - which seems fair. Most folks never see this as they use more than $10/month in electricity. But it serves as a bound to how much solar power a net-metering homeowner can economically install.
 

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The utilities don't like rooftop solar, and are looking for insidious ways to undermine it. Here in CA, Net Metering 1.0 is being phase out for NEM 2.0. Under NEM 1.0, users basically receive equal credits for the energy they send to the grid. Send 1KW at 10AM and you can pull that same 1KW back at zero cost at 10PM. Under NEM 2.0, they get to time of use pricing, so you might get 18 cents of credit for that KW at 10AM, but have to pay .38 cents for the same KW at 10PM at night. Since typical users might pull more use at night, the utilities don't pay you one for one for your daily generation. Furthermore, NEM 2.0 forces a non-refundable "connection fee" to be paid, and also raises the forced fees to help maintain the grid, and fund low income electricity projects.
The utilities were also allowed to set a cap of 5% of their aggregate customer peak demand for the current program. When this cap is hit, NEM 2.0 takes effect. My provider, SDGE already hit the cap and NEM 2.0 is in effect. Others must hit the cap by July of next year or 2.0 takes effect. It's unlikely SCE will hit it by then. I'm not sure about PGE.
 

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The utilities don't like rooftop solar, and are looking for insidious ways to undermine it. ...
I think it depends on which type of electric utility you're served by. Austin and San Antonio, Tx are served by municipally-owned electric utilities vs. investor-owned concerns. Both encourage rooftop solar. I don't know the finer details of Austin, but San Antonio even offers their customers panels in their utility-grade solar farms at what I think are great prices. You can purchase 1, or, as many as you think you'll need at prices cheaper than what I paid for our array 4 years ago - and get net metering included.

Our utility has a stated goal to reach by 2020 in the percentage of renewables in their portfolio which takes rooftop arrays into account.

Again, I think it depends on which type of utility you're served by.
 

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I've never really understood all the hubbub over the net metering in the first place. It seems to me that _ANY_ payment from the utility back to you for excess production is much like a favor from them to you. If I connect my water well to city water, I don't get to sell my excess water production back to the water company for a credit. If I start making bio-diesel in my back yard, I don't get to sell my excess fuel to Exxon for credit at the gas pump.

What we need is a revamping of the home occupancy laws, that removes the part that homes HAVE to be connected to the utilities. Then, if people don't like how the local power company handles things like net metering, fine. Buy/install/maintain your own battery plant, cut loose from the utility, and go 100% off grid. If solar really is all peaches and roses like they claim, then that should be a no brainer.

Just like we're doing with the Volt, and other EVs - kick the greedy oil companies to the curb, by not driving vehicles that guzzle down the gas every week.

Heck, solar power is 100% free, right?!? It only costs the $30/month or so they're paying the evil, greedy electric companies, right? Should be plenty of money to invest in an at home battery plant! *sarcasm off*
 

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Regretfully Florida is not the only state currently contemplating changes to net metering, several other states have also called for these tariffs including if memory serves right North Carolina, though with the election of the new governor I believe that this is now a none starter.

The question becomes even more interesting should states actually become successful with these tariffs I would assume, and their is some research done by solar groups for NY and Mass that says many solar users will go off the grid do to the lower costs for batteries and avoid tariffs and the research claims this will cost the electric companies even more in the long run. What most people do not understand most solar customers do not supply sufficient electricity for their own use and thus must buy back more electricity than they produce. If it was me I would offset my electric purchase by battery backup should tariffs be instituted. This is a revenue source that utilities depend on and would acerbate their current business model.

The electric companies on the other hand claim that these tariffs offset the costs for those who are unable to produce their own electric and their is some truth to that argument especially if the haves leave in numbers that utilities could not support leaving a sizable have nots. Further declining many of the fortunes of those who feel left out. Things can be done but their need to be a discussion on the topic but not the punitive way that states like Florida have suggested.

Which leads to another issue that will need to be discuss is the nature of our utility companies how they are structure and what they should look like. For most of this country iutilities, government and customers are not prepared for the discussion or inevitable increase in renewables and what effects it will have on the utilities and the grid. Here in NJ, Utilites companies are required to have 25% of their portfolio in renewables but they too have not open discussions on what is next should we hit 35 to 50% most of the other portfolio is nuclear. But states like NJ, MD and CA will need to be in the forefront in these discussions or find themselves with pants down and scrambling for answers.

Either way my guess is in 10-15 years we will see a much different way in how we power our homes, cars and business and companies you have not heard about will be our energy sources. Were in the infancy similar to the home computer but because of the scale we need to be prepared.

Like many industries the Utilities will need to redefine their mission or die fighting the renewables and if they fight the renewables not only will utility customers bear costs burden but so to state governments as they will eventually have to bail out these utilities.
 

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I've never really understood all the hubbub over the net metering in the first place. It seems to me that _ANY_ payment from the utility back to you for excess production is much like a favor from them to you...
The thing is that in order to go 'off grid' you need to build a _much_ larger system than most would desire to handle the worst case. In other words, for the short days of winter when it is likely to be stormy outside. This means the system would hugely overproduce during the summer. Plus the whole day/night thing. Given that the utilities generally need to generate more power in the summer time than winter, and during the day than at night, some collaboration can be useful. Net metering gives a regulatory mechanism to allow this. It is a win for small solar generators, and to some extent, a win for utilities.

Here in California though, so much solar has been installed that the peak (non-solar) generating requirements have shifted to the evening hours. A smaller peak is in the morning - before all the solar really comes on-line. This forms the so-called "duck curve" that has been attracting so much attention. The solution is more storage at the grid level - to soak up excess solar production during the day and release it in the evening. This is all uncharted waters, but is the inevitable direction the grid is going.
 

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The thing is that in order to go 'off grid' you need to build a _much_ larger system than most would desire to handle the worst case. In other words, for the short days of winter when it is likely to be stormy outside. This means the system would hugely overproduce during the summer. Plus the whole day/night thing. Given that the utilities generally need to generate more power in the summer time than winter, and during the day than at night, some collaboration can be useful. Net metering gives a regulatory mechanism to allow this. It is a win for small solar generators, and to some extent, a win for utilities.

Here in California though, so much solar has been installed that the peak (non-solar) generating requirements have shifted to the evening hours. A smaller peak is in the morning - before all the solar really comes on-line. This forms the so-called "duck curve" that has been attracting so much attention. The solution is more storage at the grid level - to soak up excess solar production during the day and release it in the evening. This is all uncharted waters, but is the inevitable direction the grid is going.
California is indeed going in that direction. In San Diego a 30MW storage facility with capacity of 120MW of storage was unveiled just days ago. There are already several systems on line in CA, both with Salt batteries and the solar oil steam systems.

As for how solar panels are oriented, many researchers are suggesting to orient the panels west or SW than south to having a longer period of solar radiation but not as intense period of solar radiation on the panels. This to may alleviate the spikes that utilities see at noon during the summer months when utilities are in the mix. It will also change amount of electricity that the producer is selling back to the utility.
 

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Our 12.5 kWh system overproduces like crazy in the summer, but our winter heat uses most of the excess up. I'm not sure how this can be offset with batteries. This chart is the amount we put onto the grid each day this month, so it has already had the power we used each day subtracted.

 

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As for how solar panels are oriented, many researchers are suggesting to orient the panels west or SW than south to having a longer period of solar radiation but not as intense period of solar radiation on the panels. This to may alleviate the spikes that utilities see at noon during the summer months when utilities are in the mix. It will also change amount of electricity that the producer is selling back to the utility.
Perhaps we need to start installing panels facing multiple directions, with a smaller inverter for each direction. This would provide more evenly-spread power generation throughout the day.
 

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The utilities don't like rooftop solar, and are looking for insidious ways to undermine it. Here in CA, Net Metering 1.0 is being phase out for NEM 2.0. Under NEM 1.0, users basically receive equal credits for the energy they send to the grid. Send 1KW at 10AM and you can pull that same 1KW back at zero cost at 10PM. Under NEM 2.0, they get to time of use pricing, so you might get 18 cents of credit for that KW at 10AM, but have to pay .38 cents for the same KW at 10PM at night. Since typical users might pull more use at night, the utilities don't pay you one for one for your daily generation. Furthermore, NEM 2.0 forces a non-refundable "connection fee" to be paid, and also raises the forced fees to help maintain the grid, and fund low income electricity projects.
The utilities were also allowed to set a cap of 5% of their aggregate customer peak demand for the current program. When this cap is hit, NEM 2.0 takes effect. My provider, SDGE already hit the cap and NEM 2.0 is in effect. Others must hit the cap by July of next year or 2.0 takes effect. It's unlikely SCE will hit it by then. I'm not sure about PGE.
Let's hope that by the time NEM 2.0 is in place, the residential battery packs for energy storage have come down in price. Right now, it can't pay for itself, considering that NEM 1.0 is still the unbeatable choice if you have solar PV.
 

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Perhaps we need to start installing panels facing multiple directions, with a smaller inverter for each direction. This would provide more evenly-spread power generation throughout the day.
If you have the ability and space to reorient that is exactly what some are suggesting. The caveat is that if you in a Net Metering state the orientation to the south would give you the greater return on your investment. Utilities, consumers and government will need to redesign their pricing structure to accommodate this variable on orientation.


"Our 12.5 kWh system overproduces like crazy in the summer, but our winter heat uses most of the excess up. I'm not sure how this can be offset with batteries. This chart is the amount we put onto the grid each day this month, so it has already had the power we used each day subtracted."

Naturally it depends on one's latitude but if orientation is to SW or W batteries will have a longer period in which to charge even thought days are considerably shorter. Those that I know who are off the grid do have a auxiliary generator most using natural gas. On average they run the generators on average twice a month. There are exceptions when snow is piled up One note, driving a Volt gives a good insight on how to live on battery power and when to use one's on board generator.
 
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