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2441 posts

Uber Geek

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  #2098691 30-Sep-2018 09:26
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The daily and per unit charges might be simple, but it's complicated by:
- trade-off between cheapest daily and cheapest per unit charge
- knowing your annual usage as your latest bill means nothing due to seasonality.

A great initiative would be to require retailers to state your total units used in the past 12 months on your bill - to make it easier to compare retailers and check if better suited to standard or lower user plans

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Wannabe Geek


  #2098708 30-Sep-2018 10:53
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Going back to an earlier post:

 

Delphinus:

 

 At least companies are being transparent, if they just publish all of their rates on their website. Electric Kiwi and Pulse Energy for example, won't tell you any prices until you tell them your address. But EK look up who your current power company is, and give you different rates depending on which power company currently supplies you.

 

I just tried looking up a few different addresses in my city and sure enough different pricing. Both low user, incl GST I'm getting 20.94c per Kwh vs 22.56c for the place next door. 

 

 

Electric Kiwi and others don't give different prices based on your current retailer when you do an initial address search. There's no business case for this as at this point they don't know if you're moving in to a house or a trader switching providers, plus it would make managing all their plans and prices a nightmare. There's more to just Standard vs. Low user and it all depends on your metering config (controlled, uncontrolled etc etc) and network. You can check most of your meter configuration with the EA's My Meter website.

 

Also this has been mentioned before, but retailers must now provide: consumers, or a consumer’s authorised agent (agent), with their electricity consumption data on request. Haven't tried it myself, but nice to have for those trying to work out full comparisons. 

 

 


3885 posts

Uber Geek


  #2098733 30-Sep-2018 13:26
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EK Would just make a request to the EA My Meter website, and get the trader code + Distributor category price code. From there they can figure out your connection type. So they will only show you plans that you are able to sign up to. And by seeing who the current supplier is, they can make an educated guess of what you are currently paying for power.

And if you want to know how much power you have used over a whole year. Just look at the meter reading on a bill from 1 year ago. Most companies put the actual register reads on their bills. So you can use that reading to calculate how much power you have used over a year. And that method works even if you have changed power companies less than a year ago.





145 posts

Master Geek


  #2103507 8-Oct-2018 18:53
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During the past couple of nights the spot price has been unusually high (I.E times between say 12pm and 6am when its often really low) assuming this must mean there are some constraints somewhere, can anyone point to a site in which you can easily interpret what is causing this! 


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9458 posts

Uber Geek

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  #2103517 8-Oct-2018 19:03
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pchs:

 

During the past couple of nights the spot price has been unusually high (I.E times between say 12pm and 6am when its often really low) assuming this must mean there are some constraints somewhere, can anyone point to a site in which you can easily interpret what is causing this!

 

Normally just take a look at their Facebook page. Be aware however, there are many punters blaiming Flick for the pricing spikes and not understanding how the electricity market works. Once you get around those posts the information is normally there.

 





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Uber Geek

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  #2105632 10-Oct-2018 14:46
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I've just signed up to Fixie from now for 6 months - the rate I got is quite good also compared to other fixed price providers.

 

Generation costs fixed at 7.82 ¢/kWh + Flick admin fee of 0.15 cents per kWh bringing the total to 21.213 ¢/kWh after charges excluding the daily charge.





145 posts

Master Geek


  #2105832 10-Oct-2018 18:48
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michaelmurfy:

 

pchs:

 

During the past couple of nights the spot price has been unusually high (I.E times between say 12pm and 6am when its often really low) assuming this must mean there are some constraints somewhere, can anyone point to a site in which you can easily interpret what is causing this!

 

Normally just take a look at their Facebook page. Be aware however, there are many punters blaiming Flick for the pricing spikes and not understanding how the electricity market works. Once you get around those posts the information is normally there.

 

 

 

 

Thanks michaelmurfy, very interesting - I see at the moment the flows to the SI from the NI are quite high, so really putting pressure on the SI Spot prices. its quite interesting to see that there are some really high spikes at the likes of 3am, the only thing that would have to make sense there is maintenance. 

 

With my setup storing electricity from the cheaper spot rate and then using it during the day it has a bit of an impact with very little periods of spot under $0.10c - but at least this generally does not last long and its still significantly stacked up from periods in the year when the spot is really low, my average rate that I pay flick is still below $0.06 / kWh 

 

Would potentially impact EV users if they are using spot rates to make use of cheap overnight rates (but then again evens itself out over a long period) and still probably cheaper than fixed rates.  


3885 posts

Uber Geek


  #2106856 12-Oct-2018 16:41
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@pchs Also have a look at the pricing of reserve capacity. When power is flowing South on the HVDC cable. Backup is needed in case of a sudden generator or cable failure. But apart from interruptable load via ripple control. Often that reserves can only be provided by the SI hydro generators.

Then you have a catch 22. Do you send power down from the NI, and still use water to provide reserve capacity? Or do you instead just use the same water to generate electricity directly in the SI? The market system constantly calculates whatever method is cheapest.

The SI generators are holding back some of their water during off peak times. And using that water during peak times. This also means that a lot more NI fossil fuel generation is needed to make up for the shortfall.

The generators are being cautious, as if the SI hydro lakes completely run out. There is nowhere near enough fossil fuel generation available to supply the country without rolling blackouts. Problem is though, often it does start raining again. And with the benefit of hindsight. The generators could have kept hydro output at the max, and there wouldn't have been any power shortage. And they wouldn't have emitted a crazy amount of carbon dioxide for nothing.

What needs to happen- Lots of very large coal fired power stations need to be built in the NI, along with big coal stockpiles. And a market payment system needs to be setup to pay the owners of those coal generators, simply to maintain them and keep them ready. This will mean that the hydro generators won't have to limit their output, or have any worries about running out of water. The above coal generators would only need to be started on average only once per decade. And they will reduce carbon emissions overall. As fossil fuel generation will no longer be needed for normal day to day operation.

They would also provide insurance against an earthquake or other major disaster destroying the HVDC cable or a major power station.





175 posts

Master Geek


  #2107003 12-Oct-2018 20:31
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Aredwood: @pchs Also have a look at the pricing of reserve capacity. When power is flowing South on the HVDC cable. Backup is needed in case of a sudden generator or cable failure. But apart from interruptable load via ripple control. Often that reserves can only be provided by the SI hydro generators.

 

Then you have a catch 22. Do you send power down from the NI, and still use water to provide reserve capacity? Or do you instead just use the same water to generate electricity directly in the SI? The market system constantly calculates whatever method is cheapest.

 

Sort of, there is a National Market for reserves so when the energy is flowing one direction on the HVDC link, if there is spare capacity the receiving island can also receive reserves (reserve sharing.) This though can only be used to cover the AC risk in the receiving island so it all depends on which is the risk setter.

 

For example, right now the HVDC is flowing south at 124 MW with the current AC risk in the south island being a single Manapouri unit (123 MW). At the same time in the North Island the risk setter is TCC which is operating at 299 MW, so the NI needs to find approximately 285 MW in the NI to cover the risk of TCC (AC risk.) This reserve energy can be forward shared on the HVDC pushing around 50 MW in the SI as reserves to cover SI AC Risk. The cross side though depends on how much net free reserves are in the system in the SI which providing is inherent cover for the DC risk in the SI. That is a fairly simplistic explanation.

Aredwood: The SI generators are holding back some of their water during off peak times. And using that water during peak times. This also means that a lot more NI fossil fuel generation is needed to make up for the shortfall.

The generators are being cautious, as if the SI hydro lakes completely run out. There is nowhere near enough fossil fuel generation available to supply the country without rolling blackouts. Problem is though, often it does start raining again. And with the benefit of hindsight. The generators could have kept hydro output at the max, and there wouldn't have been any power shortage. And they wouldn't have emitted a crazy amount of carbon dioxide for nothing.

 

Lakes are below average despite the recent events, add to that due to a reduced snowpack from last years droughts means that spring inflows are an unknown quantity. Until that arrives there is a real fear of shortages in the market, which isn't helped by two significant gas issues. The first is that Pohokura currently has an issue and whilst it normally supplies around 40% of NZ's gas isn't producing anything. This has meant that we have no spare gas capacity and gas thermal generators in the North Island are constrained by supply. Add to that there is a buckle in one of the other pipelines which is putting additional fear of loss of supply has meant there is no gas spot market (no-one is offering supply.)

Aredwood: What needs to happen- Lots of very large coal fired power stations need to be built in the NI, along with big coal stockpiles. And a market payment system needs to be setup to pay the owners of those coal generators, simply to maintain them and keep them ready. This will mean that the hydro generators won't have to limit their output, or have any worries about running out of water. The above coal generators would only need to be started on average only once per decade. And they will reduce carbon emissions overall. As fossil fuel generation will no longer be needed for normal day to day operation.

They would also provide insurance against an earthquake or other major disaster destroying the HVDC cable or a major power station.

 

Capacity markets are terrible, they provide perverse incentives and given the behaviors of our successive governments to fiddle with stuff they have no understanding of I would expect that it would go wrong in a huge hurry. When it does go wrong it's incredibly difficult to unwind without significant legal threats.

 

 

 

Essentially, the high prices are being driven by lower than average hydro storage in the South island and some significant concerns around security of supply of gas in the North Island. to the extent that Genesis is already running the two certified Rankine units exclusively on coal and holding back e3p generation due to the issues around gas supply.


3885 posts

Uber Geek


  #2107063 13-Oct-2018 01:55
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So in other words, if Genesis had closed down the remaining Rankine units. As they threatened to do so 2 years or so ago. We would be stuffed right now.

Storage appears to have dropped to around the same low as what was reached in winter 2017. At least winter is already over this year. Although more and more heatpumps are constantly being installed. So summer loads are also increasing.

Either way, we are gambling on the weather providing enough rain. To maintain security of electricity supply. And the last shortage that was bad enough to require a power savings campaign, happened in 2007 (if I remember correctly). That was long before EVs were mainstream.

What would happen now if a savings campaign was required again? Would the government tell us to stop driving EVs, and drive ICE cars instead where possible? Will they use the smart meters to ration power? Allocate say 5KW of capacity per house, and the meter will automatically cut your power if you exceed that.

Some people in Australia are demanding that more fossil fuel generation be built over there, as they claim that renewable generation is too unreliable after the SA blackouts. Could the same thing happen here?

Looks like I need to hurry up and order some more LPG. As both of my 45kg cylinders are almost completely empty. And hurry up with another project- getting an inverter to run my solar hot water circulating pump.

Edit to add

Guess I can't get rid of my unflued LPG heaters either. Although they have been demoted to backup heating instead of primary heating. As I'm doing my bit to make both summer and winter demand peaks worse. (2 heatpumps installed, another 2 planned for installation before summer).





SBQ

91 posts

Master Geek


  #2107124 13-Oct-2018 08:40
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I've had a quick check at Flick dashboard and it shows the meter off the chart. I was a previous Flick customer and still able to login now with only just the meter indicator showing (no # display of actual pricing). Can anyone confirm current pricing for those in Christchurch?

I've learned something new with my Genesis power setup. Apparently they haven't been giving me the low weekend rates but rather treating my Sat & Sun as a regular weekday day/night rates. My 1st contact with them they confirmed what was going on informed that the weekend rate doesn't apply and gave me a $25 credit to the account. Then I looked at Orion's pricing schedule to discover they have a separate weekend schedule rate to coincide with Genesis's low weekend tariff rate. So I called Genesis again and with different customer support I asked why the difference? Eventually they told me I would have to schedule an electrician to do a meter reconfiguration on my smart meter $180. Interestingly she informed me that they normally don't offer or provide means for setting up the weekend meter configuration for those in Christchurch so perhaps i'm being lucky? I'm eager to see what happens and if the electrician does come visit.


54 posts

Master Geek


  #2107568 14-Oct-2018 09:55
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Interesting musings, @aredwood - Meridian and Contact already pay Genesis to keep the remaining Rankine units available in case they run short of water and can't meet their retail customer demand. There would be a limit to the amount of extra coal-fired generation they would be willing to pay for. That limit would be a function of their storage capacity, expected rain patterns, their retail customers' demand, and how much they have to pay to hold coal-fired contracts. They might have already reached their limit so that adding more coal-fired generation would be of more cost but no benefit. 

 

I share Voy1d's concerns about a capacity market. For a start, the function of capacity markets is not normally about running out of generating capacity because you eventually run out of water! They are usually made to ensure you have enough generation to meet demand peaks - this isn't much of a problem in NZ as the hydro generators can simply use a bit more water than they would have preferred.

 

Making a capacity market try to do a better job than the present system would be brave. Capacity markets take the choice between the risk and cost of electricity scarcity away from retailers, consumers and generators and hands it over to a central body that makes the tradeoff on behalf of all consumers. Inevitably, the tradeoff the body arrives at is to reduce the risk of shortage below its present level (otherwise why would you bother?) and the extra cost of achieving it (securing contracts with generators or demand response) is levied from all consumers. The benefit of this extra cost is it reduces the occasions where shortages eventuate and cause wholesale prices to rise. Consumers would be better off if the extra costs they incur are less than the avoided increases in wholesale prices.  


175 posts

Master Geek


  #2107572 14-Oct-2018 10:05
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SBQ:

 

I've had a quick check at Flick dashboard and it shows the meter off the chart. I was a previous Flick customer and still able to login now with only just the meter indicator showing (no # display of actual pricing). Can anyone confirm current pricing for those in Christchurch?

 

 

I've posted this before but I'll post again cause it's buried in past pages.

 

https://www.electricityinfo.co.nz has the current wholesale market data available for you, for Christchurch a solid index node to use will be ISL2201 (Islington 220kV bus.) However you might be on a different node in Christchurch you can go to the My Meter page on the EA website and put in your address (or ICP number) and get the GXP that you are attached to. Using that you can get the actual price from Electricity Info (including the realtime (five minute dispatch), Short Schedule (next eight trading periods) or Long Schedule (next 72 trading periods). I recommend using the NRSS (for short) or NRSL (for long) versions.


3885 posts

Uber Geek


  #2107879 15-Oct-2018 01:21
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The present system is already broken. Mostly due to the low user regulations. As those regulations force capacity related costs to be bundled into the per KW/Hr rates. As consumers can't easily be charged extra during peak times. To account for emissions costs and generator / network build costs. And they can't easily be offered cheaper rates for late night power. To encourage usage of unused capacity.

What I was suggesting above, should be combined with separate capacity charges to end customers. To cover capacity costs at all stages of the power system. Generation right through to the local lines network. Then consumers can decide how much capacity to buy.

Right now, since capacity costs are bundled into the unit fees. I have no incentive to reduce my peak capacity. As a result, the generators are encouraged to build power stations that can be ramped up quickly. Instead of one's that deliver low cost power.





175 posts

Master Geek


  #2107884 15-Oct-2018 05:29
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Aredwood: The present system is already broken. Mostly due to the low user regulations. As those regulations force capacity related costs to be bundled into the per KW/Hr rates. As consumers can't easily be charged extra during peak times. To account for emissions costs and generator / network build costs. And they can't easily be offered cheaper rates for late night power. To encourage usage of unused capacity.

What I was suggesting above, should be combined with separate capacity charges to end customers. To cover capacity costs at all stages of the power system. Generation right through to the local lines network. Then consumers can decide how much capacity to buy.

Right now, since capacity costs are bundled into the unit fees. I have no incentive to reduce my peak capacity. As a result, the generators are encouraged to build power stations that can be ramped up quickly. Instead of one's that deliver low cost power.

 

Ahh, you are talking about capacity/demand based billing rather than a capacity market itself. You're right consumption based billing breaks a number of components and perverts investment goals.

 

In the case of capacity/demand based billing it actually happens through the entire value chain of the industry except the last leg to the consumer.

 

For a generator to connect to the national grid they pay a monthly connection charge + an annualised RCPD charged (based on historical top 12 peaks) with the latter being phased to a simple average 12 top demands peaks for the last year.

 

For a distributor to take load from the national grid the same calculations take place.

 

Unison tried to introduce this to provide a more fair billing method so that regular consumers aren't subsidising distributed generation customers, but greenpeace vandalized this by running a campaign of a solar tax. The Lines Company tried to do what you're asking for because they have a very sparse network but have been forced to back down because people don't understand how the model works.


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