United/Jemena forcing new solar customers onto TOU tariffs

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Re: United/Jemena forcing new solar customers onto TOU tariffs

Postby president_ltd » Mon Jul 05, 2010 10:22 am

Sojin_Muneshi wrote:
there are a number of errors in what you posted here.


I'm sorry, but I still think I am correct, and in fact consider you are the one who is wrong in a number of instances.
You simply make that statement, but provide no real evidence of my errors other than your opinion and claims of "being in the know",


i'm in the know as much as i've spent the time to talk to the ombudsman, have a case opened, talked to the "policy people" within energy unit of DPI on what the policy is, and talked to various retailers and distributors and found the clueful "solar" people.

i'm not here to argue semantics with you but here are where your errors are:
1. you're calling a "2-rate" (peak/off-peak) a "flat rate tariff". it is not. it is 2-rate which IS a TOU tariff because there are different rates for different times.
a flat-rate is where there is a fixed c/kWh regardless of time of day. i.e. what we are on right now, AGL GD/GR tariff which is a fixed ~19.something c/kWh regardless of time of day.

2. where you state "The Moratorium applies to mandatory change of tariffs by some Distributors to Roll out customers, that is not the situation being debated here (customers choosing to apply for a PFiT tariff)", that isn't accurate.
you're implying that BECAUSE of PFIT then the moratorium does not apply. in fact, the moratorium doesn't apply for SFIT either. even if you don't want a "premium" on exported power you still cannot keep a non-TOU (AGL GD/GR) tariff.

Sojin_Muneshi wrote:I suggest you contact Tru and ask them to confirm if you are on a "Time of Use" or a "2 Rate" tariff, as I expect you will find you are on a 2 rate tariff then the "1st Rate" or "peak" is then clearly a "Flat Rate" for your General Power and Light consumption ie I suspect your bill will only show "peak" consumption unless you have a second meter for off-peak hotwater?,
I look forward to your advice back as to what they advise? and its confirmation of "my" error or "yours".


i'm not with TRU as a retailer so the point is moot.

the EM1200 meter that Jemena/UED are due to be installing within 20 business days will apparently NOT be programmed with two interval registers (even though it could be).
instead it will simply account for import + export in 30 minute increments and that is how the meter will be read.

the retailer's backend billing will need to take that interval data and derive a peak+offpeak from it.

Sojin_Muneshi wrote:
rather than assumptions, in our case, we've had a 'Watts Clever' energy meter on our mains for a few months so we have realistic energy consumption data to go on.
in our case the above tariff structure from TRU is one of the most competitive in the marketplace.
AGL are comprehensively the worst. with Origin runner up 2nd worst.


I understand the Watts Clever unit simply does totalising of energy/costs on a YTD or MTD basis? and doesnt model ToU or Interval data? if it does you should be in a good position to model the flat rate versus ToU outcomes of your own load over 7 days and prove me right or wrong, if not then it doesnt present any better evidence that my simple mathematical model?


you are wrong. :)
while the LCD meter only provides totals, it has a USB/serial port that outputs instantaneous Wh readings.
i wrote this: http://code.google.com/p/wattscleverlogger4linux/ which takes those instantaneous readings and records them in a mysql database.
i then postprocessing that data into hourly readings for graphing.

based on the historic data recorded (many months), i can find precisely what our power consumption was at any given time and thus can run ANY particular retailer's offering and see what the bottom line will be $$ wise.

i have the WattsClever with its main clamp meter on mains input from street and a second clampeter on the output from the PV solar inverter so i get Wh readings from both of those.

one downside here is that clamp meters only measure flow of electricity, not direction. so if i'm recording 2kWh through the mains clamp meter that doesn't indicate if its 2kWh import or 2kWh export -- it could be either -- so i've had to add some logic for figuring that out.

i haven't uploaded that code to googlecode because its probably very specific to our installation and usage patterns but trust me when i can categorically state that for OUR energy consumption, AGL's TOU is the worst - BY FAR. we'd be around $300 / annum worse off with AGL compared to what we pay for energy today (GD/GR) or with the 'best' retailer's offering.
Origin are 2nd worst in our case.
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Re: United/Jemena forcing new solar customers onto TOU tariffs

Postby Sojin_Muneshi » Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:50 pm

i'm in the know as much as i've spent the time to talk to the ombudsman, have a case opened, talked to the "policy people" within energy unit of DPI on what the policy is, and talked to various retailers and distributors and found the clueful "solar" people.


Excellent, I have worked for 30 years in Distribution, Retail and Metering and know the metering, tariffs, policy and regulations quite well as I work with them every day, so I know a little bit too.

i'm not here to argue semantics with you but here are where your errors are:
1. you're calling a "2-rate" (peak/off-peak) a "flat rate tariff". it is not. it is 2-rate which IS a TOU tariff because there are different rates for different times.
a flat-rate is where there is a fixed c/kWh regardless of time of day. i.e. what we are on right now, AGL GD/GR tariff which is a fixed ~19.something c/kWh regardless of time of day
.

I'm sorry but again you are resorting to a pi%%ing competition about who you know rather than what you know, and present no evidence to support your claim?

Theres no semantics involved, You are "absolutely" wrong in your description of a 2 rate tariff as a Time of Use tariff, yes it quotes "peak" and "offpeak"pricing, but it is simply GD/GR flat rate combined with a Y8 dedicated circuit off-peak tariff, ie 2 circuits and 2 meters, this is the typical tariff and arrangement for electric hotwater customers across Victoria other than those on electronic two element meters and a ToU tariff such as Winner.

Historically the flat rate for General Power and Light has been called "peak" while the dedicated controlled load to hotwater etc has been called "off-peak" but neither changes over to the other rate at any time, ie they are not in anyway "Time" of "Use".

I suspect You are getting confused between a two rate meter which is a type 6 meter capable of ToU, and a 2 two rate tariff as described above, these terms are poorly understood and EWOV and the Energy Unit of DPI are hardly experts in this area.

In that Tru Energy tariff that you scanned the situation is:

Tariff Unit Ex GST Inc GST
All Peak Consumption c/kWh 19.1800 21.0980
> This rate is GD and applies 24 h 7 days a week it is titled "Peak" and there is no "off-peak" rate on the GD circuit.
All Off Peak Consumption c/kWh 10.7000 11.7700
> This rate is Y8 and is applied to a second meter for hotwater etc, it is titled "offpeak" - and there is no "peak" rate on the Y8 circuit.

'From the ESC Choice Website" http://www.yourchoice.vic.gov.au/


How to determine your meter type Electricity -

Your meter type (electricity only)
Single Rate Two-Rate Time of use Unsure

Meter Types Single-rate meters are used to measure all electricity consumed (there are no separate peak and off-peak tariffs).

Two-rate meters are used to measure electricity consumed for normal light and power (peak tariffs). They are also used to separately measure electricity for electric hot water and/or space heating (off-peak tariffs).

Time-of-use meters are used to measure all electricity consumed at night/weekends (off-peak tariffs)


From the EWOV site http://www.ewov.com.au/GotaProblem/Aboutmeters/Analoguemeters1.aspx

Analogue meters
They are the old style – with a spinning disk and a row of figures that keeps adding up usage – like a car’s odometer. The meter reading data on the bill can be compared to what the meter is showing. If a supply address is supplied with peak and off-peak electricity, there will be two meters and a time-switch. Please note that analogue meters can be used for electricity, gas and water.

Reading an analogue meter: Please note that the hands rotate in different directions. Standing directly in front of the meter, read the dials from left to right. If a hand is between two numbers, note the lower number, except when the hand is between 0 and 9 in which case, read 9. In the example on the right, the meter reads 04508


2. where you state "The Moratorium applies to mandatory change of tariffs by some Distributors to Roll out customers, that is not the situation being debated here (customers choosing to apply for a PFiT tariff)", that isn't accurate.
you're implying that BECAUSE of PFIT then the moratorium does not apply. in fact, the moratorium doesn't apply for SFIT either. even if you don't want a "premium" on exported power you still cannot keep a non-TOU (AGL GD/GR) tariff.


I am stating, not implying, that the moratorium on moving customers onto ToU tariffs relates to Smart meters installed in the rollout, and does not apply to other changes of installation such as PFiT, the Ministerial reply quoted above clearly confirms that, and that is how the industry is applying the policy.

You seem to acknowledge that in your statement above as well as you suggest it doesnt apply to SFIT eitherl, so I cant see where you have demonstrated any error in my statements in regard to this.

However you are wrong in regards to the impact on SFiT......

in fact, the moratorium doesn't apply for SFIT either. even if you don't want a "premium" on exported power you still cannot keep a non-TOU (AGL GD/GR) tariff


This may be a unique AGL Retail "policy", but in most distribution businesses there is no current policy requirement to move to ToU from GD or GD/Y8 if installing SFiT, thats a function of SFIT policy not the Moratorium or PFiT.

Rather than replying with references to "who you know" and the policies "they think" apply, please provide links/evidence of the application of policy by the industry.

DPI only assists in setting Government energy "policy" and influencing Industry policy, the government only sets "industry" policy through legislation or Orders in Council which is very infrequent.

Tariffs are approved by the independent regulators such as ESC/AER. the Moratorium is not legislated, it is voluntary, and does not override other industry policies, as shown by the Ministerial letter of reply quoted above and which you seem to totally ignore?


Sojin_Muneshi wrote:
I suggest you contact Tru and ask them to confirm if you are on a "Time of Use" or a "2 Rate" tariff.....

i'm not with TRU as a retailer so the point is moot.



I understand then that you are still on an AGL GD/GR tariff and I assume you dont have off-peak electric hotwater?

This is known as a Single Rate Tariff (its flat rate), a Two Rate Tariff is simply that same arrangement with a second meter dedicated to off-peak hotwater. (both are flat rates, but one has two flat rates!)

You claim to know how Tru Energy's "two rate" tariff works, yet you are not their customer or on that tariff? I invite you to ring them on "133466" and confirm how "Their" two rate tariff works to confirm or deny your claims of it being "Time of Use", rather than relying on the Energy Unit of DPI, or others? - I look forward to your relaying of their advice to you back to the forum?

You havent presented any evidence to your claim it is a "Time of Use" Tariff and wont be able to do so as it is Not!, You havent presented any independent support of your opinion to counter any of the links and quotes I have provided on this issue?

This is not semantics, or a moot point, you are providing unsubstantiated opinions, unsupported by any facts? other than "I'm in the know"????

Simply utilise the ESC choice website and compare the "Two-Rate" tariffs to the "Time of Use" for Tru Energy and other retailers - http://www.yourchoice.vic.gov.au/

the "point" is not moot, its very relevent to your unsubstatiated claims that the tariff is ToU.



the EM1200 meter that Jemena/UED are due to be installing within 20 business days will apparently NOT be programmed with two interval registers (even though it could be).
instead it will simply account for import + export in 30 minute increments and that is how the meter will be read.

the retailer's backend billing will need to take that interval data and derive a peak+offpeak from it.
[/quote]

The EM1200 is a two element meter, in that two element form it can be used for GD/Y8 or ToU "Winner", it is an interval meter, to use the two elements (two circuits) requires two 30 minute interval data streams E1 and E2, if it isnt being programmed with two it sounds as if it will be installed as a single element configuration, which is fine if you dont have off-peak electric hotwater which is implied from your reference to GD/GR tariff as your current arrangements.

In a single element or E1 data stream configuration the data can still be processed into either a Flat Rate GD tariff or a ToU Winner tariff.

If the retailers backend billing is going to derive a peak and offpeak consumption from the single E1 interval data stream then that would result in a ToU tariff being applied.

If you have solar generation there will be another 30 minute interval data stream for the export to the grid, this is the B data stream.

I suspect you are being moved to a Retail and Network ToU tariff ?

I assume you are aware of that if that is correct, and that may be well the basis of your current EWOV case, as I thought the whole thrust of your argument was that you didnt want that to happen, and that you thought "DPI" policy had a moratorium that stopped that happening?

I guess you can let EWOV sort it out for you?



I am pleased to see you have created a way to log instaneous readings from the "Watts Clever" and create quasy interval data, well done. Unfortunately if the "Watts Clever" is monitoring current flow its accuracy will be quite questionable and there could be at times up to 20% error between it and the actual energy flows measured by the meter

(Please look up "power factor" before you come back arguing againt me, as its the basis of my 20% error estimate)

However I am happy to accept that you have determined the GD flat rate tariff is the best arrangement for you and Your Energy profile as I am sure what you have put in place is perfectly suitable for that comparative purpose.

I believe I have shown above where there are a number of errors in your claims, and evidenced the statements I made previously, to be correct.

I am happy to be corrected with facts, but please, not just with opinions and claims of being "in the know".


regards

Sojin
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Re: United/Jemena forcing new solar customers onto TOU tariffs

Postby Sojin_Muneshi » Mon Jul 05, 2010 4:47 pm

You claim to know how Tru Energy's "two rate" tariff works, yet you are not their customer or on that tariff? I invite you to ring them on "133466" and confirm how "Their" two rate tariff works to confirm or deny your claims of it being "Time of Use", rather than relying on the Energy Unit of DPI, or others? - I look forward to your relaying of their advice to you back to the forum?


President

For a bit of excitement during an afternoon break, I have saved you the trouble and just rang Tru Energy on 133466, selecting option 2 on the keypad to speak to someone regarding "energy quotes, connections or information to switch to Tru", then selecting option 3 to speak to someone regarding "for a new energy quote or information regarding Tru energy products".

They confirm, that in that product the pricing is peak "all time" ie a flat rate, and the reference to off-peak (if applicable) relates to a off-peak hotwater and seperate meter. ie exactly as I have explained!

Please ring yourself if you think they are wrong? and let me know if you can get a different answer?

regards

Sojin
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Re: United/Jemena forcing new solar customers onto TOU tariffs

Postby president_ltd » Mon Jul 05, 2010 6:27 pm

Sojin,

Sojin_Muneshi wrote:
i'm in the know as much as i've spent the time to talk to the ombudsman, have a case opened, talked to the "policy people" within energy unit of DPI on what the policy is, and talked to various retailers and distributors and found the clueful "solar" people.


Excellent, I have worked for 30 years in Distribution, Retail and Metering and know the metering, tariffs, policy and regulations quite well as I work with them every day, so I know a little bit too.


i'd love to know who you work for. would it be AGL by any chance?
introductions/topic1164.html

Sojin_Muneshi wrote:
i'm not here to argue semantics with you but here are where your errors are:
1. you're calling a "2-rate" (peak/off-peak) a "flat rate tariff". it is not. it is 2-rate which IS a TOU tariff because there are different rates for different times.
a flat-rate is where there is a fixed c/kWh regardless of time of day. i.e. what we are on right now, AGL GD/GR tariff which is a fixed ~19.something c/kWh regardless of time of day
.

I'm sorry but again you are resorting to a pi%%ing competition about who you know rather than what you know, and present no evidence to support your claim?


again i am not. i opened a case with the ombudsman and called the DPI to talk to their energy policy unit because thats what the DPI website says to do if you have queries.

i'm just an average australian who has put on solar panels and has gone through the runaround due to more-often-than-not incorrect customer service information from energy retailers.
i'm not claiming to be "connected" to anyone like you suggest.

Sojin_Muneshi wrote:You are "absolutely" wrong in your description of a 2 rate tariff as a Time of Use tariff, yes it quotes "peak" and "offpeak"pricing, but it is simply GD/GR flat rate combined with a Y8 dedicated circuit off-peak tariff, ie 2 circuits and 2 meters, this is the typical tariff and arrangement for electric hotwater customers across Victoria other than those on electronic two element meters and a ToU tariff such as Winner.


EVERY energy retailer site i have gone to and clicked on "standing tariffs" disagrees with you.

case in point, for AGL see http://www.agl.com.au/Downloads/Vic_Ele ... 062010.pdf and note the text next to 1.8 (AGL North), 1.6, 2.2 (AGL South). bugger me. its peak + offpeak. and its called "TOU".

Sojin_Muneshi wrote:I suspect You are getting confused between a two rate meter which is a type 6 meter capable of ToU, and a 2 two rate tariff as described above, these terms are poorly understood and EWOV and the Energy Unit of DPI are hardly experts in this area.


i am not misunderstanding anything. i talked to my energy distributor on what meter would be installed when i sent in the paperwork for connection of PV solar. i spoke to a very helpful person at Jemena/UED who is in their "solar" group and works with the smartmeters and determined that the meter that will be installed at our property was an EM1200.

i specifically asked them how the registers would be programmed and whether the programming is different depending on retailer. it is NOT different depending on retailer. the programming of registers does NOT change depending on actual tariff as the meter reading is in 30 minute INVERVALS and then the retailer turns that into whatever combination of peak/offpeak/whatever.


Sojin_Muneshi wrote:In that Tru Energy tariff that you scanned the situation is:
Tariff Unit Ex GST Inc GST
All Peak Consumption c/kWh 19.1800 21.0980
> This rate is GD and applies 24 h 7 days a week it is titled "Peak" and there is no "off-peak" rate on the GD circuit.
All Off Peak Consumption c/kWh 10.7000 11.7700
> This rate is Y8 and is applied to a second meter for hotwater etc, it is titled "offpeak" - and there is no "peak" rate on the Y8 circuit.
[..]


if it turns out that what i've been sent is not correct then no doubt i have a case against TRU for offering a false energy offer.

the paperwork i have very clearly states the tariff structure.
i'm not going to argue with your interpretation of it. i can read what i was sent.

Sojin_Muneshi wrote:
in fact, the moratorium doesn't apply for SFIT either. even if you don't want a "premium" on exported power you still cannot keep a non-TOU (AGL GD/GR) tariff


This may be a unique AGL Retail "policy", but in most distribution businesses there is no current policy requirement to move to ToU from GD or GD/Y8 if installing SFiT, thats a function of SFIT policy not the Moratorium or PFiT.

Rather than replying with references to "who you know" and the policies "they think" apply, please provide links/evidence of the application of policy by the industry.


i have a long list of people i've spoken to over the last few weeks. i am not going to post them all here.

Sojin_Muneshi wrote:I understand then that you are still on an AGL GD/GR tariff and I assume you dont have off-peak electric hotwater?


correct. no off-peak elec hotwater. single meter.

Sojin_Muneshi wrote:This is known as a Single Rate Tariff (its flat rate),


we agree!

Sojin_Muneshi wrote:You claim to know how Tru Energy's "two rate" tariff works, yet you are not their customer or on that tariff? I invite you to ring them on "133466" and confirm how "Their" two rate tariff works to confirm or deny your claims of it being "Time of Use", rather than relying on the Energy Unit of DPI, or others? - I look forward to your relaying of their advice to you back to the forum?


as i stated above and as shown above in a scanned document, i asked them what tariff structure would be available to us once there is a bidirectional interval meter installed at our property.
(energy distributor forces EM1200 bidirecitonal interval meter if you have a solar connection).

TRU gave the pricing and i asked for it in writing to confirm it. they were very helpful.
as stated previously, i found them to be one of the most clueful and helpful energy retailers who knew what they were saying.

same cannot be said for the majority of the other VIC energy retailers i have talked to.

Sojin_Muneshi wrote:
the EM1200 meter that Jemena/UED are due to be installing within 20 business days will apparently NOT be programmed with two interval registers (even though it could be).
instead it will simply account for import + export in 30 minute increments and that is how the meter will be read.

the retailer's backend billing will need to take that interval data and derive a peak+offpeak from it.


The EM1200 is a two element meter, in that two element form it can be used for GD/Y8 or ToU "Winner", it is an interval meter, to use the two elements (two circuits) requires two 30 minute interval data streams E1 and E2, if it isnt being programmed with two it sounds as if it will be installed as a single element configuration, which is fine if you dont have off-peak electric hotwater which is implied from your reference to GD/GR tariff as your current arrangements.

In a single element or E1 data stream configuration the data can still be processed into either a Flat Rate GD tariff or a ToU Winner tariff.

If the retailers backend billing is going to derive a peak and offpeak consumption from the single E1 interval data stream then that would result in a ToU tariff being applied.

If you have solar generation there will be another 30 minute interval data stream for the export to the grid, this is the B data stream.

I suspect you are being moved to a Retail and Network ToU tariff ?


you are correct in that yes we will be moved to a Network TOU and a retail one too.

your (long) description above of E1 is correct but the 'winner' term is an AGL term and is not what AGL have stated we would be going on if we stayed with them.
again, what the "retail" offer is has nothing to do with the "network" part once its down to interval billing data.

Sojin_Muneshi wrote:I assume you are aware of that if that is correct, and that may be well the basis of your current EWOV case, as I thought the whole thrust of your argument was that you didnt want that to happen, and that you thought "DPI" policy had a moratorium that stopped that happening?


that is not the "thrust" of our case with the ombudsman. our "thrust" was in being mislead.
we have a satisfactory outcome on that case.

Sojin_Muneshi wrote:I guess you can let EWOV sort it out for you?


already sorted with a satisfactory outcome.

Sojin_Muneshi wrote:I am pleased to see you have created a way to log instaneous readings from the "Watts Clever" and create quasy interval data, well done. Unfortunately if the "Watts Clever" is monitoring current flow its accuracy will be quite questionable and there could be at times up to 20% error between it and the actual energy flows measured by the meter


i'm well aware of limitations of clamp meters. our load has a PF of close to unity so it has been shown to be accurate. i agree that may not be the case for everyone.

Sojin_Muneshi wrote:However I am happy to accept that you have determined the GD flat rate tariff is the best arrangement for you and Your Energy profile as I am sure what you have put in place is perfectly suitable for that comparative purpose.


again i've never stated GD/GR is "best" for us. rather much of my gripe is that IF we did not have PV Solar we would have a CHOICE as to whether we went on TOU or single-rate tariff.

with PFIT you HAVE NO CHOICE. that is my main gripe.

i'm fine if EVERYONE is pushed into something, but being discriminated against because one has chosen to install solar is the issue.


cheers.
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Re: United/Jemena forcing new solar customers onto TOU tariffs

Postby president_ltd » Mon Jul 05, 2010 7:18 pm

Sojin_Muneshi wrote:
You claim to know how Tru Energy's "two rate" tariff works, yet you are not their customer or on that tariff? I invite you to ring them on "133466" and confirm how "Their" two rate tariff works to confirm or deny your claims of it being "Time of Use", rather than relying on the Energy Unit of DPI, or others? - I look forward to your relaying of their advice to you back to the forum?


President

For a bit of excitement during an afternoon break, I have saved you the trouble and just rang Tru Energy on 133466, selecting option 2 on the keypad to speak to someone regarding "energy quotes, connections or information to switch to Tru", then selecting option 3 to speak to someone regarding "for a new energy quote or information regarding Tru energy products".

They confirm, that in that product the pricing is peak "all time" ie a flat rate, and the reference to off-peak (if applicable) relates to a off-peak hotwater and seperate meter. ie exactly as I have explained!

Please ring yourself if you think they are wrong? and let me know if you can get a different answer?


Sojin,
just gave them a call (again) and had a lovely chat with them (again).

the product pricing is as per what i stated. "peak" and "offpeak" TOU with PFIT at the rate i said.
"offpeak" is not for hot water / slab heating etc, its for "all electricity consumed in the non 7am-11pm time".

i can only speculate that you neglected to mention solar/PV i guess, so the context of that would have been lost to them. so they thought you were referring to offpeak hot water / slab heating?

for peace of mind, i've requested clarification in writing on the discussion i just had with them.
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Re: United/Jemena forcing new solar customers onto TOU tariffs

Postby solar_star » Tue Jul 06, 2010 8:55 am

Here is my understanding - ( btw I am in Melbourne )

I don't think that United/Jemena are forcing anyone on to a new tariff. If I have solar panels on my roof and I DON'T want PFIT I can keep my old meter and watch it run backwards until such time as I get a smart meter ( whether I want one or not). I'm with AGL and United won't install a new meter until AGL tell them to which they won't do until I fill the PFIT forms in.

For some people with small systems on their roof who are home all day and whose daylight generation matches their usage over the year it may (short term) be better to watch the meter run backwards rather than accept PFIT and a time of use tariff. However if you don't take up PFIT now and it is fully subscribed and a year or so down the track you get given a smart meter and get forced onto a time of use tariff anyway you MAY be worse off long term.

If I do want PFIT then I need to have an interval meter fitted because it is a net feed in tariff I need to have a meter that compares whatever I generate with whatever I use in the hours while the sun is shining - my understanding is that it will do this at half hour intervals.

Your electricity company buy power from the distributor ( United/Jemina ). Once you have a time of use meter United/Jemina then change the way that they charge the electricity company. They have two rates peak and off peak based on clock time. United/Jemina charge your energy company less for peak electricity in winter -for the benefit of those of us with electric heating according to a document I read on their website.

It is up to your electricity company to then decide how they are going to bill you now you have an interval meter. Obviously they are going to choose the method that they think will earn them the most profit.

Your electricity provider COULD use the interval data to charge you a flat rate comparable to the old GD/DR rate even though you have an interval meter. As far as I am aware none of the companies are choosing to do this. AGL certainly are stating categorically that as soon as you get an interval meter you WILL be put on their Time of Day Tariff - their Time of Use Tariff ( which in my case would be better) is apparently NOT availabe to customers who were previously on the GD/DR tariff. If you want AGL PFIT it is Time of Day or nothing. I spent quite a lot of time on the phone trying to understand why this is as when you read their standing offers GD/DR is starred as being compatible with PFIT. I have had no reply to my written enquiry so EWOV looks like the next option.

Your electricity provider COULD use the interval data to charge you a rate based on the rate that United/Jemina charge them by just adding xCents to the amount that they pay. e.g. +10c on the United/Jemina rate - which would mean that we would pay less for peak in winter and more in summer. Again as far as I am aware none of the companies are doing this. All the offers that I have seen charge a flat rate for peak ( and a flat rate for shoulder where offered) which will give them greater profits over winter.

I have a 2.1kw system, an all electric house, electric boosted solar on a timer, electric heating - one room only (4m x4m x 3.25m) heated to 15 deg C so we aren't talking tropical here. As I still have my old meter and 7 years of bills and I am taking 3 x daily meter readings I can state with absolute confidence that if I swapped to an interval meter and am forced onto a Time of Day tariff with AGL I will be about $150 dollars worse off than on the GD/DR tariff ( totally ignoring offsetting PFIT ). If I decide to run my heating a few degrees higher or for another hour a day then the amount I am worse off gets bigger EVEN though Saturday and Sunday are off peak. That is just my situation - for other people a Time of Day tariff might be beneficial.

TRU energy have made me an offer which will still leave me worse off than my current AGL GD/DR tariff but only by about $30 - so for me cheaper than AGL for the same usage pattern. The Time of Use tariff I was offered with PFIT is more c per kw/h than I have seen shown if you don't have PFIT. It may be that if I'd spoken to a different person or not mentioned that I 'd got solar to the same person I would have been quoted a different rate.

It seems to me there is no such thing as a free lunch - we get offered more than the 60c PFIT( 68c in the case of AGL, 66c for TRU energy) but the offer that will be made to you will require you to pay more cents for your peak usage than someone without PFIT would pay. Giving with one hand - taking back with another. Each household are going to have to run the numbers for their own usage to know where they are going to be best off for their usage patterns AND taking into account the PFIT rate. I'm certainly not going to be locking myself into a provider.

I don't even think I'm eligible for the origin offer because my understanding is that you have to agree that you haven't given your RECs to someone else and I'm planning on retiring mine. My calculations ( which by the way take into account the standing charges) make Origin slightly less expensive than AGL but more expensive than TRU energy. This is remember for MY personal situation.

Interestingly I have had two sets of PFIT documents sent to me by AGL neither of which have included ANY information on the new tariff they plan to put me on. I had 3 conversations with AGL regarding what happens about when you get solar - in the first two there was NO mention of a different tariff. Only during the third conversation was I told by the way you will be put on a new tariff as we regard you as a new connection. Conversations with other people having solar panels leave me with the impression that it is common to be put on a new tariff and either not be told at all or not be offered a choice.
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Re: United/Jemena forcing new solar customers onto TOU tariffs

Postby Sojin_Muneshi » Tue Jul 06, 2010 6:03 pm

President,

I'm not surprised we are able to get conflicting answers to the same ultimate question from a Retailer's call centre in understanding and describing their own tariff, it took me a few minutes to extract the correct detail from the person I spoke to yesterday.(you would get a clearer answer from their tariff or billing people)

In the end I can only hope you end up getting the tariff you think you have been offered and / or want?, an "interesting" aspect of the scanned "ToU" quote you provided is that it clearly states the off-peak pricing as "(if applicable)".

As you would know, by definition a Time of Use Tariff has both Peak and Off-peak pricing applying at various times of the day/week, and so I do hope you enquire back with Tru Energy why such a ToU pricing quote would suggest off-peak might "not" be "applicable", and in what possible situations under a ToU tariff it wouldnt be applicable?

Interestingly the exact same wording of "off-peak (if applicable)" is used universally on the two-rate (GD/Y8 flat rate) standing tariffs on the ESC website that I linked earlier, and is not utilised at all in any of the ToU tariffs from the same retailers on the same site?

I am still very confident they are providing you a quote for the equivalent of the old SECV "GD" pricing with "Y8" (if applicable) in that scanned quote, regardless of the PFIT component. Although you are currently on a GD type tariff (without hotwater and so Y8 isnt applicable) and therefore it may suit you to remain on it if this quote is in fact a flat rate? , and if thats the case it would prove the point you arnt being moved onto a ToU tariff in this PFIT installation?


In anycase you will be in the best place to confirm what your billing finally looks like and thats the final proof, so good luck with it and let us know what finally occurs.

I dont wish to declare where I work in the industry, - you can imagine the complications it could cause in many different directions, and the term "winner" is an SECV tariff from the late 1980's that AGL and others inhereted in 1994 when the SECV was split into the 5 DB's.

regards

Sojin
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Re: United/Jemena forcing new solar customers onto TOU tariffs

Postby president_ltd » Thu Jul 08, 2010 10:56 pm

Sojin_Muneshi wrote:I'm not surprised we are able to get conflicting answers to the same ultimate question from a Retailer's call centre in understanding and describing their own tariff, it took me a few minutes to extract the correct detail from the person I spoke to yesterday.(you would get a clearer answer from their tariff or billing people)

In the end I can only hope you end up getting the tariff you think you have been offered and / or want?, an "interesting" aspect of the scanned "ToU" quote you provided is that it clearly states the off-peak pricing as "(if applicable)".


i now have it in writing from them along with exact qualification of the tariff times.
exactly what i said it would be:
- electricity supply large (per month): $17.27 inc gst
- peak: 21.2c/kWh 7am-11pm Mon-Fri
- off-peak: 11.77c/kWh 11pm-7am Mon-Fri, all Sat/Sun
- discount of 3% if pay on time. discount is 6% if agree to a 2 year contract with them and pay on time.
(cost to break contract early is $22).

- PFIT for net exported power: 66c/kWh

above is for Jemena area w/ bidirectional interval meter installed for PFIT.

Sojin_Muneshi wrote:I am still very confident they are providing you a quote for the equivalent of the old SECV "GD" pricing with "Y8" (if applicable) in that scanned quote, regardless of the PFIT component. Although you are currently on a GD type tariff (without hotwater and so Y8 isnt applicable) and therefore it may suit you to remain on it if this quote is in fact a flat rate? , and if thats the case it would prove the point you arnt being moved onto a ToU tariff in this PFIT installation?


i am being moved on to a TOU tariff because its a requirement of having a bidirectional meter with Jemena.

Sojin_Muneshi wrote:In anycase you will be in the best place to confirm what your billing finally looks like and thats the final proof, so good luck with it and let us know what finally occurs.


i believe they will have to honour what has been quoted.
i have no reason to believe it incorrect as i've verified it that many times now.

Sojin_Muneshi wrote:I dont wish to declare where I work in the industry,


fair enough. but my gut feel is i know what retailer you work at and they are completely behind the times.
there is more than enough margin in the electrical retail business for retailers to be competitive. seems some large ones choose not to be.
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Re: United/Jemena forcing new solar customers onto TOU tariffs

Postby Sojin_Muneshi » Fri Jul 09, 2010 3:04 pm

.
President,

Your written quote seems to now to clearly present as time of use tariff, I note it deletes the (if applicable) reference to off-peak that existed in the scan you provided earlier.

I would agree that is an exceptional quote in that they are offering you effectively the same pricing as their flat rate 24/7 pricing for the ToU peak, but with a significant discount against that during the ToU off-peak period, all well below their standing offer of ToU peak rate, and then offering further % discounts on top of that.

On that basis this tariff is clearly an advantage to any customer currently on a flat rate or a ToU tariff as they can only end up paying less than they are currently?

your quote Standing offers (inc GST)
PFiT/ToU Two Rate ToU
electricity supply large (per month): $17.27 inc gst $17.27 $17.27 $17.03
- peak: 21.2c/kWh 7am-11pm Mon-Fri $0.212 *(GD) $0.21098 $0.27896
- off-peak: 11.77c/kWh 11pm-7am Mon-Fri, all Sat/Sun $0.1177 ** (Y8) $0.1177 $0.11121

* 24/7 flat rate "peak" tariff on general power and light circuits
** load control "off-peak" tariff for electric hotwater etc (if applicable)

(Interestingly I note this quote shifts your ToU peak to 21.2c where as your scanned letter quoted 21.1c ie identical to the Two Rate)

As you can see the rates are virtually identical to the GD and Y8 rates in the "two rate" (flat rate 24/7) and significantly cheaper than their ToU tariff for the 80 hours of "peak" / week, this price moves down from @28c/kWh to 21c/kWh, ie thats effectively a 25% reduction!

And compared to a GD flat rate customer for the 88 hours of ToU off-peak it is reduced from @21c/kWh to @12c/kWh a 43% reduction!

Very hard to believe actually, but I wont dispute thats the detail they have apparantly given you in writing, the question is, will that be the pricing their billing engine applies?

Although the written quote should ensure you end up only paying that price, even if it requires another visit to EWOV.

If Tru can offer such a massive discount to their standard ToU pricing and remain profitable it will be interesting to see if they extend it to their standing ToU offer, and if other retails respond to what seems to be an apparant massive price cut?

Like you, I have compared the whole market price to the bundled Retailer pricing with the network tariffs deducted, and agree with you that there is an apparant large margin in place?

I would agree on that basis there appears to be little true price competition between retailers, unlike the price wars of the C & I market of the 1990's, its as if they have all agreed not to cannibalise their margins (but of course that would be collusion and is illegal) - the reality has been assumed that the large retailers have chosen simply not to discount in the hope most customers would not churn, and that those who chased price would flock to the small and independant retailers - And those smaller retailers have really only been offering minor discounts against the major players in my opinion.

Its also interesting to note the large retailers report very heathly profitability overall.

The above comments are examples as why I am reluctant to explain where in the industry I work, however I can assure you my comments are not motivated by AGL's pricing interests, nor do I work for them.

Its difficult to understand why this ToU pricing would be limited only to PFiT customers, I assume Tru isnt second line forcing and cross subsidising the purchase of their own solar equipment? as its illegal to do so, and it would be hard to see that this pricing is economically related to the PFiT output, as they are buying the output from you with their 6c component of the 66c so there is no room for a cross subsidy from the generation to consumption pricing. (and in anycase if it was able to do so, why not simply lift the PFiT payment up higher?)

If it is an intended price reduction, it must indicate a very large margin normally exists and they are cutting into that margin with very aggressive pricing to win market share (or simply a mistake in their sales department?), it will be very interesting to see how other retailers respond? and how this translates to other Tru Energy tariffs?

However my vote is still for a mistake by the sales departments quote to you, which is in line with the many mistakes their billing department has suffered over the last 12 months, all a legacy of outsourcing everything overseas and recently bringing it back inside with "new" employees and systems.

(please note I am believing what you are saying, I'm just not confident the people you are dealing with in Tru know what they are doing)

I hope you share your bill with us in 3 months time.

either way - enjoy.

regards

Sojin
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Re: United/Jemena forcing new solar customers onto TOU tariffs

Postby Sojin_Muneshi » Fri Jul 09, 2010 6:58 pm

I hadnt done a preview, and didnt realise until after the edit period expired that the comparative table in my post above, didnt display as layed out in my draft, making it virtually unreadable.

so I have re-posted it here.

.................................................................your quote.........Standing offers (inc GST)
..................................................................PFiT/ToU...........Two Rate......ToU
electricity supply large (per month):$17.27 inc gst ........$17.27 ............$17.27........$17.03
- peak: 21.2c/kWh 7am-11pm Mon-Fri .....................$0.212 .....*(GD) $0.21098.....$0.27896
- off-peak: 11.77c/kWh 11pm-7am Mon-Fri, all Sat/Sun.$0.1177 ...** (Y8) $0.1177 .....$0.11121

* 24/7 flat rate "peak" tariff on general power and light circuits
** load control "off-peak" tariff for electric hotwater etc (if applicable)

As President has been arguing, and I have to agree (if its not a pricing mistake by Tru) that this is an excellent ToU price and massive reduction from existing Tru Energy Tariffs.

Historically ToU peak rates have always been higher than GD or 24/7 flat rate (peak), to make up for the access to off-peak for all loads overnight and all weekend hence Tru's Standing offer ToU peak is 8c higher at 28c to their two rate peak at 21c.

As you can see the rates are virtually identical to the GD and Y8 rates in the "two rate" (flat rate 24/7) and significantly cheaper than their ToU tariff for the 80 hours of "peak" / week, this price moves down from @28c/kWh to 21c/kWh, ie thats effectively a 25% reduction!

And compared to a GD flat rate customer for the 88 hours of ToU off-peak it is reduced from @21c/kWh to @12c/kWh a 43% reduction!

Nearly too good to believe?


It would be interesting to see if this accessible by other customers? and if so?, how long such an offer is left in the market? (I have every confidence in Tru's Retail Sales office eventually proving me right, but probably through evetual help from their Billing Section - smiles)

regards

Sojin
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