Reduce your use program

User Forum Topic
Submitted by moneymaker on August 28, 2015 - 5:45pm

Anybody done this SDG&E program yet? I signed up today but got no text message so I'm not sure if I qualify. Seems like a good idea. Seems like solar people should get paid too, but I guess the "storage" of energy on the network is an even trade off.

Submitted by Escoguy on August 28, 2015 - 9:52pm.

Today was a RYU day, but you are correct, no text message.

Last year with solar we had 2-3 days. It took about $10-15 off the bill to meet the targets for 3 days. Not really sure it's worth it as the day starts at 11 am to 6 pm.

Submitted by ocrenter on August 29, 2015 - 10:09am.

Nothing beats solar + TOU. Our use exceeded our solar production by 260 kWh and SDGE still gave us a credit of $70 for the month of August.

Submitted by meadandale on August 29, 2015 - 12:41pm.

ocrenter wrote:
Nothing beats solar + TOU. Our use exceeded our solar production by 260 kWh and SDGE still gave us a credit of $70 for the month of August.

Unless you are home during the day (e.g. telecommute) and have to run your AC during the summer while you are home.

Submitted by ocrenter on August 29, 2015 - 2:28pm.

meadandale wrote:
ocrenter wrote:
Nothing beats solar + TOU. Our use exceeded our solar production by 260 kWh and SDGE still gave us a credit of $70 for the month of August.

Unless you are home during the day (e.g. telecommute) and have to run your AC during the summer while you are home.

that is very true. but then you are already ahead of everyone else with lack of commute and the ability to write off a home office. very awesome!

Submitted by UCGal on August 31, 2015 - 3:49pm.

I've been on reduce your use plan for more than a year. For me - I basically make sure I don't do laundry or run the dishwasher during those hours and I qualify.

We don't have solar - but we have a pretty green house... no ac, LED and CFL bulbs, I line dry a lot of my laundry...

So - I made a whoppin' $1.50 for RYU on Friday.

Submitted by moneymaker on September 8, 2015 - 8:28pm.

Got a text message today so guess I'm enrolled. I'm going to do laundry and turn the AC down now in preparation for tomorrow,suppose to hit 100º tomorrow.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on September 10, 2015 - 1:16pm.

i read up a little bit about the program.
It's only worth it if you normally use a lot of electricity, and on the reduced your use days, cut down a lot.

Submitted by UCGal on September 10, 2015 - 7:55pm.

FlyerInHi wrote:
i read up a little bit about the program.
It's only worth it if you normally use a lot of electricity, and on the reduced your use days, cut down a lot.

I'm not sure this is true.
But I guess it depends on what you consider "worth it"...
We are not big users. But I've gotten RYU rebates for 3 days so far this billing period. And that's with little impact to our lifestyle. I did pay attention to when I ran the dishwasher and the laundry. That was it.

That said - I don't get big rewards - I'm getting $1.50 per day for each one I've qualified for. Today should qualify as well, and tomorrow is another RYU day. That's a $7.50 reduction in my bill. For basically no effort.

$7.50 in free money - I'll take it.

It should be noted we have no AC and no pool -two big consumption hogs.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on September 11, 2015 - 1:19pm.

yes, ucgal.

But what if you're already mindful to not run your large appliances before 6:00pm everyday?

this program rewards "bad" people for changing behavior on certain days. But it does nothing for people who are consistently "good", and cannot reduce use anymore.

Though it makes perfect sense to drive down use on high demand days, it's perverse to the larger goal of lowering overall demand and protecting the environment (because power companies want growth in demand for revenue growth, but they don't want demand spikes that require extra capacity or cause blackouts). It's like giving credits to "bad" kids for cleaning their messy rooms. But the "good" clean kids get nothing because they are good.

Submitted by OwnerOfCalifornia on September 11, 2015 - 4:00pm.

I can't find anything on SDG&E's website about how exactly this works...only something about $0.75 / kWh "saved".

How is that quantified exactly? Use less than, say, 10 kWh between 11am - 6pm? and I get the difference * 0.75? Or what limit exactly?

Solar people should totally clean up. I have solar and I "used" negative 8.5kWh during the "reduce-your-use" period yesterday (login to my SDG&E account and it breaks out power consumed per day, including the RYU power).

Submitted by an on September 15, 2015 - 5:39pm.

LOL, I said screw you to RYU and the damage so far is:

$103 for the last 16 days
$247 - $334 projected for this billing cycle if I continue similar usage.

I can't fathom how much it would have been w/out solar... probably around $500-600.

Submitted by moneymaker on September 15, 2015 - 7:23pm.

It is based on savings from the average of the previous 5 days, so I imagine that 3rd day in a row of RYU would not get you as much as the first day might. What is not clear to me is is the 5 day average for the 11-6 time frame or the whole day.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on September 16, 2015 - 12:21pm.

What's up with SDGE reducing to 2 tiers from 4 tiers?

Seems like they should charge the heavy users more to encourage people to save energy.

Submitted by bearishgurl on September 16, 2015 - 1:35pm.

FlyerInHi wrote:
What's up with SDGE reducing to 2 tiers from 4 tiers?

Seems like they should charge the heavy users more to encourage people to save energy.

Yeah, I got that e-mail as well. Since my last kid left a year ago, I've always been in Tier 1 and my bills have been only $33 to $66 mo for a 4/2/2 SFR. I'm going to get slammed by next spring when there are only two tiers.

So much for being an energy conservationist. I feel the two-tiered system will be very unfair to single-person households with no A/C or pool. We will undoubtedly end up subsidizing energy-hog households and they shouldn't be my problem .... at all.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on September 16, 2015 - 1:53pm.

BG, I believe the utilities are trying to stem the defection to rooftop solar by higher energy users. So they will charge lower users like you to subsidize the high users (that is to make it less economically self evident to install solar)

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/19/busine...

I think that states may have to regulate utilities and make them non-profit if the big picture goal is to reduce carbon emissions.

There's a lot of polemic in Neveda where NV Energy (owned by Belkshire Hathaway) is doing the same thing.

Tech improvements such as the Tesla Powerball might cause more people to go off grid. Good time to invest in battery makers?

Submitted by bearishgurl on September 16, 2015 - 2:21pm.

FlyerInHi wrote:
BG, I believe the utilities are trying to stem the defection to rooftop solar by higher energy users. So they will charge lower users like you to subsidize the high users (that is to make it less economically self evident to install solar)

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/19/busine...

I think that states may have to regulate utilities and make them non-profit if the big picture goal is to reduce carbon emissions.

There's a lot of polemic in Neveda where NV Energy (owned by Belkshire Hathaway) is doing the same thing.

Tech improvements such as the Tesla Powerball might cause more people to go off grid. Good time to invest in battery makers?

Well my highest bill (dead of winter) with my kid here PT was <$89. So I ALWAYS conserved energy, even when I was a 1.5 person household.

Seriously, how much energy should each person in a household need to use per month ($40 each ... $50 each?). I realize this equation changes if the household has a pool or AC but that household CHOSE to buy/rent a house in an area where AC was needed and/or one with a pool or CHOSE to install a pool themselves. I have owned home(s) with backyard in pool(s) in the past (none which needed A/C, though) but this is no longer my problem, nor should it be.

Moving off the grid actually sounds really great to me, FIH. I'm just wondering about the existence (or more likely, non-existence) of high speed internet in those areas. And experience has taught me that many of those fabulous hideaway homes situated in the bucolic woods "off the grid" need extensive septic/leachfield remediation prior to move-in at a cost of $3800 or more. Assuming the seller refuses to pay for this in escrow, that's enough for me to pay for city sewer for about 9.5 years!

It's not always cheaper to be "off the grid" unless one is satisfied to live a very primitive lifestyle.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on September 16, 2015 - 2:30pm.

I wouldn't want to be off grid sewer/water wise. Too much of a pain.

But off grid electric wise, with solar and a battery array doesn't sound bad. Of course, you can still have high speed internet.

Submitted by bearishgurl on September 16, 2015 - 2:44pm.

FlyerInHi wrote:
I wouldn't want to be off grid sewer/water wise. Too much of a pain.

But off grid electric wise, with solar and a battery array doesn't sound bad. Of course, you can still have high speed internet.

Well, believe it or not, several areas up in the Rockies which I considered putting on my retirement short-list (even "upscale" areas), currently have only DSL internet to choose from, which I don't want after having cable internet in my home since 1999. (I have used DSL service working in older dtn SD bldgs and feel it is not in any way comparable to cable internet svc at all.)

What I like about S. Lake Tahoe is that it is extremely beautiful and has all the amenities and local public services yet a a SLT resident can be in the wilderness in just a few minutes driving.

I just watched the NYT video on the cost of electricity in HI. Although its residents likely don't run heat (or even have heaters in their homes), homes on the Hawaiian Islands are likely all-electric. This makes the utility bills much higher for the its residents.

We in SD have natural gas available to heat our homes, our inside water and cooktops. Natural gas is the favored utility for at least the 1st two purposes.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on September 16, 2015 - 3:24pm.

DSL has improved.
Where you can get AT&T U-Verse TV, their version of DSL is pretty fast, but still slower than cable Internet. I wouldn't let that deter me from a dream home.

For retirement, South Lake Tahoe near the wilderness sounds beautiful and nice but only for 1 month per year for me. I'd rather live in a small apartment in NYC with a view of a brick wall (but with a nicely designed interior, of course). To each his own.

My cousin is retired in Laguna Woods. Just a modest, but nice 2-bedroom condo they remodeled. The husband got the hair-brained idea to buy a house in some boring town in Northern California. He now goes up there alone to take care of it. The wife stays in Laguna Woods where she has a lot of friends and always doing trips and activities of all kinds with them, everyday. The husband is a little weird and loner so has few friends of his own.

Submitted by livinincali on September 16, 2015 - 6:52pm.

bearishgurl wrote:

Yeah, I got that e-mail as well. Since my last kid left a year ago, I've always been in Tier 1 and my bills have been only $33 to $66 mo for a 4/2/2 SFR. I'm going to get slammed by next spring when there are only two tiers.

So much for being an energy conservationist. I feel the two-tiered system will be very unfair to single-person households with no A/C or pool. We will undoubtedly end up subsidizing energy-hog households and they shouldn't be my problem .... at all.

Actually bigger users have been subsidizing your lower cost for a long time. A lot of energy cost is sunk costs like the infrastructure to deliver it and produce it. The fuel itself is relatively cheap all things considered. Solar with net metering has the same advantage where they win while they're neighbors pick up the tab. Granted I don't use a lot of power so I'll get hit too but I'm not surprised by the change.

Submitted by bearishgurl on September 16, 2015 - 11:51pm.

livinincali wrote:
bearishgurl wrote:

Yeah, I got that e-mail as well. Since my last kid left a year ago, I've always been in Tier 1 and my bills have been only $33 to $66 mo for a 4/2/2 SFR. I'm going to get slammed by next spring when there are only two tiers.

So much for being an energy conservationist. I feel the two-tiered system will be very unfair to single-person households with no A/C or pool. We will undoubtedly end up subsidizing energy-hog households and they shouldn't be my problem .... at all.

Actually bigger users have been subsidizing your lower cost for a long time. A lot of energy cost is sunk costs like the infrastructure to deliver it and produce it. The fuel itself is relatively cheap all things considered. Solar with net metering has the same advantage where they win while they're neighbors pick up the tab. Granted I don't use a lot of power so I'll get hit too but I'm not surprised by the change.

I disagree, Livinincali. My neighborhood is over 65 years old and thus, we were "here first." as were the rest of our "brethren" neighborhoods. Existing unburied overhead lines or no, it is what it is and we are frequently/likely "coastal" in location. We should not have to subsidize the Lizardland inhabitant hshld (more often with A/C as well as backyard pool). IT'S NOT OUR PROBLEM that other ratepayers chose to live in lizardland. Many of us ALREADY PAID OUR DUES IN THIS LIFE and wish to retire with utility bills reflective of OUR OWN USE USAGE ONLY, NOT that of subsidizing a family of five who can't manage to turn off their lights or TV's they aren't using.

In other words, the "infrastructure" was always there for ME. Why should I pay for it over again when my infrastructure was paid off in 1962?? What about YOU? Your choices are YOUR problem .... not mine.

IT'S NOT MY PROBLEM, NOR SHOULD IT BE!!

Submitted by bearishgurl on September 17, 2015 - 12:19am.

Oh, and uh, HELLO? EVERYONE has the choice of moving into a "coastal" (read: <=7 miles from the ocean) neighborhood and reaping the benefits of much lower utilities. Will most homebuyers/prospective renters with minor kids attempt this? Uhhh, no. They want a "mcmansion" in lizardland, with all its attendant pest control problems and necessity of A/C a good part of the year.

Now the PUC wants to make this group's (wasteful) utility bill more "fair" for them (and successfully did so) on the backs of the more well-established coastal (and, more often than not, thrifty) ratepayers.

EXACTLY HOW IS THE PROBLEM THE LIZARDLAND INHABITANTS GOT THEMSELVES INTO THE REST OF SD'S PROBLEM, FOLKS. Uhhh, it isn't. It's a matter of personal choice and the ones who are paying several hundred dollars per month to SDG&E made their choices. The rest of the ratepayors (the more prudent group) should not be penalized for this phenonemnon.

Submitted by livinincali on September 17, 2015 - 8:22am.

bearishgurl wrote:

I disagree, Livinincali. My neighborhood is over 65 years old and thus, we were "here first." as were the rest of our "brethren" neighborhoods. Existing unburied overhead lines or no, it is what it is and we are frequently/likely "coastal" in location. We should not have to subsidize the Lizardland inhabitant hshld (more often with A/C as well as backyard pool). IT'S NOT OUR PROBLEM that other ratepayers chose to live in lizardland. Many of us ALREADY PAID OUR DUES IN THIS LIFE and wish to retire with utility bills reflective of OUR OWN USE USAGE ONLY, NOT that of subsidizing a family of five who can't manage to turn off their lights or TV's they aren't using.

In other words, the "infrastructure" was always there for ME. Why should I pay for it over again when my infrastructure was paid off in 1962?? What about YOU? Your choices are YOUR problem .... not mine.

IT'S NOT MY PROBLEM, NOR SHOULD IT BE!!

So you mean when Chula Vista blew up the 1950's era fuel oil power plant a couple years ago you shouldn't have to pay for the replacement power plant to provide you power (you paid for that plant but now it's gone and has to be replaced because it doesn't last forever). Maybe you should get no power since you aren't contributing to the new power plants that need to be built to replace the old power plants that were inefficient and at the end of life. How do they replace the power generated by San Onofre which was a lower cost nuclear power plant?. With more expansive Solar farms and other renewables but you shouldn't have to pay for that either. LOL.

http://articles.latimes.com/2013/feb/03/...

Submitted by bearishgurl on September 17, 2015 - 10:01am.

livinincali wrote:
bearishgurl wrote:

I disagree, Livinincali. My neighborhood is over 65 years old and thus, we were "here first." as were the rest of our "brethren" neighborhoods. Existing unburied overhead lines or no, it is what it is and we are frequently/likely "coastal" in location. We should not have to subsidize the Lizardland inhabitant hshld (more often with A/C as well as backyard pool). IT'S NOT OUR PROBLEM that other ratepayers chose to live in lizardland. Many of us ALREADY PAID OUR DUES IN THIS LIFE and wish to retire with utility bills reflective of OUR OWN USE USAGE ONLY, NOT that of subsidizing a family of five who can't manage to turn off their lights or TV's they aren't using.

In other words, the "infrastructure" was always there for ME. Why should I pay for it over again when my infrastructure was paid off in 1962?? What about YOU? Your choices are YOUR problem .... not mine.

IT'S NOT MY PROBLEM, NOR SHOULD IT BE!!

So you mean when Chula Vista blew up the 1950's era fuel oil power plant a couple years ago you shouldn't have to pay for the replacement power plant to provide you power (you paid for that plant but now it's gone and has to be replaced because it doesn't last forever). Maybe you should get no power since you aren't contributing to the new power plants that need to be built to replace the old power plants that were inefficient and at the end of life. How do they replace the power generated by San Onofre which was a lower cost nuclear power plant?. With more expansive Solar farms and other renewables but you shouldn't have to pay for that either. LOL.

http://articles.latimes.com/2013/feb/03/local/la-me-0203-power-plant-20130203

Well, we've had numerous power outages over the years (all 4-12 hours long). Most notably, last week, on the 8-9th (8 hrs) and 10-11th (6 hrs). They happen on the hottest, muggiest days, the above days being 97 and 94 degrees, respectively. The exact same transformer blows up every time (I can hear the crackling popgun sound sitting at my desk) and on the 8th, a power line went down in the same vicinity, sending out a popping explosion. (Fortunately, it missed hitting motorists.) Invariably, all the stoplights go out on the main drag for a mile-plus, causing sirens for the next hour. It's extremely annoying and I'm finding myself now needing to buy a heavy, battery backup surge protector, even though I already have two surge protectors. I almost lost a portable SATA drive on the 10th (with all my business files and cases on it) but fortunately was able to resurrect it on another computer. I've already lost two routers in past years and am currently on my 4th router and 3rd modem in 14 years (due to them getting "fried" in power outages), with only one router actually purchased as an "upgrade" upon receiving a letter from Cox to do so.

How would YOU like to sleep on a sheet on the floor in front of your front door (security screen) in one of the muggiest nights in history, whilst listening to all your neighbor's generators running? My poor pets!

Yeah, the folks around here ALL KNOW THE DRILL .... very well. Like many (most?) coastal areas, we don't have buried cable and we'll all likely be dead before SDG&E gets around to their undergrounding schedule around here.

Why should we pay higher rates so those "super-users" in buried-cable lizardland can be "comfortable" under their central A/C? What exactly is it that I'll be getting for my money if my utility bill happens to double under a two-tiered rate system (to make it more "fair" for super-users, lol)?

Submitted by bearishgurl on September 17, 2015 - 10:15am.

Let us take into account that a larger household size than one person creates an "economy of scale" of sorts (i.e. 3 people in a hshld watching TV together or 2 kids sleeping in the same room, etc).

Speaking of "super-users," I want to know how much energy (gas & elec) each person in a household SHOULD use. In other words, if I can run a 4/2 2200 sf one-person hshld on $35 to $50 mo in the warm months (gas + elec svc in a near-coastal location), would it be safe to say that $35 - $50 PER PERSON is a fair amount of utilities to use in a hshld of MORE than one person (even if they use A/C periodically or have a pool)?

Would $250 be a fair bill for a 5-person hshld? Coastal or inland? Pool or not? What is the REAL reason people complain about $400+ monthly gas/elec bills in SD? If they don't have a household of 8+ people, WHY are they using so much energy??

I don't have a pool or A/C but use power tools for several hrs per month, run an electric lawnmower twice per month and have a sprinkler system.

Submitted by livinincali on September 17, 2015 - 10:30am.

bearishgurl wrote:

Why should we pay higher rates so those "super-users" in buried-cable lizardland can be "comfortable" under their central A/C? What exactly is it that I'll be getting for my money if my utility bill happens to double under a two-tiered rate system (to make it more "fair" for super-users, lol)?

Their bills will continue to be much higher than yours. A lot of people will see their bill go up somewhat a few people will see their bill go down significantly. If your neighbor uses twice as much power as you does he deserved to be billed 4 times as much when he's in your same shoes when it comes to infrastructure. Go look at this document where you can see that rates for tier 3 and 4 are more than double 1 and 2. The future proposal shrinks that down to about 25% and there still is a heavy penalty for super users.

https://www.sdge.com/sites/default/files...

Let's just be honest with ourselves that low energy users were getting a pretty good deal. I haven't really seen my bill go up much at all in the past 7 years using tier 2 or below power 99% of the time.

Submitted by bearishgurl on September 17, 2015 - 10:54am.

livinincali wrote:
bearishgurl wrote:

Why should we pay higher rates so those "super-users" in buried-cable lizardland can be "comfortable" under their central A/C? What exactly is it that I'll be getting for my money if my utility bill happens to double under a two-tiered rate system (to make it more "fair" for super-users, lol)?

Their bills will continue to be much higher than yours. A lot of people will see their bill go up somewhat a few people will see their bill go down significantly. If your neighbor uses twice as much power as you does he deserved to be billed 4 times as much when he's in your same shoes when it comes to infrastructure. Go look at this document where you can see that rates for tier 3 and 4 are more than double 1 and 2. The future proposal shrinks that down to about 25% and there still is a heavy penalty for super users.

https://www.sdge.com/sites/default/files...

Let's just be honest with ourselves that low energy users were getting a pretty good deal. I haven't really seen my bill go up much at all in the past 7 years using tier 2 or below power 99% of the time.

I downloaded the recent SDG&E bill insert, livinincali. I don't get paper bills so I haven't seen this yet. I'll take a closer look at it later tonight. Thanks for the link.

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