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Discussion Starter #1
The Bolt is a real game changer, with an affordable price, good range, good performance, and well thought out interior layout. I started crunching some numbers, and it will be economical to operate, too, ...well, maybe, maybe not.

I went on the Southern California Edison website, and read this,

"2017 and Beyond

The number or rate tiers reduces from three to two; however, a High Usage Charge will apply to customers who use more than twice the average amount of electricity (more than 400% of the baseline allowance)."

An electric car would almost certainly push me beyond 400%. I live in California, and this state government loves to gouge people for using anything, especially electricity. Everything is either illegal, rationed, or taxed it seems. I called Southern California Edison, and after being bounced around among people, I finally ended up talking to a manager who said that the California Public Utilities Commission has not set the 2017 rates yet, so there is no information on how high this "High Usage Charge" will go. Strike one.

I could install a meter dedicated to EV use, but that would cost thousands and for some reason the rate is even higher than the Time of Use rate now (did not use to be). Also no info if they might implement a High Usage Charge on that service, too. Strike two.

I can't afford solar panels right now, and even if I could, the state is in the midst of lowering net metering reimbursements. Strike three.

It would be nice if there was some leadership in California that would allow people to make planned financial decisions. We aren't all rich or big risk takers. Since that doesn't exist, I'll wait on the sidelines for now to see what happens, and dream about someday perhaps owning a Bolt.:(

Michael
 

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I'm not familiar with CA rating, how much electricity do you think you will use?

I believe the average U.S. home is in the vicinity of 900-1,000 kWh per month. If you drive an average of 40 miles per day, you'll use something like 350 kWh per month, depending on how you drive, and all the usual factors. That's only 33% more -- nowhere near the 400% level to get penalized.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Gary, I appreciate the input.

The term baseline is an arbitrary number that is one half the average use for a household. If you are below baseline, which almost no one is unless you have solar panels, you get a lower rate. 400% of "baseline" is double the average household use. The penalty would kick in at about 1600 kWh. None of this is set in stone though. The CPUC has not made their final ruling yet.

Based on the Car and Driver test, I figure I would get about 3 miles/kWh, or perhaps a bit lower. I drive a lot of freeway with the A/C on. I average about 45 miles/day. That's about 450 kWh per month, plus charging losses. Let's say you have 85% charging efficiency, then your input would be 530 kWh. Summer months where I have to run A/C, I could be pushed over the threshold.

Michael
 

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Michael1 - I was just looking at these rates today. I'll admit they do not make things very clear on the SCE website, but my understanding is different from yours. It seems to me that the multiple tiers and high usage charge do not apply to most of the TOU (time of use) plans, nor to the EV plan. I also do not see any charge for the EV meter - I can't imagine it would cost 'thousands' to install an electricity meter, but it sounds like SCE takes care of the installation cost anyway.

I called SCE Customer Service to get my questions clarified, but they were useless. From what I could find on sce.com, it appeared that the EV-1 plan would be best for most Bolt owners, with an off-peak price of just under 9.2 cents per kWh this year (Where do you see an EV rate higher than the TOU rates? Off-peak TOU rates I saw did not go below 13 cents.)

I'd appreciate corrections or advice from anyone more knowledgeable about this.
 

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As an EE, I strongly recommend studying your past electrical energy consumption, as it should be documented in the monthy utility bill. Then have an electrician analize your home and locate the biggest power consumation, probably your heating or cooling system, refrigerators, and some stoves or ovens. Finally, based on your past consumption, try to reduce that consumption as soon as you begin to charge the new EV.

A new EV such as the Bolt EV consumes like a new appliance. Use this factor as a guide: the Bolt EV will travel 4 miles for every kWh of energy. So if you know how much you travel every month, divide that by four and that is the best estimate of your future consumption.

At the "gm-volt.com" site, some owners have reduced their power consumption as they charge their Volt because they did the steps I mentioned above to save energy. SO now they live with less utility expenses, and even less in gasoline. A Bolt EV willgive you even more savings.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
phil0909 - You're sure right about the SCE website not being very clear. Also it took several people before I found someone with any knowledge. Based on my conversation with the supervisor, the website information is somewhat incomplete, too.

You can see graphs of rate plans by going to this SCE Rate Plans

I'm not sure where you got the 9.1 cents/kWh for EV from. The graph shows 14 cents/kWh for the lowest TOU-EV-1 plan. Perhaps the 9.1 cents/kWh did not include transmission line charges?

These charts are also missing some charges, and credits. The supervisor said if you go on the TOU-D-B plan, you get an additional $16/mo. charge. If you are on TOU-D-A, you get $.10/kWh credit up to 400 kWh.

I got the pricing to add a second meter on the Tesla owners forum from people who added them to their houses in Southern California. It certainly could vary depending on your situation. SCE will "plug-in" the meter, but they won't do all the electrical necessary to add one to your house, nor the wiring to the car charger. Also one owner said he took his second meter out, because he later added solar panels, and SCE would not apply Net Metering credits to the EV meter.

Michael
 

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Have had a 2013 Nissan Leaf for 3 1/2 years. I live in an area served by PG&E. I am on their EV rate schedule and charge almost always on the off peak. I have found that my driving around 10,000 miles per year has resulted in my electric bill going up around $40 per month whereas my gas costs have dropped around $230/month.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It all depends on what the CPUC decides. The off hours EV rate for Socal Edison used to be 11 cent/kWh just a couple years ago. Now it is 27% higher. That's crazy!


Michael
 

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I didn't think about higher electricity pricing once you go pat a certain point. Took a l ook at my electricity provider and there are no limits for residents in the summer, but in the winter they charge ¢12.1 per kWh after the 1,000 kWh point.
 

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You shouldn't be focusing on how your household electrical costs are going up. You should be focusing on how your overall energy usage costs will be affected, which includes the energy needed to operate your car.

There are things you can do around the house that can lower your energy usage. I replaced an electric dryer with a gas one and while my gas usage went up by $20 or $30 a month, my electricity costs plummeted by over $100. The costs savings paid for the dryer in less than a year. Do you have incandescent bulbs still? Replace them with LEDs. An 80% or more drop in usage right there for not much money. LED bulb prices have significantly come down to the point of being able to get them for $2 a bulb. Longer lifetime, cheaper operating costs.

The nice thing about the TOU plans is that it eliminates the tiers, and to a certain extent, the baseline. The sucky part about them is that it forces you to take a hard look at when and how you use electricity and forces you to shift usage out of high-demands times. Running A/C in the summer in Southern California is a necessity, especially mid to late day, when the prices are the highest. But keep in mind that those higher peak periods are for only 4 months, and the much lower winter prices can offset things. Again, you need to look at the overall picture, and not just a worse case scenario in the summer.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
You all have good points about total energy costs, rather than just electricity cost rises.

I like the dryer example. I calculated total car energy costs would be down by $7000 over three years if I didn't hit the high usage penalty. The high usage penalty would have to go up a lot to negate that.

I do have some incandescent lights still in some areas of the house I could replace. Maybe I should cook more on the gas stove than the microwave, if I knew how to cook. :)

Michael
 

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Did anyone here happen to see that article about an entire island run off of Solar City? if that isn't a good example of what it could be like when used on a much larger scale, I don't know what is. Typically small samples like that act as a good proving ground.
 

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Yea, but that only works if you can afford solar panels and have the space for them.

Even with the high usage charge, I think it'll still be cheaper than filling a tank of gas every week or two in the long run.
 

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We went with Solar City and didn't pay a cent to get panels on our house. The lease is a 20 year and we pay just half of what we used to.
 

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Nice! how much is your average electrical bill after the installation?
Our average bill was $250. Now it's just the monthly minimums to PG&E ($10), plus the cost of the lease ($110). Pretty much cut the bill in half. We went with Sungevity.
 

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Yea, but that only works if you can afford solar panels and have the space for them.

Even with the high usage charge, I think it'll still be cheaper than filling a tank of gas every week or two in the long run.
Can't be that hard to justify the cost, when you look at your savings over what ever duration is ideal and your ability to purchase them. The cost of taking out a loan for it on a month-to-month basis could amount to what you save ;)
 
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