Where You’ll Pay the Most in Electric Bills

georgepds Posted By georgepds, Jul 17, 2017 at 10:46 AM

  1. georgepds

    georgepds
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    Nov 25, 2012
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  2. peakbagger

    peakbagger
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    Jul 11, 2008
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    If you look at the top ten, Alaska is mostly microgrids with no overall regional grids so they have to have a lot of spare generation. Up until recently there were few natural gas fired power plants and most plants were running on imported distillate as there are not refinerys in Alaska so the crude going down the lines need to be sent to continental 48 to be refined and shipped back in barges. Hawaii has no natural gas and a grid that is struggling to supply reliable power while integrating lots of intermittent renewables they to need to import distillates for their base load plants . They are definitely the guinea pigs for renewable integration and are paying for it. Many of the remainder of the top ten are New England States that are participating in the voluntary REGGI (Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative). This effectively means REGGI states cant burn much coal as the REGGI carbon fees make it very unattractive. The one good thing about REGGI states is that the REGGI carbon fees get pumped back into state energy efficiency efforts that reduce homeowner use if they care to participate. If you look at the top ten states many are in the lowest electric use category. This can be a consequence of energy efficiency upgrades or the radical concept that the higher the cost the less power someone will use.

    It would be interesting to plot carbon output per MW for each state and see is there is negative correlation for cheap power. Coal is cheap to generate and sell and if there is no value included for the carbon emitted and long term coal ash issues, its the short term way to go especially if the plants are all ready built. That correlation would definitely be rocky as some states just have better opportunities for large renewables like hydro. The State of Maine has a very high renewable contribution but a very dispersed population and loss of industrial base means steep transmission and distribution costs to serve a very sparse population density.

    Texas is an outlier as ERCOT has been skating on the edge of system reliability issues for years by not having a forward capacity market. If not for politics, the FERC would have forced ERCOT to put in a forward capacity market several years ago which would have increased their costs significantly. Given the FERC currently lacks enough appointed members to have quorum and has so for awhile I don't seen them having much teeth.
     
  3. georgepds

    georgepds
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    Nov 25, 2012
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    "If you look at the top ten states many are in the lowest electric use category. This can be a consequence of energy efficiency upgrades or the radical concept that the higher the cost the less power someone will use."


    I attributed it to cost.. do you have any info that might suggest energy efficiency upgrades might have an effect?

    Anecdoteally, most upgrades that I see here are for insulation, which would affect heating ( mostly gas and oil)
     
  4. WoodyIsGoody

    WoodyIsGoody
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    Hawaiian's are the guinea pigs for renewable integration and are paying for it?

    Actually the renewables being integrated in Hawaii (mostly photovoltaic) are driving DOWN the cost of electricity and saving the co-ops money. On Kauai, all electricity is supplied by ratepayer owned co-ops. I believe the other major islands have similar setups.
     
  5. peakbagger

    peakbagger
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    Jul 11, 2008
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    I am not dumping on Hawaii, they were running mostly a distillate fleet and solar does drive down cost to consumers initially until solar percentage gets over small percentage of the load. Unfortunately once the percentage exceeds a certain amount, trying to maintain steady voltage and frequency is a nightmare and the grid wasn't designed for it nor was their rate structure. Someone needs to supply reliable power during the night and during stormy conditions where the solar resource isn't there and someone has to pay for it. Thus the moratorium on new PV in some areas that was in effect. They are slowly figuring it out and figuring out how to equitably fund the fundamental changes to the gird required to support higher amount of intermittent renewables. That's means putting lots of storage on line, modifying large commerical loads to ride through sags, modifying grid tied inverters to ride through short term voltage and amperage sags in excess of UL 1741 as well as remote control operation and possible new power plants like recips that can run on distillate and respond rapidly to load shifts. The other thing that really helps is the price of distillate has dropped substantially than it was when PV was first being introduced.
     
  6. peakbagger

    peakbagger
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    Jul 11, 2008
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    I have heard electric utility claims that they have flattened their demand curve by efficiency efforts. I know in Mass I have been involved in taking more than 10 MW of load off the grid and shifting it to CHP. Its amazing the amount of variable speed drives and LED lighting that the utilities pay for with efficiency money at institutions and manufacturers we walk through. I walk through huge warehouses formerly fully lit now they have occupancy sensors and remote dimmers, as I walk through the warehouse the lights turn on above me and turn off as soon as I am past. Compared to 24/7 lighting LEDs with controls save a lot of power( the manager also plays with the overall lighting level by turning it down ins some spots and turning it up at areas that need a bit more). Pretty much the utility will pay the extra cost to go with premium efficiency equipment or approaches on any new equipment.

    One example is 300HP VF drive on a gas compressor. The gas utility had a gas line that normally runs over 50 psi. They are ultraconservative so they will only guarantee 10 psi. We have to design the compressor to run full load at 10 psi yet the real world is 40 to 50 psi. I could install a fixed speed compressor with slide valves to deal with the difference but its no match compared to a VF drive. With VF I can slow down the motor and pick the best operating point on the compressor curve. They gladly wrote the check. It also does away with the 3 to 4 time inrush current for a fixed speed motor and replaces it with a flat inrush.
     
  7. Brian26

    Brian26
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    Here in CT with most the expensive electricity in the lower 49 there is a ton of extremely generous electricity efficiency programs available. Huge instant rebates on heat pump hot water heaters, led bulbs, heat pumps, etc. I am sure these are having a massive effect on lowering usage.

    I just put in solar panels in May as they make total sense here with a fast payback.

    Here is what I have used at my house so far through the Energize CT fund.

    $700 instant rebate on my heat pump hot water heater.
    Around $1000 rebate on my high efficiency central air.
    $100 rebate on a wifi thermostat.
    $3000 on my solar panels.
    Free whole house energy audit with vouchers for up to $1200 in work. The replaced every bulb with leds in my house for free. Sealed my ductwork and installed insulation in my basement. (This was actually required to receive the solar incentive)

    On the commercial end at my work all of our retail locations have been retrofitted to all led lighting and a sophisticated hvac control system with variable drives on the motors. This was all done for practically nothing. My boss reported that some of the locations have been saving a few grand a month since the retrofits. Some of our locations in the summer have $10-15k a month electric bills!
     
  8. WoodyIsGoody

    WoodyIsGoody
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    Hawaii is installing solar with battery storage. So, no, it's not driving up their rates, it's lowering the rates Hawaiian's pay for their electricity and they are forecasting continuing rate reductions as more solar with battery storage comes on line. Info to the contrary is probably misinformation disseminated by the fossil fuel industry. Make no mistake, decreasing prices and increasing acceptance of photovoltaic energy is a direct threat to the fossil fuel industry and they will do anything to slow it down. Where did you get your info about Hawaii? Because it appears to have no basis in reality. From fossil fuel interests?
     
  9. jebatty

    jebatty
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    Does anyone know whether the chart also includes in the rate the cost of fixed/distribution charges? For example, for MN the rate is $0.127/kWh and average usage is 756 kWh. Our co-op utility also has a $22/mo fixed charge. For the average user that equates to ((756 x $0.127) + $22) / 756 = $0.156 kWh. What about other states and utilities?
     
  10. peakbagger

    peakbagger
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    You obviously are looking for someone to argue with, feel free to find one.
     
  11. sportbikerider78

    sportbikerider78
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    Wind and solar make a great deal more sense on islands that do not have access to rail cars which bring fuels to the power plant. The payback is much better even without subsidy.
    They also have much more sun than, say the east coast, and wind is more consistent.
     
  12. WoodyIsGoody

    WoodyIsGoody
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    Not looking to argue, just correcting your erroneous statement that Hawaiian's are the guinea pigs for solar and the ratepayers are paying for it. The conversion to solar is actually making electricity cheaper.
     
  13. georgepds

    georgepds
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    I don't think so.. Massachusetts is quoted at $0.19/kwh.. but I'm pretty sure that's the summer rate.. Also it doesn't include the $5/ month connect fee


    G
     
  14. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone
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    Jul 12, 2006
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    Mass doesn't have anything on NY. Our fee for the privilege to connect to the grid kills us. Case in point is my cabin. It's primarily used on the weekends. The fridge and water heater are the only draws. 37kwh of usage for... $22.06.

    The house is better per kWh as I spread the use out over something around 170kwh.


    Of course insulation is the primary upgrade here! This is a forum centered around heating!:)

    It'll also help with cooling costs though.

    There's a good chance people aren't writing as many posts about installing LED light bulbs too.

    I do find it interesting that LEDs will basicly light a house for pennies worth of electricity, yet the average monthly use of electricity has gone up.
     
    gregbesia likes this.
  15. blades

    blades
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    Years ago ( mid seventies) big push to conserve energy, so Like good little lemons we all did. So much so that our reward was increased rates. Reason given was the rate hike was need to pay the guaranteed return rates to investors. Catch 22. Seeing as I can be rather volital at times that particular letter just about blew the roof off the house.
     
  16. georgepds

    georgepds
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    Boggles the mind how perverse electric utility governance is. Let the investors assume risk like we all do in the marketplace

    Here we have a public good, energy conservation, that's being discouraged by a rule favoring utility investors

    Time for the utilities to change their business model, which is roughly sell more to make more, or whine and grumble and pick our pockets if it doesn't work out that way
     
  17. peakbagger

    peakbagger
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    Jul 11, 2008
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    Massachusetts changed their rate structure several years ago to decouple profit from amount of power sold. They effectively get paid a low fixed profit to supply power and much higher profit to reduce power demand. Thus they pump a lot of money into local generation like PV farms (they are everywhere) with very generous subsidies. They also have a very generous industrial and institutional efficiency program which encourage local combined heat and power installations. These plants are some of the most efficient and low carbon ways to use fuels (usually natural gas) to generate thermal and electric power. There are also generous home energy audit and upgrade programs. The big trade off is that many of those programs are paid for out of surcharges on the power rate. If a homeowner, business or institution can take advantage of these incentives they win by buying far less power but if they cant they are subsidizing others.
     
  18. WoodyIsGoody

    WoodyIsGoody
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    And that's the way it should be in a world that makes sense. Because global warming is expensive.
     
  19. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone
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    Jul 12, 2006
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    Just heard on the radio the utility wants to raise rates $17/month. So, my cabin will be paying about a dollar per kWh.

    *fist pump*
     

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