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Insane electricity costs in California - Generate your own electricity for fun and profit?!?!

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I recently moved to Norther California from another state and my electricity bill was $1300 my first month here. That is with the AC set at 79 degrees. Electricity is a monopoly here and I have no choice for providers. I am paying $40 cents per Kwhr (I was paying 7 cents per kwhr at my previous house).

I noticed that there are whole-house generators that you can buy for your house. General consensus is that these cost about 22 cents per kwhr. What is to stop me from installing one of these and generating my own electricity for a reduced rate? 

My other thought is that the utilities allow you to sell back electricity. Many people with Solar will do this. The market rate for "sell back electricity" is about 30 cents per kwhr. Is there anything stopping me from generating electricity at 22 cents per kwhr and selling it back at 30 cents?

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Well, if you outfit that with the addition of a flux capacitor then...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBp5ag6SJH4


ZenNUTS (Aug. 18, 2017 @ 12:18a) |

BitCoin mining is a complex way to turn electricity into money using computers.

xerty (Aug. 18, 2017 @ 2:52a) |

80 posts and still no explanation from OP on where the juice is going

rufflesinc (Aug. 18, 2017 @ 9:28a) |

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Are you sure that whole house generator can actually be used 24/7?

I'd look at solar if your average rate is .40/kWh. That's extremely high. Like Hawaii high.

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$1300 seems like an extremely large bill even at 40 cents kwh. Are you in a desert with the AC running 24/7 in a relatively large house?

ETA : might also be well worth having your AC checked out and potentially replaced for newer / efficient model.
 

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Unless you have a 10k square foot house, its impossible for your electric bill to be $1300. I run a/c in my 2,000 sq foot house at 75 degrees from 4 pm to 7 am and its at 78 when I'm not home and my bill has never been higher in than $250 and that was when I had my MIL for 4 weeks and that a/c was running 24/7. I also have a ton of electronics.

My a/c unit is 10 years old.

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Well if you weren't mining coins then it would be more like $200-$300.

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What's the sq ft of your house? That's a crazy high bill. Before investing anything, look online for some tips on checking energy efficiency or air leaks in your house. At that price it may even be worth paying to have someone run an efficiency test on your home to see where and how best to improve any obvious key areas. Do you have heated floors or ceilings? These are usually very expensive and inefficient ways of heating. ETA, since you are cooling and not heating, have your AC or HVAC unit checked.

In N Cali, getting solar panels for roofing may also be a good way to go.

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You are saying you used over 3 MWh in a month? Did you check the meter when you moved in? Does it really show that much usage?

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Wow what provider charges 40 per KWH, Edison charges 38 I believe but that's only on peak times.

And it depends if your provider will let you sell back.  Some don't and some let you 'bank it' against future bills and some only let you sell back peak time.

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Are you sure 1.3k bill is just for one month's usage?
Does it include any arrears, one-time fees, installation/reconnection charge?

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Not even. SoCal Edison rates currently have 3 tiers: $0.16, $0.25, and $0.31 per kWh.

Someone is in ur computerz, steeling ur electronz, teddy.

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There's no way they pay 30 c/kWh. Here in San Diego, the current rate is about 4c/kWh. Current Edison payback is 2.5c/kWh. You'll never make money selling back to the utility as the cost of the system will exceed any utility payback.

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net metering forces the utilities to buy back your excess electricity. the only way a residential property can generate $1300 in electricity bill is you are not paying residential rates and your grow lights are too powerful!

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Hmmm My average per month in central coast california is about $48; No AC of course in homes here.

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So Cal here; 9-10 months no AC, bill averages $35 after 2x yearly carbon credits. Months I use AC average is $95.

Friend of mine had similar huge electric bills. Turns out a neighbor had split off their line and was running an illegal grow house. Get your utility involved.

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miserly said:   net metering forces the utilities to buy back your excess electricity.AFAIK, the original net metering is no longer available for new customers, original customers will be grandfathered for like 20 years. I think this is the case for all public utilities in CA. The next net metering (2.0) will be based on time-of-use (TOU) so it  won't be as good. Plus, as Herb mentioned, the buyback rates are a factor lower than the retail rates, so there's no way to profit from residential generation.

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An older 1500sqft house can be around $500 per month if you keep the AC at 74 or so and run it nonstop during summer. At 79, I'd expect it to be $250-$300/mo during the hot months of summer.

$1300/mo is excessive unless you are doing something special or have a mansion or something.

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Full disclaimer, my line of work is making electricity.

First, let's understand how your rate is set. Yes, it's a monopoly but the rate is "cost plus". I'm not in CA, but I'm assuming they have to pay for a lot regulatory and environment compliance stuff.

40 cent/mwh is a bit out of wreck, even in California. Post the link to your rate schedule, it is online somewhere.

Another thing to look at is sometime so the billing is based on estimated use from prior year and they don't read the meter every month. Look at your bill closely.

And finally, no, you are not likely to make electricity at 20 cent/mwh and no, you can't run a generator in a residential location 24/7. At some location, you can beat your local power co with a combination of solar and battery storage but that's also counting on incentives that may not last.

Your best course of action is look into your billing, post it here with personal info taken out, otherwise we are all just blindly guessing.

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Your house probably has no insulation or your AC unit is busted.

I live in N. Cal too and we don't pay anywhere close to $1400 a month.
PGE rate structure is around 20cents for baseline, 27.6cents for 1X to 4X baseline and then 40cents. In theory, most of your usage should be in the 1st two tiers and hence your rate should be nowhere close to 40cents.

Also, make sure that you are not on the time-of-use plan. That could be killing you too since under that plan, the rates are the highest when you use the AC the most.

My recommendation would be to get solar - I didn't bother with too much research - just asked solar city to install their system and I pay around 13.5cents for the solar kwh + it reduces what goes to tier3 to PGE. Whatever you do, don't produce excess electricity - PGE will give you 3cents and nice kick in your behind as a thankyou for giving them cheap electricity.

 

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ZenNUTS said:   Full disclaimer, my line of work is making electricity.
...
40 cent/mwh is a bit out of wreck
...
you are not likely to make electricity at 20 cent/mwh and no
should be cent/kWh, not mwh. Only pointing it out since it's your line of work and you did it twice...

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PrincipalMember said:   My recommendation would be to get solar - I didn't bother with too much research - just asked solar city to install their systemHow can you recommend something without doing too much research?

Doesn't solar city only do leases? My understanding is that it's a lot cheaper in the long run to buy your own system than to lease one. Because, you know, the leasing company wouldn't be doing it if they weren't making a decent profit.

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Luniz97 said:   Unless you have a 10k square foot house, its impossible for your electric bill to be $1300. 
  
A little 4:20 urban gardening could do it 

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Maybe there is a grow operation in the basement, a secret room or in an underground bunker in the back yard.

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scripta said:   
ZenNUTS said:   Full disclaimer, my line of work is making electricity.
...
40 cent/mwh is a bit out of wreck
...
you are not likely to make electricity at 20 cent/mwh and no

should be cent/kWh, not mwh. Only pointing it out since it's your line of work and you did it twice...

  
Heh, it would be $40/ mwhr which is the  .40/kwhr -- it is as likely he was calling one as the other.

At anything over .20/kwhr solar power is a viable alternative even WITHOUT a subsidy.  At .30/kwhr it is viable even without net metering by adding a battery system and going off-grid.

I would be more suspicious that the account was turned off before you moved in and that they billed you for everything since it was turned off.  (they are supposed to do a new reading but are often lazy if you don't have smart meters) 

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Wow, how can ask you guys live with the AC at 75+? I need it at 68 just to sleep well, in the winter I'll let it get to low 60s before I turn on the heat.

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mastroadam said:   Wow, how can ask you guys live with the AC at 75+?. I need it at 68 just to sleep well
Take cold shower, open window, and turn on ceiling fan. Sleep naked with thin sheet. Works for me up to 80F at 50%.


are you in a humid climate and 68 feels like 78?

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.

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scripta said:   
PrincipalMember said:   My recommendation would be to get solar - I didn't bother with too much research - just asked solar city to install their system
How can you recommend something without doing too much research?

Doesn't solar city only do leases? My understanding is that it's a lot cheaper in the long run to buy your own system than to lease one. Because, you know, the leasing company wouldn't be doing it if they weren't making a decent profit.

  
I am a certified gambler who uses capital on Wall Street to make more money.  So factoring in cost of capital, I think I did fine. Also, while in theory, buying my own system might be better, I didn't want the overhead of trying to get my own system slow me down. By that what I mean is getting my hoa approval, county approval, pge certification etc. Solar city took care of everything for me. I did have a few vendors come and give me pricing and I forget which one, the salesman came to my home in Lexus and they were the priciest. One interesting thing about solar city was that they had a fixed rate while the other guys were charging a lot more for smaller systems and when the panels were not lined up fully to the most efficient direction.

I had also read that solar city wasn't really making much money in the 20 yr leases - they will make money only if the homeowner renews the lease for another 10 years. I will probably give them the boot after 20 years - based on the economics at that time.

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PrincipalMember said:   
 
I am a certified gambler who uses capital on Wall Street to make more money. 

  how can i get cerified

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Gore's bill is 30k, not a measly $1500

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RedWolfe01 said:   
scripta said:   
ZenNUTS said:   Full disclaimer, my line of work is making electricity.
...
40 cent/mwh is a bit out of wreck
...
you are not likely to make electricity at 20 cent/mwh and no

should be cent/kWh, not mwh. Only pointing it out since it's your line of work and you did it twice...

  
Heh, it would be $40/ mwhr which is the  .40/kwhr -- it is as likely he was calling one as the other.
 

  $40/mwhr != $0.40/kwhr

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rufflesinc said:   
PrincipalMember said:   
 
I am a certified gambler who uses capital on Wall Street to make more money. 

  how can i get cerified

  
The certificate is the IRS payment

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scripta said:   
 
should be cent/kWh, not mwh. Only pointing it out since it's your line of work and you did it twice...

  I'll probably do a third time if you let me since I'm so used to work in mWh. 

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PrincipalMember said:   
scripta said:   
PrincipalMember said:   My recommendation would be to get solar - I didn't bother with too much research - just asked solar city to install their system
How can you recommend something without doing too much research?

Doesn't solar city only do leases? My understanding is that it's a lot cheaper in the long run to buy your own system than to lease one. Because, you know, the leasing company wouldn't be doing it if they weren't making a decent profit.

  
I am a certified gambler who uses capital on Wall Street to make more money.  So factoring in cost of capital, I think I did fine. Also, while in theory, buying my own system might be better, I didn't want the overhead of trying to get my own system slow me down. By that what I mean is getting my hoa approval, county approval, pge certification etc. Solar city took care of everything for me. I did have a few vendors come and give me pricing and I forget which one, the salesman came to my home in Lexus and they were the priciest. One interesting thing about solar city was that they had a fixed rate while the other guys were charging a lot more for smaller systems and when the panels were not lined up fully to the most efficient direction.

I had also read that solar city wasn't really making much money in the 20 yr leases - they will make money only if the homeowner renews the lease for another 10 years. I will probably give them the boot after 20 years - based on the economics at that time.

  
I should add - even without investing the money component, solar city has been a great deal - no brainer when you are paying 40cents per kWh. But everybody has to do their numbers since they don't give the same rate to everybody. In fact I wanted to add some more capacity and I told them to get lost based on their initial proposal and then they came back with better rates. What works for one person is not guaranteed to work for sonebody else.

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wilesmt said:   
RedWolfe01 said:   
scripta said:   
ZenNUTS said:   Full disclaimer, my line of work is making electricity.
...
40 cent/mwh is a bit out of wreck
...
you are not likely to make electricity at 20 cent/mwh and no

should be cent/kWh, not mwh. Only pointing it out since it's your line of work and you did it twice...

  
Heh, it would be $40/ mwhr which is the  .40/kwhr -- it is as likely he was calling one as the other.

  $40/mwhr != $0.40/kwhr

  
Yep, you are right.  I always forget that Metric skips to 1000 base after Hecto/Kilo.  It would be $4000/mwhr.

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RedWolfe01 said:   
wilesmt said:   
RedWolfe01 said:   
scripta said:   
ZenNUTS said:   Full disclaimer, my line of work is making electricity.
...
40 cent/mwh is a bit out of wreck
...
you are not likely to make electricity at 20 cent/mwh and no

should be cent/kWh, not mwh. Only pointing it out since it's your line of work and you did it twice...

  
Heh, it would be $40/ mwhr which is the  .40/kwhr -- it is as likely he was calling one as the other.

  $40/mwhr != $0.40/kwhr

  
Yep, you are right.  I always forget that Metric skips to 1000 base after Hecto/Kilo.  It would be $4000/mwhr.

  1 MW = 1000 kW.
So $0.40/kWhr = $400/MWhr
ETA: lower case m usually refers to "milli" or 10^-3; upper case M usually refers to Mega or 10^6.

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Is the OP Al Gore by chance?

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Perhaps a neighbor has tapped into your lines to support is hydroponic "farm"

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OP is AWOL.

Skipping 43 Messages...
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80 posts and still no explanation from OP on where the juice is going

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