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Posted by Mauried on July 13, 2008, 10:45 am
On Sat, 12 Jul 2008 20:13:27 -0700 (PDT), websurf1@cox.net wrote:

Power Companies produce power at a wholesale price which they then
sell to retailers or retail the power themselves.
The retail price includes the cost of the distribution system and its
If the Power company has to buy power from home users at the retail
rate, they can only resell it at the retail rate which means they make
no profit, but they still have to pay for the cost and maintenance of
the power distribution system.
Eventually, the power company will go broke because its unable to sell
any of its own power, but it still has to maintain the distribution
3/4 of the price of retail power is the cost of distribution, not the
cost of generation.
The economic viability of a coal or gas or nuclear power plant
requires that it make power all the time.

Posted by T. Keating on July 18, 2008, 7:14 pm
On Sun, 13 Jul 2008 10:45:50 GMT, mauried@tpg.com.au (Mauried) wrote:

Incorrect.. Energy co profit would average somewhere between 10 and

   Average grid loss is around 10%.  
   ~ 3-5% at night, ~20% during peak daytime hours(A/C)..  

Much of those I^2R losses would be offset by point of use power

Less than 1% loss from PV producer to consumer on same transformer,
and improves efficiency of remaining local grid loads.

 (I.E. reduced current flowing thru transformer & grid, improves eff
and reduces wear & tear.).

   Thus Energy co can sell those recovered kWh's to somebody else for
a profit and reduce it's maint costs. .

Posted by websurf1 on July 19, 2008, 3:55 am
Furthermore, in most cases I am aware of, the power company buys back
at retail only enough power to zero the meter for the month.  Any
additional power is purchased by the company at some wholesale value.
This is for household situations; commercial or other situations will
vary and I don't pretend to be keeping up with all that.

These incentives are provided to bootstrap the solar or alternative
generation strategies until, we hope, they can begin to survive on
their own.  As fossil fuels grow enormously in cost, this may happen
sooner than we were ready.

They also marginally drive up the cost of electrical power.  To the
extent that this higher cost encourages conservation, I support it.

Posted by T. Keating on July 20, 2008, 3:34 pm
 On Fri, 18 Jul 2008 20:55:39 -0700 (PDT), websurf1@cox.net wrote:


My utility just adopted a more reasonable annual net metering tariff,
with surplus paid at wholesale rates at end of year.  

That said, my utility (FPL) currently uses a two tier ed residential
rate tariff.  

  First 1000kWh/month is priced at 9.35 cents per kWh (pretax)
  Above 1000kWh/month is priced at 11.38 cents per kWh (pretax).

So the Energy co.. pays me for net PV production at the cheaper below
1000kWh.month rate, while charging my energy hog neighbors a much
higher rate (3/4th's of the time).   A built in 16 to 17 percent
profit margin.  Tack on reduction in energy delivery losses and we're
talking  about a  30 to 40% profit margin.  (Wayy more than PUC would
ever allow in a non-renewable scenario. )

Tacking  on annual wholesale net metering tariff just adds to Energy
co gravy train. .

same here.

Posted by daestrom on July 19, 2008, 11:01 pm
 T. Keating wrote:

Your argument is bogus.  There is no 'recovered kWh's.  Since all the
metering is done at the consumer location, the power company may see a
reduction in losses, but it doesn't see any revenue at all in Maurid's
example.  Yet maintenance costs remain.

With local consumer generation supplying their neighbor, the transformer may
be completely unloaded at times and have zero losses.  But with one meter
turning backward the exact amount that the neighbor's meter turns forward,
there is no net revenue for the utility to pay for maintaining the

Yet the transformer and grid supply line is used during cloudy days and
night just as much as before.  The cost of equipment and maintenance is
amortized in the rate base and is charged based on 'normal' usage.  The cost
does *not* drop significantly with local consumer generation so the utility
would be forced to go to the PSC and adjust the amortization schedule.  This
in effect means that non-generators would pay a higher rate to subsidize the
maintenance costs to keep local consumer generation connected to the grid.

The net-metering laws have caps for very real reasons (and no it isn't
because 'the big bad utility' wants to keep the 'little guy' down).  Many of
the costs of operating a utility are budgeted and amortized over the
expected *metered* usage.  Storm cleanup, equipment updates and routine
repair are a few things that you are *not* charged for on a case-by-case
basis because the utility just bundles it into the per kWh rate.
Drastically reduce the billable kWh's (say, more than the 2.5% cap) and the
utility will be forced to apply these costs to the smaller remaining
billable kWh.

Or they will be forced 'unbundle' the service and charge you each time a
tree branch needs trimming on your block (or some other maintenance that is
currently done without separate billing).  That would be an adminstrative
nightmare.  Not to mention all the new complaints about, "I'm not paying
that, the tree didn't 'really' need trimming that badly."

P.S.  Come to think of it, since my development has buried service and is
subject to much less storm related damage, I might see a reduction in costs
if they 'unbundled' maintenance costs.

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