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 Post subject: Utility Study with EV
PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 11:54 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:59 pm
Posts: 25
When I first received the Fit EV I used the 120V outlet charger for the first month with the car set to charge as soon as I plugged it in. I plugged it in when I got home from work and it would usually get to full charged sometime in the early morning.
Little did I know that I was quickly working up through the Tiers, from $0.14 per Kwh to $0.33 per Kwh. I typically only use about 40% battery for a normal day, so 40% x 20Kwh (FitEV Battery size) is 8 KWh daily usage. At 4 miles/KWh that’s about 32 miles a day. So it started at $1.12 a day then doubled to $2.64. The bummer part is that all house electricity cost rose as the car charged worked through the levels. Our bill sky rocket from $40 a month to $160 a month! The starting point of $40 a month is because we live in a tiny house in San Luis Obispo, CA where the climate nice year-round and we don’t have an air conditioner.

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For reference, if gas is at $2/gallon and you have a 30 MPG car, it would cost $2.13 for 32 miles and 50 MPG car would cost $1.28.

I then wised up and had the Level 2 charger installed and switch my utility plan from a Tier payment to a locked in time of use plan (PG&E EV-A). Late night (Midnight-7AM) is now always $0.10 per KWh regardless of how much energy I use, but we have to deal with peak cost from 2-9PM ranging from $0.29/KWh in the winter to $0.43/KWh in the summer. Late night charging only cost $0.80 a day. Now there is a very nice charge usage, yellow is the Fit EV charging and everything else is normal house usage. Monthly bill is now $100.

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To combat the peak usage we signed up with Solar City. Honda has a deal with them where they can save you $400. The general deal with Solar City is they undercut your utility bill with a cheaper lease or payment plan. They present this cost as a cost per Kw/hr so you can compare it to your bill. For us it is supposed to be $0.11Kw/hr when I use solar during peak/generated power. You are also locked in rates, unlike PG&E just increased our rate this year 6%. From $0.40/KWh in 2014 to $0.43/KWhi in 2015. This solar addition will take our $100 a month bill down to about $65 a month.
http://solar.solarcity.com/promotions/honda/

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Now I wouldn’t say the car is actually charged with solar because the solar is connected to a net meter. During day it should be over producing, and feeding extra energy back into the grid and our meter will essentially add credits to our account. At night when the charger kicks on, there is obviously no solar, and it will pull power from the grid, first using up our saved solar credits then use the off peak rate. Even if I was to charge during peak solar generation, my solar system is only 2.6KW. With the Level 2 charger at 6.6KW, we will be pulling 4.0KW from the grid at peak rates.

In summary, I have learned a lot about my own energy usage both from my home and car. I discovered that it is difficult to track how much energy you are using real time. When we tried to save money and switch to the time of use plan, I had to post the hours when not to run the dryer or washing machine. Our utility company, PG&E has a pretty good web site to track usage history but you don’t see it in real time.

If you end up looking into the Solar City plan, use me as a reference and I get $250 toward my solar bill, which will provide me with about 10 months Fit EV electrons. :D

Hopeful you find this study helpful and can save money,

__________
Dustin Gamble
2014 Fit EV #574 charged with solar…sorta of


Last edited by LastFitEV on Sun Jan 11, 2015 9:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Utility Study with EV
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 3:53 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2012 6:01 pm
Posts: 371
I'm not clear on the benefits of Solar in your case. With the L2 EVSE, you can easily charge the 40% in a little over an hour off-peak at 10c/kWH. You could also easily charge that 40% with the L1 during off peak hours (taking maybe 5 hours). With your year 'round ideal climate, you don't have to run AC during the peak periods, which is often what injures and maims people on the EV rate plan. Before EV you were in tiers 1 &2 (?) so the EV doubled your house electric use?

Moving uses to off-peak still helps you, even with solar - or did you switch back to E-1? It feels like a lot of your usage was daytime? Electric cooking?

Note: I didn't see your pictures, so I might be missing important info.

Your 2.5 kW solar electric system, takes your bill down $35/mo or $420/year. What did it cost (before or after the Honda $400) ? If it was $8k, you have a ~20 year payback (present electric rates, 0 interest rate, level power output).

You can get a device to display/track your smart meter data in real time, even w solar. Check out PG$E HAN info. You can get the box from an online store, but check their info. HAN = Home Area Network.


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 Post subject: Re: Utility Study with EV
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 8:18 am 
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Joined: Fri May 31, 2013 12:42 pm
Posts: 525
Location: Albany, NY
Thank you for the interesting and informative post Dustin. Our place in NY has a 9.7 kW Solar City PV system and we love it. Our electric bill used to average $170 a month. Now it is $17 a month [minimum maintenance fee for being grid tied].

We did the full up front prepay and got an incredible 20 year lease deal from Solar City in 2013.

Quick math:

Before solar [paying 13 cents a kWh]: $170 a month x 12 months x 20 years= $40,800.

After Solar: $9378 lease cost, - 25% NY state tax credit brought it down to $6,943. Add 20 years of $17 a mo. maintenance fees [$4,080].

Final cost for 20 years of electricity: $11,023.

We will save $29,777 in 20 the next years and don't have to worry about electricity costs rising. Going solar? No brainer.

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Mike

https://www.facebook.com/groups/CapitalDistrictEVDrivers/


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 Post subject: Re: Utility Study with EV
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 9:20 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:59 pm
Posts: 25
LastFitEV wrote:
the EV doubled your house electric use?

Yes, our daily home electric usage (8KWh or average 300 Watts over 24 hours) = car electric (8KWh or 32 miles), so when we got the FitEV our usage doubled but our bill tripled. The time of use plan got it back down but still double. Its not much power, gas cooking/heating. Just a couple lights, computer, and TV.

This 2.5Kw system is $12,350, but $8,645 after federal rebate. Includes maintenance, guarantee of solar production, insurance, etc. The best option is to pay it off asap. If you can't pay it off right away then you are on a payment plan and over the long term paying the total amount 2-3 times over. Like any loan or home mortgage. But even with that, it is still less than PG&E electricity.

I did request to see if my meter was HAN capability from PG&E last year and they said yes. Here was the list of devices. http://www.pge.com/en/myhome/saveenergy ... index.page
But they looked kinda of lame last year when I checked but they are actually looking pretty good now. SolarCity also has real time monitoring but only over solar production.
I've been tracking this one: http://neur.io/ This one taps into your main line to the house and closely monitors all power and starts identifying when you turn on high current devices.

One thing I'm very interested in tracking, which I can't figure out how to, is tracking my real time saved up solar credits. If I know I have 10 KWh saved up, then I can charge up in peak hours and get back on the road. If I do charge at peak rate for 10KWh at $0.43/Kwh is $4.3! That's like driving a giant pickup truck getting 15 MPG. ugh!


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 Post subject: Re: Utility Study with EV
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 12:22 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2012 6:01 pm
Posts: 371
I've got a Rainforest Eagle bridge from Zigbee (SmartMeter) to Internet. At this moment, the data goes to Bidgely, which I am not excited about, but it does give present and historical data (5 minute intervals). I'm not convinced it is possible to decipher which appliances are running with just the household aggregate electric use, even if you have lots of samples, which Bidgely claims to do. It hasn't done even a passable job of figuring out anything beyond "always on" after 6 months of samples - so maybe it isn't possible.

I also have some standalone Zigbee monitors, which I like, although it is sometimes nice to look at the historical data for a day in the past. The utility system might be enough to disconnect Bidgely.

EcoBee makes a thermostat which is Zigbee capable, that might be the best device of all.


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 Post subject: Re: Utility Study with EV
PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 11:27 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:59 pm
Posts: 25
It just got better! $1000 off

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http://links.honda.mkt015.com/servlet/MailView?ms=MTE1NDM2NDES1&r=OTQ0NjMzMDEzNzIS1&j=NDIzNTM3NTIzS0&mt=1&rt=0


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 Post subject: Re: Utility Study with EV
PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2015 10:43 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:12 pm
Posts: 206
I leased my Fit EV in January 2013. In March 2013 I installed a 3KW solar system on my roof. Since then, my electric bills have gone down by more than half, and my gasoline bills (I gave my previous car to my daughter) have also gone down by half.
My wife's car still uses that stuff.
My electricity usage stays in Tier 1 except in the hottest summer months...typically August and September. Even though the bill is higher then due to AC use, my savings are enormous because that is also the peak output time for my solar panel, and ALL the power it generates would be in Tier 4 or higher if I had to get it from SCE.
It's hard to exactly quantify my savings, but it is significant, and besides I like the idea of using less gas AND electricity from the grid.

_________________
Fit EV #234
Acquired 1-28-13


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 Post subject: Re: Utility Study with EV
PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2015 9:34 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:59 pm
Posts: 25
Update:

To track my consumed power from the meter I purchased a Bidgely device which using a ZigBee radio to allow me to monitor my consumption/generation from my smart meter from PG&E. It looks like the interface is a work in progress but I can see the real time consumption. I did verify that if the battery is 100% and you enable climate control, it does not pull any power from grid and just drains the battery. Now if the battery is below 100%, it does use the grid, at full charge rate, ~7Kw even if its not charging. If you can time it right, start the climate control when the battery is in the ~95% charge. This lengthens the charge time but at the end up with a full battery and a warm car.

Solar has been interesting. I am on a EV-A with PGE which means my off peak charge rate is pretty cheap ($0.10/KWhr) but my peak during summer is super high at ($0.43/Kwh) but there are no tiers. Now with solar, when I generate power and feed the grid, the power company buys it back at what ever the current rate is. Cool part is peak rates is when the sun it up. So I sell it back to them high and then I buy back at night low. You could actually make money if you had the Fit battery pack attached to the grid and charged it at night costing 20Kwhr*0.1=$2 then discharged the battery in the afternoon to the grid at peak rates, 20Kwhr*0.43=$8.6. Netting $6.60 a day or about $258 a month. Not really an option but interesting.
With the solar deal, when we generate using solar power, the solar company charges us $0.11/kwh which is sold back to the grid at $0.43/kwh, which pays for itself and then some, helping reduce the overall bill.

Bidgely graph
Image

http://www.amazon.com/EAGLE-ZigBee-Gateway-with-Bidgely/dp/B00EIW0TXE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1425874045&sr=8-1&keywords=bidgely


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 Post subject: Re: Utility Study with EV
PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2015 10:17 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2013 11:12 pm
Posts: 206
I don't know what EV-A is, but SCE offers a Time-Of-Use (TOU) option. Like yours, peak-time power is very expensive, and here in Southern CA, I have a LOT of peak time usage in July, August and September for A/C. I couldn't calculate it precisely, but it looked like the TOU option would increase my cost. I would pay for any usage in excess of the panel output at a very high rate during peak hours, and pay the equivalent of Tier 1 price to charge the car at night.
But my total net monthly usage rarely exceeds Tier 1 because the solar output is highest in the hottest months. So the standard billing option works best for me. If I did not have the solar panel, I would definitely go with the TOU option.

_________________
Fit EV #234
Acquired 1-28-13


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