Do you change electrical plan when you get the car ?

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Mar 14, 2017
Being totally new to this, had the car for 3 days... Thinking about solar but nowhere near that yet...

So would you switch to an EV plan with your utility (PG&E, no solar for now), to get the 11PM-7AM break, or does whatever current residential default plan I (and everyone else has by default) work the same re: night time discount ? I can't get a straight answer from PG&E !

Right now I'm on the sad 110V charger, which takes longer to recharge than the 11-7 window (11-12hrs for my commute), so if I bought a 240V charger I could fit within that 11-7 window and save on kwh prices presumably... I'd like to know if I also need to change plans now that I'm charging that golf, or if even generic plans are cheaper at night? and if I did switch to an EV plan, would it affect my rates the rest of the time unfavorably ? I'm sure I cannot be the first to ask, sorry if this is common, I searched but it was mostly about solar... I don't have solar...
So from experience the EV rate does not impact your daily use much ? I do need AC in summer...
[Edit]... PGE schooled me finally, after 30 min wait ;-) I'll share:

Problem is right now my house is mistakenly under an EM plan, as if it was a multiple residence with a submeter, not the case. So I need to be moved to E1 first, standard deal, then I can go EV-A in a couple months (just missed that bill cycle). That'll give me data to compare anyway since I've only had the car for 3 days !

The calculation of E1/EV-A aren't totally clear to me yet, their site doesn't list a Golf either so I picked a fiesta ;-( Right now (EM, E1) I'm billed in tiers, up to a certain threshold of usage, rate 1 (cheap), up to 2nd tier of usage, price goes up, etc till tier 3... EV-A is apparently not tiered, just different price at different hours...

So Charging the car 11PM-7AM is cheapest, but my new EV-A plan peak with expensive electricity will be 2-9PM, and partial peak 9-11PM.. So that portion might cost me more, but the car portion less... In other words if I can shift some heavy usage to off peak hours (11-7AM or early AM), like washer/dryer, I should be better off with EV-A... The tough part is since the car is new I have zero comparison, my rate would go up either way, just one less than the other... So I'll wait 2 months and see how I get affected, then switch, then if necessary move back...

I'd like to hear from you guys that moved, if it worked for all... I kept hearing refills were $2-3 but from the sound of this, it looked like it would cost more...less than gas but not tons less... Wondering if you need solar to get the benefit of an EV here..
What is your location and what is your typical kWh usage throughout the year?

If you want to download your SmartMeter data from PG&E for the past year, I can help you calculate your energy charges on each of the residential rate plans with and without EV charging added.
That's very kind of you, but I don't want to pester you to much... I understand we need to talk data, but basically I was looking for rule of thumb for people who get an EV - on average are you better off on EV-A or is it not an obvious choice ? Do folks switch back ?

I glanced at the power bills and I'm basically averaging 750 kw/mo from Dec to april
and 650 from may to November. $68 low to $130 high for power, I had no idea gas was such a big part of my damn bill (Ebill, I never checked)... Basically brutal gas bill for winter heat ($170+elec), bigger electrical in summer (AC)..

Last month,
[email protected] for $65 + (tier 1)
360 [email protected] for $88 (tier 2)
[email protected] for $33 (tier 3) and some generation fee refund (I think my county has another provider paired with PGE and they make power or something).

EVA rates are peak $0.45/KW, part peak .25, off .12.. Tricky math because My bill does not measure when we consume the most, I think most of our power is peak time now, so our bill under EV-A would go up from 2-9Pm usage quite a bit, can't tell if the 11-7AM would offset it... Will have to try !!!!!!!!!!
Two things come to mind that may help you decide

As of 3/1/17, PG&E got rid of tier 3 and 4 and raised the price of tiers 1 and 2 by about 5%. There is a high usage rate for those that go above 300% of baseline (or 4x of the baseline allowance).

In general, if you charge your car overnight every night you'll probably be better off with EV-A since the EV-A off peak rate is roughly half of the tier 1 E1 and E6 rate.
Here are two samples I ran with data from family members that don't have solar.

This first example is from my retired parent's townhouse. The rates are from 2014, so the figures will be slightly different now, but the time periods and pattern differences are the most important part, not the absolute prices.


Their average electric bill was pretty low and this was back when there were 5 tiers in E-1. Now there are only 3. You can see that it did increase their costs for household use, but the incremental cost to add EV charging was less than $60/month which came to 6c/mile.

The second example is my brother in-law's house. They use a lot more power because he works from home and they have a relatively large house.


You can see that their bills were already much higher to start with and adding EV charging only increased their bill by less than $25/month. There is an error in the $/kWh calculation, it should be $0.0835/kWh incremental cost. That is less than the off-peak rate, so changing plans reduced the charges for their household usage too because the EV rate has no tiers and high-usage penalty. The incremental cost to charge an EV in this case was only 2.5c/mile.
Great charts, thank you very much ! Exactly the sort of mental picture I was looking for !

I will switch over as soon as I can. I need to get on E1 first as mentioned before (accidentally in EM) and then I can switch, there is no possibility of switching from EM to EV !!! And if we can adjust a few more things to EV off-peak, it will help also (like dryer, dishwasher, device charging, whatever)...
I'm on the other coast and switched my rate plan with BGE to the Residential EV TOU. I'm not home during the day to suck up peak power, so the 3 hours an evening I'm using peak power is offset by the off-peak charging, and then some. The first month with the car I kept my standard rate plan, when I switched I saved about $20 a month.