pacomartin
pacomartin
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September 18th, 2011 at 11:28:00 PM permalink
Quote: boymimbo

Add $16.79 as a monthly base charge...


My brother and his wife use 10 kWh per day on average. I think heating, cooking, and hot water are all gas (80 year old house). So it is just one refrigerator and a TV plus some lights and a computer. That kind of base charge would be very unfair.

Quote: FleaStiff

Co-generation was such a threat to utilities that one of the first customers to attempt it was told "you either take all your power from us or none of it".



I was just looking at a government essay that says that no one can generate power on their own for cheaply enough to compete with the grid. It is only for rural locations where you can't afford to run wires.

====================
Wikipedia says that the USA generates 4,369 (TWh per year in 2008), so using a population of 115 million households, I get 38,000 KWh per household per year.

So if Al Gore's house uses 221,000 KWh in one year, that would make him kind of a pig.
rdw4potus
rdw4potus
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September 20th, 2011 at 7:53:00 PM permalink
Quote: AZDuffman

My thought is liberals will think this is just dandy until it affects their lives in a negative way, then they will woner why they have to sit in the heat in the summer.

Conservatives will warn people about giving up their freedom and in turn be accused for "hating the envrionment."

As to me, I would NEVER let the power company have the option to control my usage in my home.



The company is only controling your usage by utilizing a time-of-use price for consumption. Some such programs (ComEd in IL, all ERCOT members in TX, Horizon and Toronto Hydro in Ontario, others) actually use the published hourly index market rates as the basis for pricing this option.

It's odd that a market-based pricing system would be considered a liberal conspiracy against consumers...
"So as the clock ticked and the day passed, opportunity met preparation, and luck happened." - Maurice Clarett
pacomartin
pacomartin
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September 20th, 2011 at 9:07:52 PM permalink
Quote: rdw4potus

The company is only controling your usage by utilizing a time-of-use price for consumption. Some such programs (ComEd in IL, all ERCOT members in TX, Horizon and Toronto Hydro in Ontario, others) actually use the published hourly index market rates as the basis for pricing this option.

It's odd that a market-based pricing system would be considered a liberal conspiracy against consumers...



There are two types of programs. One is where time usage is controlled by pricing structure, the other is where the power company has the power to turn down the power consumption of your air-conditioner. I think EvenBob is talking about the latter.

I like the idea of hourly pricing, but I can see how some people would be horrified by it. If enough people join a TOU program that specifies 5-7PM as peak hour, there will be a giant rush at 7PM. With a program that changes by the hour, you could opt to do very power consuming chores like drying clothes, heating hot water, dish-washing, and dehumidifying the basement in the middle of the night. Timers would be an initial solution, but eventually the data could be broadcast to the home so the appliances know when to turn on and off.

Additionally, power hungry industrial applications, or even warehouses could be adapted to make use of cheap power in off hours. This would have the potential to take the pressure off building new power plants which are all driven only by peak usage. Timers are much cheaper to operate than very expensive equipment that only shaves off a few KWh from a standard.

I've seen studies that say there is as much as 100% variation in the electric bills of two homes that have identical square footage and major appliances. It all depends on the people in the house.
rdw4potus
rdw4potus
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September 21st, 2011 at 8:30:55 AM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

There are two types of programs. One is where time usage is controlled by pricing structure, the other is where the power company has the power to turn down the power consumption of your air-conditioner. I think EvenBob is talking about the latter.

I like the idea of hourly pricing, but I can see how some people would be horrified by it. If enough people join a TOU program that specifies 5-7PM as peak hour, there will be a giant rush at 7PM. With a program that changes by the hour, you could opt to do very power consuming chores like drying clothes, heating hot water, dish-washing, and dehumidifying the basement in the middle of the night. Timers would be an initial solution, but eventually the data could be broadcast to the home so the appliances know when to turn on and off.

Additionally, power hungry industrial applications, or even warehouses could be adapted to make use of cheap power in off hours. This would have the potential to take the pressure off building new power plants which are all driven only by peak usage. Timers are much cheaper to operate than very expensive equipment that only shaves off a few KWh from a standard.

I've seen studies that say there is as much as 100% variation in the electric bills of two homes that have identical square footage and major appliances. It all depends on the people in the house.



That giant residential rush at 7pm is exactly what the power company is hoping for. Rather than having a big spike from 5ish-7ish when commercials are still running and residential usage is high, there's a lower prolonged peak from 5ish to 9ish. The power company very specifically wants to both lower and levelize the total usage by delaying residential demand until after commercials are off-line. In a lot of cases, it's the difference between paying 2 gas-fired power plants to run for 2 hours and 1 gas-fired plant to run for 4 hours. It's also cheaper and easier to maintain a system with a lower peak, and easier to schedule power to a less variable grid with lower peak consumption.

You're right about industrial users as well. Many have added a 3rd shift, or shifted to a 2nd and 3rd shift schedule, leaving the office as the only 1st shift part of the facility. This is especially true for customers with highly variable demand, like mills with arc furnaces and other high consumption, low run-rate equipment. Some places, like Illinois, often have negative off-peak pricing due to excess nuclear and coal-fired combined-cycle plant capacity during the overnights. There, obviously, many industrials have shifted their load to take advantage of the off-peak pricing.
"So as the clock ticked and the day passed, opportunity met preparation, and luck happened." - Maurice Clarett
pacomartin
pacomartin
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October 1st, 2011 at 3:34:59 PM permalink
I was surprised to see how much both the cost and use of electricity sure does vary around the USA (and the world).

The average electric bill varies from $64.30 in New Mexico to $153.72 in Maryland.
Usage varies from 521 kWh per month in Maine, to 1,273 kWh in Louisiana.
Rates go from 7.58 cents per kWh in North Dakota to 20.33 cents per kWh in Connecticut (and 24.20 cents in Hawaii ).

Some of it makes sense. In New England it's too cold to think about heating your house or water primarily with electricity, while at the same time you don't need much airconditioning. So usage is very low, but then you are betrayed because the rates are very high. Usage is high in the American South (except Florida) because you need a lot of air conditioning, which can only be done easily using electric power. You would think solar power would be used in Hawaii, but it's mostly petroleum (highest rate in the country).

We still get 30% of our electricity from burning coal. I remember having a coal bin in our cellar as a kid. I wonder how many people remember that?
reilly12
reilly12
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January 25th, 2012 at 6:42:19 AM permalink
Evaluate efficiency measures that depend on time-variant electric costs to yield savings. Thermal storage systems (in which chillers run only at night to make chilled water or ice to be used during the day) are now available in both modular and large central systems. Daylighting systems that cut electric lighting loads (typically near the grid peak) may become more cost-effective under a time-based rate.







solar hot water installation
pacomartin
pacomartin
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February 27th, 2012 at 3:07:20 PM permalink
I started this thread in the fall, but since then the price of electricity has dropped considerably, and the price of home heating oil keeps rising. The price of gas heat is so low now compared to heating oil that most people are switching, but some places don't have the option because there are no gas lines.

For those of you unfamiliar with home heating oil (HHO), it is identical to diesel fuel, and it is used primarily in the Northeast. In a pinch you can use diesel fuel, but HHO is slightly cheaper because you don't pay road taxes. It is dyed red to indicate that no road taxes were paid. Very few homes have it in America, but many people are trapped with it. Maine in particular is very dependent on HHO. It's price mirrors gasoline prices

A gallon of HHO is equivalent to 40.6 kWh of electricity with no efficiency factors. If electricity goes to 10 cents a kWh, and HHO goes to $4.60 per gallon, they would be identically priced on a thermal level.

But I would argue that electricity is already cheaper than oil. First off, the oil boiler is only 85% efficient, and furthermore systems of steam radiators and lack of zone control makes an unknown waste by heating areas of the house and basement which are empty.

A quick review of the last four years for the house follows:
Winter gallons price
2008/09 2,042 $4,200
2009/10 1,666 $3,579
2010/11 1,877 $5,621
2011/12 1,600 $5,700


If the next winter is harsh, and use goes back up near 2000 gallons, the price of HHO seems headed for $4/gallon or higher (along with automotive diesel). The house could go to $8K-$10K to heat.

Like I said, conversion to gas would be a no-brainer, but gas pipes are not an option. Ripping out the steam pipe system involves moving about 6 tons of radiators and steam pipes. Conversion to electric radiant heat would involve considerable investment.

The savings would hopefully come from zone control, by heating rooms with people in them.

These heaters with ceramic bricks are being advertised, which can take advantage of time of use pricing plans and dissipate heat from the bricks over the course of the day,


For the last century, electric heat has always been considerably more expensive to operate than any other kind of heat. Any guesses as to what things could look like in five years? What would you do?

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