3/1/2019 SCE Updates FAQ

Last Updated 3/14/2019

Genability has begun entering and reviewing the new Southern California Edison (SCE) tariffs for the 3/1 update. We will be entering rates and testing them thoroughly before making them available via our API. In the meantime, here are a few highlights from the newly-released rates.

Old TOU-D Options Open in APIs

Due to customer demand, we have delayed adding a closed date to the newly closed tariffs of TOU-D-A, TOU-D-B and TOU-D-T. This will allow our customer to continue to use these tariffs as post-solar tariffs.

Keep in mind that only customers who had switched to one of these tariffs prior to 3/1/2019 are eligible for to remain on the tariff post-solar. We are keeping “(Closed)” in the Tariff name in an effort to make clear that most customers cannot select these tariffs.

New Baseline Allocations

Starting on 3/1, SCE will be changing the Baseline Allocation for all Residential tariffs. In general the baseline allocations have increased for customers with gas heat and decreased slightly for customers with electric heat. Here are the old and new values for customers with gas heat:

TerritorySeasonOldNew
Zone 5Summer13.717.2
Zone 6Summer9.411.4
Zone 8Summer10.412.6
Zone 9Summer13.816.5
Zone 10Summer16.218.9
Zone 13Summer18.822.0
Zone 14Summer16.118.7
Zone 15Summer39.946.4
Zone 16Summer12.114.4
Zone 5Winter15.218.7
Zone 6Winter9.611.3
Zone 8Winter9.110.6
Zone 9Winter10.612.3
Zone 10Winter10.812.5
Zone 13Winter10.912.6
Zone 14Winter10.512.0
Zone 15Winter8.29.9
Zone 16Winter10.812.6

New Distribution Rates for TOU-D-4-9 and TOU-D-5-8

With the new rates, SCE has made three changes to the Distribution Rates.

  1. Distribution Rates Nearly Double – We see the Distribution rate jumping from 8.5¢/kWh (all hours) to 15.8¢/kWh (Summer On & Mid-Peak, Winter Mid-Peak). This makes more of the customer’s costs available for delivery minimums when most kWh are offset by solar.
  2. Distribution Rates Now Vary by Time of Use (TOU) – Under the new tariffs, the Distribution rate varies according to the time of use period. The distribution rate varies from 15.8¢/kWh (Summer On & Mid-Peak, Winter Mid-Peak) to 11.1¢/kWh (Winter Super Off-Peak).
  3. Baseline Credit moved from Generation to Delivery Charges – The Baseline Credit of 6.774¢/kWh up to the customer’s Baseline Allocation (Baseline kWh per Day * Days in the Billing Period) is now a Distribution charge. This means the Baseline Credit will be included when evaluating delivery minimums.

New TOU Periods for Commercial Tariffs

As expected, the new SCE tariffs change the Time of Use Periods for all Commercial tariffs with Time of Use pricing. We cover these changes in depth in our Proposed Tariff post.

TOU-D-PRIME Limited to Customer’s with Storage

Per the new documentation, TOU-D-PRIME is only available to customers who meet the following requirements:

5. PRIME Eligibility Requirements: 

a. All Customers served on Option A, Option A-CPP, Option B, Option B-CPP as of March 1, 2019 are eligible to take service on Option PRIME and Option PRIME-CPP. 

b. Notwithstanding Special Condition 5.a above, beginning May 1, 2019, all Customers newly requesting to take service under Option PRIME and Option PRIME-CPP must attest to having one or more of the following technologies to be eligible for service on Option PRIME or Option PRIME-CPP: 

(1) Electric Vehicle; 

(2) On-site behind-the-meter (BTM) energy storage system; 

(3) Electric heat pump system for water and/or space heating

Change in TOU-RTP Categories

It’s long been expected that SCE was going to simplify the weekday day-type categories from 5 to 3 categories. This simplification has occurred for the new TOU-D-RTP tariff.

Updated Avoided Cost of Power (ACP) Values

The table below outlines updated Avoided Cost of Power for SCE customers based upon the newly published rates. These assume a customer starting on the D – Domestic tariff and switching to TOU-D-4-9PM-NEM2 – Domestic – Time of Use, 4-9 PM (NEM 2.0). The ACP is lower under the new rates for 80% and 90% offsets, but higher for systems that offset 100% of the customer’s power. This is because so many charges have moved under the Delivery Minimums (see Distribution rates above).

Zone80% Lo90% Lo100% Lo80% Hi90% Hi100% Hi
514.714.414.216.816.316.0
616.515.915.621.120.419.7
816.516.015.621.220.419.8
915.915.515.118.017.617.1
1015.314.914.616.816.516.1
1315.315.014.716.916.516.2
1415.415.014.717.116.716.3
1514.314.013.818.117.517.0
1615.915.515.218.418.017.6

New SCE Tariffs

D – Domestic

TOU-D-4-9PM-NEM2 – Domestic – Time of Use, 4-9 PM (NEM 2.0)

TOU-D-5-8PM-NEM2 – Domestic – Time of Use, 5-8 PM (NEM 2.0)

TOU-D-A-NEM2 – Domestic – Time of Use – Option A (NEM 2.0) (Closed)

TOU-D-B-NEM2 – Domestic – Time of Use – Option B (NEM 2.0) (Closed)

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Impact of SCE’s New TOU-D Tariff on Solar Savings

On March 1, 2019 Southern California Edison (SCE) will close its current default post-solar tariff (TOU-D-A-NEM2) and replace it with a new default post-solar tariff (TOU-D-4-9PM-NEM2). This tariff change will dramatically impact solar savings in SCE as the Time of Use (TOU) On-Peak hours move from 2-8 PM under TOU-D-A-NEM2 to 4-9 PM under TOU-D-4-9PM-NEM2. More importantly TOU-D-4-9PM-NEM2 introduces a Super Off-Peak period in the Winter from 8 AM to 4 PM, when the majority of solar production occurs.

What Will Change in Genability APIs?

On March 1, 2019 Genability will:

  1. Mark TOU-D-A-NEM2 as closed in our system.  This should eliminate it as a choice in your post-solar tariff drop-down list.
  2. Flag TOU-D-4-9PM-NEM2 as the default post-solar tariff.  This will default the post-solar tariff to TOU-D-4-9PM-NEM2 automatically and put it at the top of your post-solar tariff drop-down list.

How are Solar Savings Affected?

Nearly all customers will save less with TOU-D-4-9PM-NEM2 than with TOU-D-A-NEM2. We looked at the Avoided Cost of Power (ACP) for a customer that uses 10,000 kWh annually in each SCE baseline region under the old and new default solar tariffs and found ACP decreases across the board.

ZoneTOU-D-ATOU-D-4-9PMChange
520.4¢14.5¢-29%
621.5¢15.6¢-27%
821.5¢15.6¢-27%
921.0¢15.2¢-28%
1020.9¢14.6¢-30%
1320.7¢14.7¢-29%
1420.9¢14.6¢-30%
1520.0¢13.5¢-33%
1621.2¢15.1¢-29%

Why such a big change in ACP? It all comes down to the new Time of Use periods and the difference in the price from the previous periods.

How Do the TOU Periods and Prices Differ?

In the graphs below we show a typical summer and winter weekday under the old tariff (TOU-D-A-NEM2) and the new tariff (TOU-D-4-9PM-NEM2). All rates below reflect the first tier price with the Baseline Credit included.

While the new tariff name highlights the change in the On-Peak period from 2-8 PM to 4-9 PM, the biggest impact comes from the introduction of the Super Off-Peak period in the Winter. The new Super Off-Peak period is from 8AM to 4PM every day from October 1 through May 31 and provides the lowest net metering credit when the customer is most likely to be exporting kWh to the grid.

What Happens to Non-Bypassable and Minimum Charges?

Non-Bypassable charges are identical between the old and new default post-solar tariffs, so you will see little change there. We recently published another blog post on Non-Bypassable Charges and the alternate minimum they set for California tariffs.

Minimum charge calculations are also unchanged between the old and new default post-solar tariffs. That said you are much more likely to see the impact of SCE’s Delivery Minimums under the new TOU-D-4-9PM-NEM2.

SCE calculates minimum charges against the Delivery Charges only and adds the Generation Charges on top of the minimum charges. This means that you can trigger the $10/month Delivery Minimum for SCE and still be responsible for considerable Generation Charges under the new TOU structure.

Here’s an example monthly post-solar calculation under both TOU-D-A-NEM2 and TOU-D-4-9PM-NEM2. The customer has significant negative usage which results in just the delivery minimum under the old default tariff. But under the new default tariff the customer’s bill is nearly quadrupled due to the positive Generation Charges.

Which Systems Generate the Best Avoided Cost of Power (ACP)?

We were curious where the best savings are to be found in SCE under the new tariff, so we ran a few scenarios in every SCE Baseline Region. We varied both the Solar Offset (80%, 90%, 100%) and the size of the customer’s load (Lo = 10,000 kWh per year, Hi = 20,000 kWh per year). Here’s what we found:

Zone 80% Lo90% Lo100% Lo80% Hi90% Hi100% Hi
514.9¢14.5¢14.2¢16.5¢16.1¢15.7¢
616.1¢15.6¢15.2¢23.3¢22.3¢21.5¢
816.1¢15.6¢15.2¢23.3¢22.3¢21.5¢
915.6¢15.2¢14.8¢19.9¢19.2¢18.6¢
1015.0¢14.6¢14.2¢18.1¢17.6¢17.1¢
1315.0¢14.7¢14.2¢17.6¢17.1¢16.7¢
1415.1¢14.6¢14.3¢18.4¢17.9¢17.4¢
1513.8¢13.5¢13.3¢19.5¢18.8¢18.2¢
1615.5¢15.1¢14.8¢20.3¢19.7¢19.1¢

The results highlight three factors that increase savings:

  1. Smaller offsets increase ACP – Lower offset mean less exports. Since exports are valued less than import due to NBCs, smaller offset yield higher ACPs.
  2. Larger loads increase ACP – SCE offers a Baseline Credit for all usage up to a certain level (the exact level varies by the season, region and number of days in the billing period). With large loads, a smaller percentage of the customer’s load receives the baseline credit of 6.7¢.
  3. Regions with low Baseline Allocations see higher savings – Savings are highest in Zones 6 and 8 because the baseline allocations are lowest there. That means more high-priced power offset by solar.

Alternative Post-Solar Tariffs for SCE

TOU-D-4-9PM-NEM2 is not the only choice available to new customer’s with solar. They can also opt for TOU-D-5-8-NEM2. TOU-D-PRIME-NEM2 (called the TOU-D-C in previous rate filings) is also available for customers who have storage.

TOU-D-5-8-NEM2 offers a short On-Peak period but a higher differential between On-Peak and Off-Peak prices. This rate is likely best used in concert with a storage system that can bank excess generation during the day for release during the shorter On-Peak period. With solar only, we see that the TOU-D-5-8-NEM2 offers decreased savings of roughly 0.3¢/kWh across all offsets and load sizes, as compared to TOU-D-4-9PM-NEM2.T

TOU-D-PRIME-NEM2 has the same Time of Use structure as the 4-9 PM tariff, but does not have the Baseline Credit. This rate structure is ideal for large power users who will happily pay more for the power that would otherwise receive the baseline credit in exchange for a lower rate applied to high usage amounts. TOU-D-PRIME-NEM2 is only available to customer who have installed battery storage.

Final Thoughts

While it’s disappointing to see the economics of rooftop solar become more challenging, the new rates reflect the impact that rooftop solar has had on California’s generation mix. California’s electric grid is flooded with solar-generation in the Spring and the new low generation rates from October through May reflect the plentiful solar power available during that period

Genability is here to help you navigate these new rates. Our number one recommendation is for you to start running calculations against the new rates immediately and use Dash and Explorer to help you understand how the new rates behave. There will be a path forward for solar in SCE, even as the duck (curve) comes home to roost.

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Savings Analysis Upgrade – Non-Bypassable Minimums

Genability has just upgraded both our Savings Analysis API and our Calculate API to better support Non-Bypassable Charges (NBCs).  What are NBCs you ask? Well that’s how the California utilities refer to the customer’s annual NBCs that cannot be offset by Net Energy Metering (NEM) Credits under NEM 2.0.   These NBCs behave as a second minimum charge calculation that’s performed during the customer’s annual true-up.

Confused?  We’ll try to make all the possible cost calculations for solar customers under NEM 2.0 comprehensible and explain how we represent these costs in our calculations.

NEM 2.0 and Non-bypassable Charges (NBCs)

Under NEM 2.0, California utilities do not provide solar customers with credit for energy exported to the grid for these four rates:

  • DWR Bond Charge
  • Public Purposes Program Charge
  • Ongoing Competition Transition Charge
  • Nuclear Decommissioning Charge

So while NEM 2.0 customers do receive net metering credits whenever they produce more power than they consume within a month, they will receive no credit for the Non-Bypassable portion (roughly 2¢/kWh as of 1/1/2019) of their charges.  These NBCs cannot be offset in any way. If the customer’s NBCs are greater than the minimum charges, the NBCs constitute a second, higher minimum charge.

California Utility Bills for Solar Customers

When you install solar on your home in Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE) and SDG&E (San Diego Gas & Electric) territories, the utility switches you from monthly to annual billing.  The utility bills solar customers for the minimum costs for the first 11 months and performs an annual true up in the 12th month (see next section). This allows solar customers to use NEM credits generated in the Spring and Summer to offset charges in the Fall and Winter.

The Annual True-Up Calculation

At the end of the year, the utility performs multiple calculations of the solar customer’s costs, and chooses the highest value.  Here’s a summary of the cost calculations involved (click here to read the full description):

  1. Total Minimum Delivery Charges – 12 monthly delivery minimum charges (~$120) plus positive supply charges (calculated annually)
  2. Total Non-Bypassable Charges – The annual cost of the NBCs
  3. Total Solar Net Usage Charges – The annual cost of the customers electricity charges including NEM credits.

What has Changed

Genability has always performed calculations numbers 1 and 3 from the list above.  We have now added support for 3. Minimum Non-Bypassable Charges. This appears in three places in our API:

Tariff API

NBCs are now identifiable in the Tariff Response according to ChargeClass. Here’s an example:

GET {{serverUrl}}/rest/public/tariffs?masterTariffId=3250148&effectiveOn=2018-12-01&populateRates=true

“tariffRateId”: 18187838,

                   “tariffId”: 3316562,

                   “tariffSequenceNumber”: 36,

                   “rateGroupName”: “Delivery Charge”,

                   “rateName”: “DWR Bond Charge”,

                   “fromDateTime”: “2018-10-01T00:00:00-07:00”,

                   “toDateTime”: null,

                   “chargeType”: “CONSUMPTION_BASED”,

                   “chargeClass”: “DISTRIBUTION, NONBYPASSABLE”,

                   “chargePeriod”: “HOURLY”,

                   “applicabilityKey”: “hasMedicalBaselineExemption”,

                   “rateBands”: [

                       {

                           “tariffRateBandId”: 12065455,

                           “tariffRateId”: 18187838,

                           “rateSequenceNumber”: 1,

                           “hasConsumptionLimit”: false,

                           “hasDemandLimit”: false,

                           “hasPropertyLimit”: false,

                           “applicabilityValue”: “false”,

                           “rateAmount”: 0.00549,

                           “rateUnit”: “COST_PER_UNIT”,

                           “isCredit”: false,

                           “prevUpperLimit”: null

                       }

                   ]

               }

Calculate API

An additional line item can be added to the calculation that isolates the NBC charges.  The API will return the non-bypassable charges in the calculation summary.

“summary”: {

               “ELECTRICITY”: {

                   “kWh”: 0,

                   “kW”: 0

               },

              “nonBypassableCost”: 16.82,

               “subTotalCost”: 33.96,

               “taxCost”: 0,

               “totalCost”: 33.96,

               “adjustedTotalCost”: 33.96,

               “kWh”: 0,

               “kW”: 0

           }

The Non-Bypassable charges returned will not impact the calculation totals, but are provided separately to make it easy for you display to your customers.

Savings Analysis API

When determining the annual cost post-solar, NBC charges will be evaluated along with Delivery Minimum and Net Solar Costs.  If it is the highest calculated value it will become the first year postTotalCost in the results summary section. It will also appear in the summary section for your reference under the parameter name: postTotalNonBypassableCharges:

{

               “lifeTimeUtilityAfterCost”: 8927.848,

               “lifeTimeUtilityAvoidedRate”: 0.352,

               “lifetimeAvoidedCost”: 18367.917,

               “lifetimeSolarCost”: 20284.165,

               “lifetimeWithoutCost”: 47579.93,

               “netAvoidedCost”: 1559.1,

               “netAvoidedCostPctOffset”: 0.9267,

               “netAvoidedKWh”: 6315.33,

               “netAvoidedKWhPctOffset”: 0.7518,

               “netAvoidedRate”: 0.246875,

               “postTotalCost”: 138.84,

               “postTotalKWh”: 2084.667267,

               “postTotalKWhCost”: -70.833766,

               “postTotalKWhRate”: 0.246875,

               “postTotalMinCost”: 123.37,

               “postTotalNonBypassableCost”: 138.84,

               “postTotalNonMinCost”: 87.437233,

               “postTotalRate”: 0.05918,

               “preTotalCost”: 1682.47,

               “preTotalKWh”: 8400.000001,

               “preTotalKWhCost”: 1743.159868,

               “preTotalKWhRate”: 0.20752,

               “preTotalMinCost”: 834.850001,

               “preTotalNonBypassableCost”: 164.84,

               “preTotalNonMinCost”: 1682.474868,

               “preTotalRate”: 0.200295

           }

In the annual savings series, we will project future post-solar costs by escalating three scenarios (delivery minimums, net solar costs and NBCs), selecting the highest cost for each subsequent year in the lifetime of the solar system.

Dash

We have added a visual indicator in Dash whenever the minimum Non-Bypassable Charges are the After Solar Total Cost.  You can see the new NON-BYPASSABLE badge in the in the monthly cost histogram, the summary of monthly savings and the detailed view of monthly savings.  You can see the first two in the screenshot below.

Impact on Solar Savings in California

The inclusion of NBCs in the calculation of post-solar utility costs, makes a small but demonstrable difference for solar systems that produce more than 6,000 kWh annually. How much impact depends on both the size of the solar system and how much of the customer’s electric load is offset by the solar system.  Large solar systems and higher solar offsets increase the impact of NBC minimums on customer savings. Here’s a few representative avoided cost of power (ACP) differences assuming 100% solar offset:

Usage (kWh/yr)Solar ExportedMin. ChargeNBC ChargeACP without NBCsACP with NBCs
6,0003,600$120$69$0.202$0.202
12,0007,200$120$138$0.252$0.250
18,00010,800$120$207$0.273$0.268
24,00014,400$120$276$0.300$0.293

This is just another example of how Genability continues to extend our calculation engine as utilities introduce new ways of charging customers for power.

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New California Proposed Tariffs

In 2019, both Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) and Southern California Edison (SCE) will introduce new Time-of-Use (TOU) periods for commercial tariffs. Both utilities are moving highly-priced peak hours later in the day, from mid-afternoon to 4-9 PM. If you are selling solar, storage and/or energy efficiency in California, you want to be sure to calculate savings using these new tariffs. Thanks to Genability’s new Proposed Tariffs product for enterprise customers, now you can!

New Time of Use Periods and Volumetric Charges – SCE

SCE is expected to introduce their new TOU periods in March of 2019.  Headlining the changes are a shift of the On-Peak (Summer) and Mid-Peak (Winter) periods from Noon – 6 PM later in the day to 4 PM – 9 PM.  This moves the highest priced periods outside of the peak hours of solar production.

Further impacting solar customers, SCE has also introduced a matinee Super Off-Peak period in the winter from 8 AM to 4 PM, covering nearly all of the solar production during those months. Also of note, current TOU-8 Options A and R will become Option E, and current Option B will become Option D.

Upcoming per kWh price changes for TOU-8 (below 2 kV) – Weekdays, Solar Hours in Bold

Screen Shot 2018-11-30 at 4.03.20 PM

Screen Shot 2018-12-18 at 11.57.09 AM

New Time-of-Use Periods and Volumetric Charges – PG&E

PG&E will introduce new TOU Periods in the fall of 2019, making changes similar to SCE.  The changes start with a shift of the season definitions, moving from 2 seasons to 3.

Summer Winter Spring
Current May – Oct Nov – Apr
Proposed Jun – Sep Oct – Feb Mar – May


The new Spring season for PG&E has a matinee Super Off-Peak period (9 AM – 2 PM).

In addition, the On-Peak (Summer) period will shift from mid-day (12 – 6 PM) to evening (4 – 9 PM), with a similar change for Part-Peak in Winter, shifting from the extensive 8 AM to 9 PM currently, to the shorter 4 PM to 9 PM period in late 2019.

Upcoming per kWh price changes for E-19 (Secondary) – Weekdays, Solar Hours in Bold

Screen Shot 2018-12-19 at 11.57.42 AMScreen Shot 2018-12-18 at 11.59.03 AM

The biggest price change for E-19 comes in  the hours from Noon – 2 PM in the month of May.  Under current rates, these hours are priced as Summer On-Peak (14.4¢/kWh).  Under the proposed rates, these hours would shift to Spring Super Off-Peak (5.6¢/kWh), dropping the per kWh rate by over 60% for those two hours.

Changes in Demand Charges

Similar to consumption (kWh) charges, demand charges (kW) for both utilities will also conform to the new seasons and TOU periods. Whereas SCE & PG&E made similar changes to volumetric charges, their updates to demand rates are significantly different, as described below.

Southern California Edison Demand Changes (TOU-8)

SCE has dropped their Maximum demand charge in every month by over 20%, but has compensated by adding a Winter Mid-Peak demand charge that replaces almost all of those costs in the winter months. 

The picture in the Summer is a bit more complex, with the On-Peak demand charge increasing nearly 8%, while the current Mid-Peak demand charge of $3.63 is getting eliminated.  On balance, demand charges decrease under the proposed tariff.

TOU Period Current 2019 Change
Summer On-Peak $18.92 $20.36 +$1.44
Summer Mid-Peak $3.63 $0.00 -$3.63
Winter Mid-Peak $0.00 $4.03 +$4.03
Max Demand (any) $18.55 $14.40 -$4.15

Pacific Gas & Electric Demand Changes (E-19)

PG&E will raise its Max Demand rate by 11%, while keeping its Summer On-Peak nearly identical.  It will drop the Summer Part-Peak demand charge by 40%, while dramatically increasing the Winter/Spring Part-Peak demand charges.

The overall impact is a slight increase in demand charges for PG&E, despite the new season structure dramatically lowering demand charges in May and October.

TOU Period Current 2019
Summer On-Peak $18.64 $18.35
Summer Part-Peak $5.18 $2.85
Winter, Spring Part-Peak $0.12 $1.48
Maximum (all-hours) $17.56 $19.55

Impact on Solar Savings

It’s obvious that the upcoming changes in TOU periods for both SCE and PG&E will reduce solar savings for commercial and industrial customers, but by how much? Genability set out to answer that question by modeling a 1 MW solar system in both PG&E and SCE territories, under the current and proposed tariff structures. Here’s some of what we found.

SCE TOU-8 (below 2 kV) with a Large Office load profile and 1 MW system (60% offset)

 CURRENTPROPOSED
Without Solar
TOU-8-B
With Solar
TOU-8-R
SavingsWithout Solar
TOU-8-D
With Solar
TOU-8-E
Savings
Fixed$7,892$7,8920$4,650$4,6500
Consumption$202,413$111,188$91,225$201,321$171,207$30,114
Demand$226,572$110,397$116,175$195,558$85,053$110,505
TOTAL$436,878$229,477$207,401$401,530$260,910$140,619
Solar
Production
1,584,273
kWh
Avoided
Cost
$0.131/
kWh
1,584,273
kWh
Avoided
Cost
$0.089/
kWh

PG&E E-19 (Secondary) with a Large Office load profile and 1 MW system (60% offset)

 CURRENTPROPOSED
Without Solar
E-19
With Solar
E-19-R
SavingsWithout Solar
E-19
With Solar
E-19-R
Savings
Fixed$7,195$1,679$5,516$8,634$1,679$6,955
Consumption$293,592$131,016$162,577$277,072$153,539$123,534
Demand$209,589$123,478$86,111$210,372$128,569$81,804
TOTAL$510,377$256,173$253,204$496,079$283,787$212,293
Solar
Production
1,579,116
kWh
Avoided
Cost
$0.160/
kWh
1,579,116
kWh
Avoided
Cost
$0.134/
kWht

As you can see, the Avoided Cost of Power (ACP) will drop significantly for both utilities under the new rate structure, when evaluating just solar.  The demand savings from the tariff switch remain quite similar (~ 5% decrease in savings), for both utilities. But the savings on consumption charges have been reduced dramatically by the new time of use structures, with the impact most notable for SCE, where a 60% offset of the customer’s load reduces consumption charges by only 15%.

Want more?

Contact your account administrator to check if you have access to our new Proposed Tariffs.  Happy analyzing!

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Introducing Proposed Tariffs

Proposed Tariffs in Explorer

Genability is pleased to announce the immediate availability of both a new product feature and a new set of tariff data.

What are Proposed Tariffs?

This year the California Public Utility Commission approved General Rate Cases for both Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison. These rates won’t go into effect until 2019, but when they do the Time of Use periods will change quite significantly for the majority of commercial and industrial customers. Our new energy companies need to assess the impact of these change right now to be ready for the transition. California is not the first market, and won’t be the last, to consider and implement sizable structural changes to tariffs. To address this need, today we are making available Proposed Tariffs.

Our Proposed Tariffs feature allows you to use our complete set of tools to calculate the costs and savings of tariffs that are not yet published and live, such as those mentioned above. You can do all the same things with proposed tariffs as you can with published ones. We’re excited to say that Proposed Tariffs are available now as an optional subscription for any enterprise customer.

What Proposed Tariffs do we Model?

Our first Propose Tariffs are the time of use commercial tariffs for both PG&E (A-10, E-19, E-20) and SCE (TOU-GS-1, TOU-GS-2, TOU-GS-3, TOU-8).   In the future, when tariffs in major markets are redesigned Genability will model them as Proposed Tariffs.  In addition to being in a major market, the tariff redesign must be approved by the local utility commission before we model the new tariff.

A redesigned tariff might have new charge types introduced (e.g. a new ratchet demand charge), charge types removed, new seasons or time of use periods and increasingly new rules for compensating solar customers for electricity provided to the grid.  All of these scenarios can trigger a proposed tariff. A simple rate increase or decrease rarely warrants a proposed tariff.

How do I use Proposed Tariffs?

You can retrieve Proposed Tariffs both in Explorer and all of our APIs where currently access other tariffs . You do not need to call new APIs or log into new web applications. There is one key difference, however. In both Explorer and our APIs you have to explicitly ask for Proposed Tariffs to be included. We’ve made it an explicit opt-in request parameter to make sure you don’t accidently use Proposed Tariffs when you don’t want or expect to.

In the Tariff API, you can request Proposed Tariffs by including the value PROPOSED in the parameter tariffTypes. This allows you to just get proposed tariff, or to have them included with other tariffs too. Here’s a sample call for PG&E:

GET /rest/public/tariffs?lseId=734&tariffTypes=PROPOSED

This will provide you with the Master Tariff Id of the PROPOSED tariff which you can then use as you would any other tariff in the Calculate API, Account API or other Tariff APIs.  Once you have the Master Tariff ID, you can use it like any other tariff to run calculations, set on an account and any other way you use a current tariffs in our APIs

What is the Lifecycle of a Proposed Tariff?

Proposed Tariffs exist for the period between when the utility commission has approved the redesign and the tariff becomes effective.   As such it has its own, new Master Tariff Id that is not connected directly to either the preceding tariff or the tariff that becomes effective.   Instead, you can use the tariff properties precedingMasterTariffId and succeedingMasterTariffId to determine the tariff it replaces (preceding) and the tariff it becomes (succeeding).

When the Proposed Tariff becomes effective, the Proposed Tariff will be marked as Closed and end-dated.  You can still run calculations against the tariff, but it Proposed Tariff will no longer appear in standard Tariff requests.  

There are several ways that the utility can introduce a redesigned tariff.  In the table below, we outline how we handle the different methods of transitioning to new tariff structures.

Scenario Redesigned Tariff Legacy Tariff
Utility grandfathers existing customers to legacy tariff Gets a new Master Tariff Id Keeps the original Master Tariff Id and is “Closed”
Utility switches existing customer to redesigned tariff, some customers can remain on legacy tariff Inherits the legacy Master Tariff Id Gets a new Master Tariff Id that is “Closed” and is labelled “Granfathered”
Utility switches all existing customers to redesigned tariff, no exceptions Inherits the legacy Master Tariff Id There is no legacy tariff.


Can I Use Proposed Tariffs?

Proposed Tariffs are made available to your organization on an application basis.  This allows you to enable Proposed Tariffs for some of your applications (e.g. your analyst team) while excluding Proposed Tariffs for other (e.g. your production integration).

Proposed Tariffs is an optional subscription for Genability’s enterprise customers.  If you think your team would benefit from Proposed Tariffs, contact your company’s account owner to confirm or arrange access.

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Genability Adds Support for PVWatts Version 6

What’s new in V6?

We’ve added support for Version 6 of NREL’s PVWatts API, used to estimate the hourly production of a customer’s solar PV system. The underlying models used to calculate energy output have not changed from Version 5 but Version 6 includes broader and more granular weather and solar radiation data from NREL’s National Solar Radiation Database (NSRDB).

The NSRDB dataset includes climate data for the Americas between 20° S and 60° N (including Hawaii), as well as the Indian subcontinent and parts of Central Asia, as indicated on the map.

nsrdb-psm-coverage-map

Within the coverage areas, solar and weather data are now available for each 4 km x 4 km land area (AKA “gridded data”). This means Version 6 offers production results for about 2 million different locations, versus only 239 TMY2 stations and 1,020 TMY3 stations. The bottom line is you can now model solar production in places you previously couldn’t (like most of Canada, all of Mexico, and the northern half of South America) and production results will be for an area much closer and more suitable to your site location.

You can still opt for any of the older climate datasets (TMY2, TMY3, or International) but you have to explicitly override the NSRDB dataset, which is the default in Version 6. To continue using the same climate data as in Version 5, you should pass the climateDataset parameter as tmy2 in your PVWatts API calls.

Version 6 also includes a change in the default DC to AC ratio from 1.1 to 1.2. To continue using the Version 5 default (1.1) or a different value, you should explicitly pass the DCACRatio parameter and desired value in your API calls.

V6 Production Comparisons

Curious how system production output changed in Version 6? So were we, so we ran a few tests. The table below compares annual production output between Versions 5 and 6 in top solar markets, assuming identical system design parameters, except the two new defaults in Version 6 (NSRDB dataset and a DC to AC ratio of 1.2).

The first seven locations (San Francisco to Santa Cruz) roughly cover the SF Bay Area. Version 5 returned identical energy production for all seven locations (all use the closest TMY2 station data from SF International Airport). Version 6 results varied for each location, demonstrating the more granular data available in the NSRDB dataset.

Across the 26 U.S. locations we tested, Version 6 returned 2.6% higher annual production than Version 5, on average. Version 6 showed the largest positive difference in Miami (+7.5%) and negative difference in Daly City (-3.4%). Daly City is one of the foggiest places in the Bay Area and the NSRDB dataset seems to better reflect its microclimate than the TMY2 station at SFO Airport, which is more inland and sees more sunshine.

Location Zip Code V5 (kWh) V6 (kWh) V6 Change
San Francisco, CA 94105 7,788 7,801 0.2%
Daly City, CA 94014 7,788 7,523 -3.4%
San Rafael, CA 94901 7,788 7,882 1.2%
Oakland, CA 94609 7,788 7,712 -1.0%
Concord, CA 94518 7,788 8,029 3.1%
San Jose, CA 95126 7,788 8,086 3.8%
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 7,788 7,847 0.8%
Los Angeles, CA 90001 7,910 8,259 4.4%
San Diego, CA 92101 8,039 7,868 -2.1%
Las Vegas, NV 88901 8,801 8,578 -2.5%
Reno, NV 89501 8,159 8,263 1.3%
Phoenix, AZ 85001 8,605 8,496 -1.3%
Salt Lake City, UT 84101 7,488 7,319 -2.3%
Denver, CO 80014 7,696 8,111 5.4%
Albuquerque, NM 87101 8,917 8,778 -1.6%
Austin, TX 73301 7,369 7,330 -0.5%
Miami, FL 33101 7,257 7,799 7.5%
Charleston, SC 29401 7,206 7,198 -0.1%
Charlotte, NC 28105 7,099 7,014 -1.2%
Baltimore, MD 21201 6,644 6,879 3.5%
New York, NY 10001 6,410 6,585 2.7%
Brooklyn, NY 11203 6,611 6,889 4.2%
Newark, NJ 07101 6,410 6,624 3.3%
Boston, MA 02112 6,664 6,531 -2.0%
Hartford, CT 06101 6,259 6,423 2.6%
Chicago, IL 60007 6,420 6,884 7.2%

Your Integration with Genability

If you are currently integrated to use Version 5 of Genability’s PVWatts API, nothing has changed on the Genability end. However, NREL has announced that Version 5 will be shut down at the end of December 2018. To avoid disruptions in service, users should switch to Version 6 before then.

To switch to Version 6, simply update the sourceVersion parameter value to 6 in your Genability PVWatts API calls. The sourceVersion parameter is optional and when not included we default it to 6. If you want to switch to Version 6 but would like to continue receiving the same production results you were seeing in Version 5, pass the sourceVersion as 6, climateDataset as tmy2, and DCACRatio as 1.1. Here’s our PVWatts API documentation and some helpful examples. With Version 5 going away on 1/1/2019, now’s the time to make the transition to Version 6. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to email support@genability.com.

 

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Explorer : our latest product, for energy professionals everywhere

Today we are pleased to announce the launch of our latest product, Genability Explorer, a web-application for Energy Professionals.

The new Explorer is here

The new Explorer is here

Explorer provides energy professionals a user-friendly interface into Genability’s utility rate database and calculation engine. Explorer requires no software development or coding. It’s a self-service web-application, so just use your web browser to sign up and go. We’ve designed it to be as intuitive to use as your favorite websites, and yet as powerful and as accurate as the tools we provide to our enterprise customers.

So what can you do with Explorer?

Comprehensive Utility Rate Database

For starters, Explorer is backed by our electricity pricing tariff database, so you can search and access our rich set of data of utilities, their tariff rate plans, as well as their territories, times-of-use and seasons. We have their holiday schedules, critical peak pricing events, and in many cases their meter reading (billing period) dates. The rates we capture have all the details needed to match your customers’ bills, understand complex net metering rules, and what-if any energy project. All in one central location. We maintain the rates and keep them up-to-date so you don’t have to.

Powerful Rate Engine

Explorer also allows you to run calculations on our utility rate engine, again from directly within your web browser. This is the same utility rate engine that our utility and new energy customers use to run millions of calculations (including Pacific Gas & Electric, Tesla, Sunrun, EnerNOC and lots of others). Just select your tariff, optionally refine with your additional rate criteria, and specify your usage. For usage data, you can use our typical building profiles, or quickly enter the quantities from your bill. You can even paste in meter data in CSV format from your Excel spreadsheet. Results are instantaneous, and you can get back details broken down into flexible granularities and time intervals.

14 Day Free Trial

The best way to really understand the power of Explorer is to use it. So we have a 14-day free trial for you to do just that! This trial has no strings attached. During the trial, you can see exactly the same utilities and tariffs that a paying subscription would see, and access all the same functionality. Just sign up for a Genability User account, and create an Organization (existing customers can also start a trial – see the end of this blog post for details).

Plans Available for After your Free Trial

You have no commitment to become a customer when your 14 day trial has ended. But should you wish to, we are launching Explorer with one simple “Self Service Pro” plan. This is designed for teams that needs frequent, daily online access to our data and calculator. It includes unlimited users, so you can invite anyone within your team or company at no additional cost. It also includes unlimited access to our USA electricity tariffs. Finally it also includes unlimited calculations during the first 3 months of the subscription. Your team can run any number of calculations without the worry of incurring any additional costs. After three months the Pro plan then includes 1,000 calculations a month. The Self Service Pro plan is $499 per month (USD).

We will be rolling out a variety of Self Service plans at different price points and different tariff and calculation allocation levels later this year. Customers can choose the right plan for them. All our Self Service plans require no obligation, so customers can cancel or switch between plans at any time. Changes or cancellations become effective at the end of the month you change or cancel your plan.

Next for Explorer: Additional Markets & Functionality

Along with additional pricing plans, over the next few months we will be rolling out a number of exciting upgrades to Explorer. These will include new markets (today the Explorer Self Service Pro Plan gives access to our USA data). We also have a series of feature upgrades in development or planning. We’re excited to see and hear what customers’ experiences are using Explorer, and as always will prioritize your feedback and suggestions in our product roadmap. Let us know!

More Self Service Products in the Works

This release of Explorer is exciting for us in another way too. It marks the first in a series of product releases targeted at new classes of customer. Historically our product offerings have been focused on enterprise customers who have their own proprietary energy platform along with a software engineering teams and high transactional volumes that our APIs are built to handle. Our goal is to make our capabilities accessible and valuable for all segments of the new energy community, and this release of Explorer is an important step towards that goal.

You can read more about Explorer on our website. Or better yet, go sign up for a free trial! It’s simple, obligation free, and doesn’t even require a credit card.

A note to existing Genability customers. As a Genability customer you already have an Organization set up, and you probably already have a Genability user account. To start your free trial, just log into the Dash site here and click on the Explorer Free trial button.

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New Solar Incentives in Illinois, Net Metering Ends for Duke Energy South Carolina

The roller coaster for solar in the U.S. (call it a Solar Coaster?) keeps rolling this summer.  The state of Illinois has finalized the credit values for its Adjustable Block Program, which provides solar owners with an upfront payment for 15 years of estimated solar production.  Meanwhile, in South Carolina the state legislature failed to increase the net metering cap and Duke Energy has met its 2% limit. Starting on August 1, 2018 full net metering closes for Duke Energy SC customers and will be replaced by the Purchased Power Rider. First the good news for solar developers:

Adjustable Block Program in Illinois

In June the Illinois Power Agency published the final values for the Adjustable Block Program(ABP), and Genability has published the ABP incentives for your use. For those who are unfamiliar, the ABP offers a per kWh credit for the first 15 years of estimated solar production to be paid upon interconnection for systems under 10 kW.  The amount of the credit varies according to utility and system size and is in addition to the customer’s monthly net metering credits.

Commonwealth Edison Ameren – Illinois Mid American – Illinois
Under 10 kW 7.297¢/kWh 8.51¢/kWh 8.51¢/kWh
10 – 25 kW 7.323¢/kWh 7.87¢/kWh 7.87¢/kWh

The Illinois Power Agency has selected a program administrator and is expected to start accepting applications for the program this fall. We have made these incentives available via our API to allow our customers to include the ABP in their savings calculations ahead of the program’s official opening.

End of Net Metering for Duke Energy – South Carolina

This spring it seemed that the South Carolina legislature was prepared to increase the Net Metering cap in South Carolina from 2% to 4%, but the bill that emerged from committee did not up the cap.  On August 1st, Duke Energy will close Net Metering and move solar customers onto the Purchased Power Rider that compensates solar customers at a lower rate for power provided to the grid.  Due to the earlier merger of Duke Energy and Progress Energy, Duke Energy currently maintains two sets of rates within South Carolina (and North Carolina), thus the two columns in the table below:

Duke Energy Duke Energy (formerly Progress)
Fixed Charge $11.07 $8.05
Summer On-Peak Credit $0.1035 $0.0963
Summer Off-Peak Credit $0.0334 $0.0346
Winter On-Peak Credit $0.0661 $0.0611

For all of Duke Energy, On-Peak is defined as 1 PM to 9 PM in the Summer and 6 AM to 1 PM in the Winter, aligning reasonably well with the peak hours of solar production. Genability has created new Purchased Power Rider versions of all Duke Energy SC tariffs and will make them the default post-solar tariff in our Switch API on August 1.

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Massachusetts SMART Incentives Now Available

Later this year, Massachusetts will close out it’s SREC program replacing it with the new Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) incentives.   While there are still a few details left to be finalized, Genability is able to model the proposed SMART incentives for our customers and has made the new incentives available via the Incentives API.

What are the Smart Incentives

The new SMART Incentives guarantee solar customers a fixed compensation rate for every kWh produced by their solar system over the first ten years, called the Base Compensation Rate.  The Base Compensation Rate varies by utility territory and will decrease over time as each tranche is completed.  Here are the initial Base Compensation Rates:

Utility Base Compensation Rate (Tranche 1)
Fitchburg Gas & Electric d/b/a Unitil $0.31126
Massachusetts Electric d/b/a National Grid $0.31126
Nantucket Electric d/b/a National Grid $0.34000
NSTAR d/b/a Eversource Energy $0.34000
WMECO d/b/a Eversource Energy $0.28576

How SMART Incentives are Applied

While the customer is guaranteed the full Base Compensation Rate for all kWh produced by their solar system, they will actually get two credits on their utility bill under the SMART incentive program.  The first credit is the traditional Net Metering credit that solar customer receive in Massachusetts.  This doesn’t change from the current regime.

The second credit, called the Solar Incentive Payment, will be the difference between the Base Compensation Rate and the Value of Energy.  This Solar Incentive Payment will be applied to the customer’s bill as a credit, effectively topping up the Value of Energy to the level of the Base Compensation Rate.

Genability has modeled the Solar Incentive Payment in its SMART Incentives.  Since the Solar Incentive Payment represents a top-up on the Value of Energy, its value changes not just by utility but also by tariff.   In the table below are all the permutations of SMART incentives along with the customer attributes that indicate eligibility.

Incentive Base Compensation Rate Value of Energy Solar Incentive Payment Eligibility Parameter(s)
Behind the Meter Smart Incentive for Eversource – Cambridge – Tranche 1 $0.34000 $0.18734 $0.15266
Behind the Meter Smart Incentive for Eversource – Cambridge, Electric Heat – Tranche 1 $0.34000 $0.19820 $0.14180 hasElectricSpaceHeater=true
Behind the Meter Smart Incentive for Eversource – Greater Boston – Tranche 1 $0.34000 $0.18520 $0.15480
Behind the Meter Smart Incentive for Eversource – Greater Boston, Electric Heat – Tranche 1 $0.34000 $0.17550 $0.16450 hasElectricSpaceHeater=true
Behind the Meter Smart Incentive for Eversource – South Shore/Cape Cod – Tranche 1 $0.34000 $0.19698 $0.14302
Behind the Meter Smart Incentive for Eversource – South Shore/Cape Cod, Electric Heat – Tranche 1 $0.34000 $0.17350 $0.16650 hasElectricSpaceHeater=true
Behind the Meter Smart Incentive for Eversource – Western Mass – Tranche 1 $0.32862 $0.22779 $0.10083
Behind the Meter Smart Incentive for Eversource – Western Mass, Electric Heat – Tranche 1 $0.32862 $0.22750 $0.10112 hasElectricSpaceHeater=true
Behind the Meter Smart Incentive for Eversource – Western Mass, Electric Heat, Low Income – Tranche 1 $0.32862 $0.22094 $0.10768 hasElectricSpaceHeater=true, lowIncomeCustomer=true
Behind the Meter Smart Incentive for Eversource – Western Mass, Low Income – Tranche 1 $0.32862 $0.22109 $0.10753 lowIncomeCustomer=true
Behind the Meter Smart Incentive for National Grid – R4 – Tranche 1 $0.31126 $0.20848 $0.10278 r4SmartIncentiveEligible=true
Behind the Meter Smart Incentive for National Grid – Tranche 1 $0.31126 $0.19905 $0.11221
Behind the Meter Smart Incentive for Unitil – Massachusetts Tranche 1 $0.31126 $0.22535 $0.08591

Including SMART Incentives in your Proposals

Now that the SMART Incentives are available via the Incentives API, you can begin including them in your solar savings proposals.  For each month or year in your lifetime savings calculation, you will multiply your solar production by the Solar Incentive Payment for the first ten years to reflect the SMART incentive compensation.

While the SMART Incentive program is not expected to open officially until August or September of 2018, Genability is making these incentives available in our API so that you can get your interconnection paper work started before the program goes into effect.  So don’t delay, calculate your customer’s savings in Massachusetts using the SMART incentives today!

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Duke Energy North Carolina Solar Incentives Now Available

At 9 AM this morning (July 9, 2018), Duke Energy North Carolina started accepting incentive applications for their Solar Rebate program and Genability has made the new incentive available via our Incentives API.

The new Solar Rebate offers a $0.60/Watt rebate up to 10 kW for residential solar customers and 100 kW for commercial customers.  You will need to move quickly to take advantage of this incentive, the cap on this incentive is just 20 MW across both Duke Energy Carolinas and Duke Energy Progress.

The NC Solar Rebate is the first of many new solar incentives being released this summer.  Keep an eye on our blog for the next incentive announcement. Want to learn more about how to work with incentives? Try our Incentives How-To on our developer website.

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