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153 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 1949089 31-Jan-2018 10:26
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@SBQ

 

The south island lakes are still incredibly empty (exception being Tekapo but that is because of a generator fault at Tekapo B power station which has meant Genesis hasn't been able to move as much water as they wanted) and so the prices are going to remain higher than normal.

 

The counter side to being a renewable dominant system is that when the clean energy can't be generated (no water or lack of wind) it has to be supplemented by gas/coal plant (and this is why the greens vision of a 100% renewable is faltering) which are priced higher over here than in other countries. The reason is in other countries they'll be running something flat tack all the time in NZ with the cheaper renewable energy sources they don't run flat tack so when they are needed to get the returns the generators will price them at a premium.

 

To be honest, I don't see the prices being sustained low for a while, the snow packs have been exhausted and past experience is the storage will take at least a year to recover back to normal levels from where we are.

 

Flick pass through the wholesale cost of electricity, traditional retailers like Genesis, Meridian hedge this by working out an average price and billing that (some months they'll be in the  money, sometimes they won't) and essentially take on the risk for you. With Flick you are exposed to that risk.


k14

579 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1949092 31-Jan-2018 10:34
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I've been with Flick for almost 2 years. What i'm complaining is that since winter, their price has been consistently higher than other competing electricity retailers. Sure I understand the past winter was a dry season and expected to pay high spot prices. But in the summer months now, what has changed compared to the low bills I had in 2017 summer? OK we may be  bit hotter than usual but we're not experiencing major electricity shortages. Why has Flick's price been consistently higher for the past few months? What if the next 6 months Flick doesn't have prices that are lower 'overall' to other competitors? You know sooner or later it becomes clear that Flick's pricing model just doesn't provide real savings. You don't have to be with them for a full year to experience it.

I'll be following Flick into winter to see if they're really cheaper. They weren't cheaper in winter months, and they're not cheaper now in summer months. What will change in the next 6 months? Only time will tell.

FYI, Genesis is giving me 15% discount - so basically their advertised rate is that vs Flick you add the GST. 15% alone is considerable savings (meaning Flick needs to have rates 15% less than ie night rate 12c/kw/hr to be competitive).

 

It's past 9pm now and we should be on night rate. But the Flick Dashboard now shows well over 20c/kw/hr. That's a far cry difference to 12c !!!

 

 

Yes, you are seeing the result of 12 months of very dry weather culminating in the market being pretty on edge going into autumn and winter. Have a look at the hydro risk curves here https://www.transpower.co.nz/system-operator/security-supply/hydro-risk-curves

 

If you compare the situation we are in currently to what we were 12 months ago the picture should be fairly clear. In short, currently the risk of winter power shortages are the highest they have been for a very long time (maybe even as far back as 1992), unless we see sustained 4-8 weeks of rainfall before June then there is a very high chance the emergency zone will be breached. Added to this there are currently additional complicating factors that the risk curve does not take into account (namely unplanned generator outages). So the generation companies will be running their own risk models that will likely be showing a even worse picture than the Transpower curves.

 

My opinion, get out before winter, join back up after. At the moment you are gambling on it raining in the next 3 months, which is still possibly but probably unlikely.


SBQ

40 posts

Geek
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  Reply # 1949124 31-Jan-2018 11:05
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@ nova:

 

Small point, but I think you have that the wrong way around, low users pay a lower daily charge and a higher per unit charge.

 

I've just shifted to Genesis myself, with the $150 signup bonus I'm fairly sure I won't be worse off. Flick is cheaper if there is lots of water in the lakes, but right now the lakes are low and the snow pack is also poor. This can change quickly, and there should be decent rainfall later this week, but personally the gamble is not worth it. Flick changed the way they pass through Orion lines charges last year, and this made it less attractive to me. Unless the spot price is below 6c per kw/hr then genesis night rates are cheaper, and flick only wins during the day, and on weekends where flick charges off peak during the day whereas genesis charge full day rates.

 

If you have a decent sized hot water cylinder I would highly recommend getting your ripple control profile changed so that you only heat your hot water overnight. Your power company can get Orion to reconfigure this (in most cases for a fee, but the pay back is quick). 

 

Agree with moving to Genesis. I called them to clarify on the weekend power price for Christchurch residents. They said from Friday 9pm to Monday 7am is off peak and will be at the same rate as the night rate (a low 12.16c on low user plan as you corrected). They mark it on their price sheet as ***weekend price to match the other asterisk * & ** respectively.

We use an electric HWHP system which i'm very happy with. Draws about 750 watts rated 4kW output, it heats our 300L hot water tank very well. Not on ripple and has a 3 stage daily timer. I usually set it to go on at 9pm - 12am.

I'm also not impressed with how Flick on FB posted that spot rates were low. Well that's of moot interest because that does not translate to being cheaper for customers in different areas. They should be more pro-active in telling customers on the Orion network that changes in how the wholesale rate is passed on. Deceptive IMO and it's quite clear, they won't be beating Genesis's cheap off peak night / weekend rates.

Correct me if i'm wrong. I think Flick is at a disadvantage to the big retailers that operate their own electrical generation. Certainly Genesis's relationship with Orion would be different to Flick having with Orion (eg changes in their pass through rate). Those that own their own electrical generation would not be keep to give a better rates to their competitors as they focus selling their own generated power to their customers. I know Flick told me they sell their power to the wholesale market but not too long if key generators start changing pass through rates?

@ voy1d:

High electricity prices are critical to promoting alternative / renewable energy. If prices were too low, then people would not consider putting up solar PV. However, there's a fine line. If the NZ electricity market goes on a bullying path, then technology will come that houses will just go off the grid. In 5 years time Tesla Powerwall packs will be attractive enough to have in every home. If you don't go off-grid, there's still savings by charging these packs at the low off peak rate (like you do with an electric car) and use it during the day time where electricity is over x2 the price. When you spend $2-3K a year, the #s start to justify such installations. Though, there's a small market for people that stay in their home for more than 5 or 10 years to capture this benefit.


66 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 5


  Reply # 1949280 31-Jan-2018 14:20
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houses will just go off the grid. In 5 years time Tesla Powerwall packs will be attractive enough to have in every home.

 

[...]

 

Though, there's a small market for people that stay in their home for more than 5 or 10 years to capture this benefit.

 

 

Most homes that are truly of the grid use bottled gas and or firewood for their bulk energy needs, water heating, space heating, and cooking.

 

Assuming you are running all that on electric, how many Powerwalls would you need to survive a week of no sunshine in winter?

 

 

 

5 years is the average occupancy, which means about half of households stay put longer than 5 years to make the payback.  And can't you just take your powerwalls with you if you move?


SBQ

40 posts

Geek
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  Reply # 1949328 31-Jan-2018 14:50
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Most homes that are truly off the grid use bottled gas and or firewood for their bulk energy needs, water heating, space heating, and cooking.

 

Assuming you are running all that on electric, how many Powerwalls would you need to survive a week of no sunshine in winter?

 

5 years is the average occupancy, which means about half of households stay put longer than 5 years to make the payback.  And can't you just take your powerwalls with you if you move?

 

 

Well average use of 9000kW/hrs in a year, works out to be about 25kW/hrs/day. So 2 Powerwall 2 units should work. A lot of these green initiatives talk in long paybacks which far exceed how long the owner will live in the house. The Powerwall 2 is like 120kg so i'm not sure if it's so easy to move, not to mention the house you buy not likely to have such a setup. People that buy these things know they will just simply live in the house for well over a 10 or 20 years.

What's for certain is the price of solar PV and batteries are coming down, yet price per kW/hr from the grid keeps going up. Eventually it will meet to a point that payback times are faster which will attract more people in going off the grid.


66 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 5


  Reply # 1949339 31-Jan-2018 15:07
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SBQ:

 

 

Most homes that are truly off the grid use bottled gas and or firewood for their bulk energy needs, water heating, space heating, and cooking.

 

Assuming you are running all that on electric, how many Powerwalls would you need to survive a week of no sunshine in winter?

 

5 years is the average occupancy, which means about half of households stay put longer than 5 years to make the payback.  And can't you just take your powerwalls with you if you move?

 

 

Well average use of 9000kW/hrs in a year, works out to be about 25kW/hrs/day. So 2 Powerwall 2 units should work. A lot of these green initiatives talk in long paybacks which far exceed how long the owner will live in the house. The Powerwall 2 is like 120kg so i'm not sure if it's so easy to move, not to mention the house you buy not likely to have such a setup. People that buy these things know they will just simply live in the house for well over a 10 or 20 years.

What's for certain is the price of solar PV and batteries are coming down, yet price per kW/hr from the grid keeps going up. Eventually it will meet to a point that payback times are faster which will attract more people in going off the grid.

 

 

Well i'm thinking for most places their winter power use is far higher than summer. I know my winter electric bill is ten times higher in winter than summer; $25/fortnight vs $250, but im on oil column heaters waiting for a renovation to kick off and install central heating, you'd invest in better heating before you invest in batteries, but even the 3 times efficiency of a heatpump you are still looking at maybe a yearly average 25kWh/day containing 100kWh/day in the middle of winter? 

 

... so 8 powerwalls = NZ$30,000.  Might be waiting a 30 years for Li-Ion prices to come down to make that affordable. Need some new battery chemistry to become commercially viable.


12589 posts

Uber Geek
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Trusted

  Reply # 1949368 31-Jan-2018 15:18
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How much is a powerwall and what kWh?


2930 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1949472 31-Jan-2018 16:07
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Well, I’ve made the call to switch from Flick back to EK. Just can’t be bothered with the variation and uncertainty, whether or not it ends up cheaper overall.

I spent a bit of time with Powerswitch and getting prices directly from suppliers; while others may have been a bit cheaper now compared to EK, come winter I’ll more than make it back simply on the hour of free power - that was accounting for 20-30% of our overall usage.

171 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 18


  Reply # 1949489 31-Jan-2018 16:38
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I heard from someone that they'd had a Solar salesman out to assess their home. The verdict was that they were fringe whether they'd gain right now, but that for them it would make sense in a couple of years from now (based on their location, usage and current costs). According to their salesman, the big shift (in his opinion) would be when people start using Electric Cars as their power time-shift device as well as for travel as it will save having to buy a separate powerwall battery unit for most of the same benefits (albeit traded off against when the car was needed as a car instead). Unfortunately I can't remember who I was talking to about this, so can't ask them for more info.

 

Interesting idea. As I understood the argument, was that you charge the car to store Power from PV Solar during times when car or power isn't needed, then run the house back off the car during expensive evenings. Then charge the car on cheap electricity from the grid overnight so it is good to go for driving when needed. (or something like that). Obviously whether that actually works well (or at all) will depend on the technology being available and the usage patterns of the user.

 

 

 

Mike


66 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 1949643 31-Jan-2018 19:32
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tdgeek:

 

How much is a powerwall and what kWh?

 

 

The Powerwall 2.0 is 13.5kWh includes it's own inverter now.

 

It's not clear to me if the 1150 'supporting hardware' is the install cost, or if you pay another 1150-2900 on top of the 9900 for install.

 

Interestingly Tesla estimate on a typical day with a 7kW solar install and one battery you will be 100% self powered.  If you have A/C then you need 8kWh solar and 2 powerwalls.  But you still need a grid connection or your house will go dark on less than typical sunshine days.

 

[i]

 

AUD$8,750 1 Powerwall
AUD$1,150 Supporting hardware
AUD$9,900 Total equipment cost

 

Your final design and pricing will be based on your electrical panel, home energy usage, number of Powerwalls, and where you’d like your Powerwall installed. Typical installation cost ranges fromAUD$1,150 to AUD$2,900. This does not include solar installation, electrical upgrades (if necessary), taxes, permit fees, or any retailer / connection charges that may apply. This estimate includes goods and services tax.

 

[/i]

 

https://www.tesla.com/en_AU/powerwall?redirect=no

 

 

 

Using a car as a load shifting battery is an interesting idea, but doesn't really help with solar unless you leave your car at home during the day to charge.


SBQ

40 posts

Geek
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  Reply # 1949645 31-Jan-2018 19:37
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Well i'm thinking for most places their winter power use is far higher than summer. I know my winter electric bill is ten times higher in winter than summer; $25/fortnight vs $250, but im on oil column heaters waiting for a renovation to kick off and install central heating, you'd invest in better heating before you invest in batteries, but even the 3 times efficiency of a heatpump you are still looking at maybe a yearly average 25kWh/day containing 100kWh/day in the middle of winter? 

 

... so 8 powerwalls = NZ$30,000.  Might be waiting a 30 years for Li-Ion prices to come down to make that affordable. Need some new battery chemistry to become commercially viable.

 

 

100kW/hrs in a day is a lot of power usage and if space heating is that expensive, you're best to invest in insulation. At 3 months you'll reached 9000 kw/hrs which is already the average quota use in NZ. If you multiply by an average kW price of 30cents, that's $2,700.

 

We're not advocating installing multiple Powerwalls for every household. I'm just saying that if the electricity market becomes unfavourable to the public, then people would consider ways to pay less for electricity. Newer houses are more energy efficient, and if things get nasty, newer houses would be build again be build to a more higher standard and become less reliant on electricity use from the grid.

 

BTW, not even the most power hungry house in America uses 8 x Powerwall units. But you can bet your boot 1 single Powerwall unit can meet the needs of many newly built houses in NZ.


66 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 5


  Reply # 1949656 31-Jan-2018 20:02
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dantheperson:

 

tdgeek:

 

How much is a powerwall and what kWh?

 

 

The Powerwall 2.0 is 13.5kWh includes it's own inverter now.

 

It's not clear to me if the 1150 'supporting hardware' is the install cost, or if you pay another 1150-2900 on top of the 9900 for install.

 

Using a car as a load shifting battery is an interesting idea, but doesn't really help with solar unless you leave your car at home during the day to charge.

 

 

 

 

Seems that solar and flicking have the same loadshifting needs. 

 

Normally a battery is seen as an add-on to a solar install, so that you can use daytime generation at night time.

 

But if you invest in a large battery first, then access off peak low rates via flick, you are shifting night grid generation into daytime consumption.  I suspect there is no way adding solar to this setup would be financially viable.


2832 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1949740 31-Jan-2018 22:03
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SBQ:

 

 

 

We're not advocating installing multiple Powerwalls for every household. I'm just saying that if the electricity market becomes unfavourable to the public, then people would consider ways to pay less for electricity. Newer houses are more energy efficient, and if things get nasty, newer houses would be build again be build to a more higher standard and become less reliant on electricity use from the grid.

 

 

But unfortunately, higher power prices also encourage switching energy use to fossil fuels. LPG in Auckland costs around 16.4c / KW/Hr inc GST and delivery. That is cheaper than buying power on a low user rate. (and some standard user rates as well) And most of the average person's energy bill is lines fees rather than the cost of the actual electrical energy. Just compare the massive difference between wholesale and retail prices.

 

 

 

Far better would be for the lines companies to adopt a similar pricing model to what Chorus uses in their UFB pricing. In otherwords, select what size connection you need (capacity). Which will be a fixed fee to cover the cost of building and maintaining the network. And then pay a much lower per kW/Hr charge to cover the cost of energy only.

 

 

 

Imagine if Chorus switched to the same pricing model as what the power companies use. Gigabit UFB would be the only speed available (even if your internet usage is just sending the occasional email). Chorus would only then charge approx $10 per month fixed fees. And then charge $1 per gigabyte to your RSP on your data usage.






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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1949746 31-Jan-2018 22:14
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Also don't count on prices always increasing. I found an old Mercury bill from Dec 2006. My rate was 19.89c / KW/Hr. Before gst and Prompt payment discount. The bill in unclear exactly how the discount is calculated, but assuming it was 10% then my rate was 18c +GST. While Meridian are currently offering 19.58c +GST (no PPD)

 

So a 1.5c per unit increase over 11 years. Which is nothing considering how much the price has increased for everything else. Anyone remember what petrol cost back in Dec 2006?






7 posts

Wannabe Geek
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  Reply # 1949791 1-Feb-2018 04:01
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Aredwood:

 

Far better would be for the lines companies to adopt a similar pricing model to what Chorus uses in their UFB pricing. In otherwords, select what size connection you need (capacity). Which will be a fixed fee to cover the cost of building and maintaining the network. And then pay a much lower per kW/Hr charge to cover the cost of energy only.

 

 

Agree that would be better, but lines companies are generally pretty risk averse and want to maintain a low profile, and there are a couple of issues:

 

     

  1. The capacity charge may breach the Low Fixed Charge regulations, as it could be viewed as a fixed charge that exceeds 15c per day
  2. Moving to capacity-based charges would lead to significantly higher bills for customers who don't use much electricity (e.g. elderly, poorer), which would not be popular.

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