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562 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 362


  Reply # 1908873 28-Nov-2017 10:50
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epr: Hey I have just had solar panels installed and I am wondering if my power company will let me switch to a low user rate. I am guessing maybe not as they will now be buying some power back off me but if anyone has a good idea then I would appreciate a heads up.

 

Have you done your maths to confirm the economics?

 

Low users pay a higher daily charge (approx. $1 vs 33c from memory). Depending on your PV capacity and if you are able to shift your consumption (such as hot water, laundry, dishwasher) to consume all you solar energy and essentially have nothing left to export back to the grid, then the savings on the daily charge may exceed the additional cost of electricity in the evenings.


118 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 1908896 28-Nov-2017 10:59
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tdgeek: It was probably a reasonable assumption back then.

 

 

It wasn't a reasonable assumption. I did some research at the time and there was, at best, only a moderate relationship between household income and electricity usage. Consequently, the High/Low electricity pricing regime is a poorly targeted subsidy. The transition to greater use of household solar generation will make it worse.

 

Given the objective of reducing energy costs for low income households, it would be much better to simply give a grant to low income households.


k14

578 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1908898 28-Nov-2017 11:01
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tripper1000:

 

Have you done your maths to confirm the economics?

 

Low users pay a higher daily charge (approx. $1 vs 33c from memory). Depending on your PV capacity and if you are able to shift your consumption (such as hot water, laundry, dishwasher) to consume all you solar energy and essentially have nothing left to export back to the grid, then the savings on the daily charge may exceed the additional cost of electricity in the evenings.

 

 

Other way round, low users pay a lower daily charge and slightly higher unit charges.


118 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 41


  Reply # 1908905 28-Nov-2017 11:11
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Picking up the earlier point about the merits of switching to a Low user tariff with solar, Wellington Electricity say:

 

In addition to providing price signals to consumers to shift consumption to periods outside of the peak demand period, our future pricing changes are likely to target ensuring that consumers with solar pay their full share of network capacity and demand costs, rather than being subsidised by consumers without solar.

 

Source: "2017/18 Pricing Methodology Disclosure", page 12. https://welectricity.co.nz/dmsdocument/110

 

I assume that other network companies will adopt similar policies. So, even if solar with the Low user tariff is worthwhile now, it may not stay that way.


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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1908923 28-Nov-2017 11:48
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There are lots of apartments in Auckland with central hot water systems (hot water provided by the body corporate). And which have very low heating costs as apartments don't have much external wall area. Yet almost all of them have electric cooking.

So they have high peak loads, but very low average usage. And no loads that are suitable for ripple control or other load management. Yet the low average use means they all qualify for the low user plans.

At the very least, the low user plans should be restricted to people who have a community services card. But they need to go, As they cause people to reduce their average power usage. But the cost of building and maintaining a power network is set by peak usage.





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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1909009 28-Nov-2017 14:21
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Aredwood:  Yet the low average use means they all qualify for the low user plans.

 

Its the tariff of choice for pretty much every boomer bach owner I know.......


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Master Geek
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  Reply # 1909018 28-Nov-2017 14:40
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wellygary:

 

Aredwood:  Yet the low average use means they all qualify for the low user plans.

 

Its the tariff of choice for pretty much every boomer bach owner I know.......

 

 

That would be illegal, but hey...


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