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We should tariff things, not premises…

Doug Houseman's picture
Visionary and innovator in the utility industry and grid modernization Burns & McDonnell

I have a broad background in utilities and energy. I worked for Capgemini in the Energy Practice for more than 15 years. During that time I rose to the position of CTO of the 12,000 person...

  • Member since 2017
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  • Apr 6, 2022
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It does not matter how you use energy, the meter measures and the utility bills it all the same.

With the electrification trend that is coming, far more uses of electricity are going to get bundled into one rate.

Your vehicle: heating and cooling (HVAC); the production of your solar and operation of your battery, etc.

Should the cost of heat be tied to the cost to charge a vehicle?

What if we flipped the way we charge for electricity and charged by use type?

One rate for HVAC, another for EV, still another for solar or battery, etc.?

Impossible you say! In the current regulatory environment.

Current metering setup makes it impossible.

How about we change that?

 Regulations need to be rewritten for electrification; metering needs to be updated to support operations.

The intelligence in the meter can support more than one measurement, there is no need to pay for a second or third communications card in a second or third meter. Instead, meters become modular. One measurement device per EV, one for HVAC, etc. One computing device to support all the devices.

Tariffs and rates designed for the use. Real time pricing based on wholesale for EVs, a steady rate for HVAC, etc.?

Your worried:
1)     People will game the system
2)     People will make illegal connections
3)     Too confusing
4)     Too hard on billing systems
5)     Forecasting load will be too hard
6)     Etc.

Now is the time to discuss this and other options before the country goes all electric.

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Roger Levy's picture
Roger Levy on Apr 8, 2022

During the formation of the first electric utility companies in the early years of the Twentieth century, before meters, most rates were based on end use charges.  Utility companies had rates for individual lights, player pianos, and other equipment.  While it is technologically feasible to incorporate monitoring in individual devices that communicate with one or more facility meters the trade off analysis needs to examine the potential conservation/ efficiency benefits against the increase costs to individual end uses, communication complexity and standards, billing and related customer systems, and customer education.  Given the historical regulatory and political resistance to simpler proven time-of-use, critical peak, and real time rates I can only begin to imagine the reaction to new end-use rates.

Jim Stack's picture
Jim Stack on Apr 9, 2022

Doug, No . We have 1 rate for each kWh. The best thing is the TOD Time Of Day. What they use it for is up to them but when is important. Don't confuse the system. 

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