As More Electric Cars Hit The Road, Our Electric Bills Will Get Cheaper

from left: Tesla Model S, Tesla Model 3 and Tesla Model X

FEB 23 2019 BY EVANNEX 118


Regular readers of this column are well aware of the wonderful benefits of EV ownership. However, electric vehicles can also have a positive impact on the electric grid, serving as the perfect complement to renewable energy sources. Jeff McMahon, writing in Forbes, notes that a growing body of evidence supports the idea that the spread of EVs is good news for electric ratepayers.

*This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Charles Morris. The opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily our own at InsideEVs.

Above: Tesla Model 3 (Instagram: yuganin)

“These vehicles plug into our electricity system, and a number of cost-benefit studies are showing that this can be really beneficial to all ratepayers, not just the drivers of the vehicles,” said Matt Stanberry of the trade group Advanced Energy Economy (AEE). “As you increase electricity sales for charging the vehicles, it has the effect of driving down rates for all ratepayers because it spreads the fixed cost of the system out across a larger volume of sales.”

McMahon cites a 2017 study by M.J. Bradley & Associates, which analyzed the impact of EVs in five US states, and found that the benefits flow not only to EV owners in saved fuel and maintenance costs, and to society in reduced carbon emissions, but also to electric ratepayers in the form of reduced fixed costs. In fact, the study found that in some cases utility ratepayers benefited more than the EV owners themselves. For example, in New York the study found $265 in annual benefits from a plug-in vehicle: $18 for the owner, $166 for the utility customer and $81 for society in reduced emissions.

Siemens, which manufactures EV charging equipment, has obvious reasons to take an interest in the issue. “We have heard the complaint come up that the utility-funded programs for EV charging infrastructure are a subsidy to EV owners, who tend to be well off in the first place and are driving their Teslas,” said Chris King, Chief Policy Officer at Siemens Digital Grid. “That couldn’t be more wrong.”

“California, which has close to half a million [EVs], is looking at net benefits already exceeding $1 billion. And this is to non-participating ratepayers,” King said during a recent webinar. King estimates that an EV can produce $2,000 to $2,500 in benefits over its 10-year lifespan. From this standpoint, investments in charging infrastructure benefit all ratepayers, not just EV owners. “It’s not a subsidy in any way to those EV drivers,” he says.

Above: Tesla Model S parked in front of transmission towers (Image: Car Revs Daily)

The benefits to utility customers should only increase as more drivers go electric. E3 has developed a model that can be used to estimate the benefits at different levels of EV penetration. However, for the maximum positive impact on the grid, EV drivers need to charge their vehicles at off-peak times, when there is spare capacity on the electric grid.

McMahon writes that state regulators should not only encourage utilities to invest more in public charging infrastructure, but also to introduce time-of-use (TOU) rates, which offer customers a discount for charging during off-peak hours.

However, there’s another major obstacle to overcome. There is “a lack of customer awareness of the availability of electric vehicles as an option for potential buyers who go out on the market looking for a new car,” says AEE’s Matt Stanberry. He notes that some surveys have found that 60 percent of buyers are unaware that EVs are a viable option, but other surveys have found that up to 84 percent say they would be interested in an EV once the benefits of driving electric are explained. “So there’s a disconnect here.”

Could utilities play a bigger role in educating the public about EVs? “Utilities are really well positioned to help in this education process,” says Stanberry. “They are connected to all ratepayers, and they can really help ratepayers understand the benefits of EVs and [the process of] charging.”


Written by: Charles Morris; Source: Forbes

*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers, free of charge. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX. Check out the site here.

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118 Comments on "As More Electric Cars Hit The Road, Our Electric Bills Will Get Cheaper"

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Wow. Excellent article, I did not know that. So much for the EVs will collapse the grid from the anti-EV crowd.

Do Not Read Between The Lines

It’s long been known that it won’t be a problem. It’s just software away from being a resource.

Never trust a mathematician with your utility rates. Lol

Anyone who thinks the grid will collapse due to EVs has poor understanding of how the grid works and why it is collapsing.

It has little to do with lack of energy and everything to do with lack of power during peak times. EVs will help balance out the duck curve and stabilize the grid. Thus leading to lower costs.

Not a collapse, but there will be a need for power companies to upgrade distribution transformers in very many neighborhoods. When the number of EVs charging off the same transformer reaches a certain threshold, the problem occurs (if the distribution transformer is not designed to handle it).

This need to upgrade distribution transformers will lessen the would-be electric cost reduction. I’m not saying that there won’t be cost reductions, just maybe not as much as we would hope.
Residential solar panel growth also diminishes would-be electric cost reduction. But of course residential solar panel growth is a good thing.

I stopped worrying about grid collapse after I read this study from the Electric Power Research Institute. Basically, normal system upgrades will support the growing number of EVs.

They must be on crack. My state is short of production, so they push solar. Ratepayers pay for those subsidies directly, creating the highest costs in the country. They will never, ever go down. There won’t be any free lunches, the state and power companies are intent on stealing those benefits.

By chance, do you spell “government” “Gubmint”?

Be nice.

I happen to own over 19 MW of (unsubsidized) solar panels, so get off your “special” pedestal. Do you you pay $.28/kWh + to charge your electric car? I do. That is not acceptable. I don’t care how good you think you are at spelling.

Sorry, should have been “over 19 kW of solar”.

For new power generation, Utility Scale Solar PV has a levelized cost in the US WITHOUT subsidy of 5.91 cents/kwh according to EIA (7X decrease in price in just 8 years). That is cheaper than coal at 9.51 cents/kwh.

If the utilities pocket these savings to themselves, they are only hastening their demise. Residential solar for now costs 16 cents/kwh without subsidies but it’ll continue to drop rapidly, sunshot aims to get utility scale solar at 3 cents/kwh and residential solar at 5 cents/kwh by 2030.

Once residential solar is cheaper than grid even without subsidy, they are going to start losing customers in droves. And the cost difference between residential and utility won’t be enough for them to get people to come back either.

So if they want to stay in business in the long term, utilities better start building up goodwill and cut costs for rate payers when possible.

PS The highest rate in the country is Hawaii and it is due to them using expensive oil to generate electricity.

@TheWay is right in some parts.

Solar is already cheaper than fossil fueled electricity at the utility level.
Here in California, the solar groups have noted that PG&E have slowly raised rates instead of lowering them. In fact, PG&E cites the switch to renewable energy as an excuse to raise rates, thinking that the ignorant CA hippies will willingly pay.

Unfortunately, where @TheWay is off is that there is no alternative, even CCA is barely making a dent in rates. PG&E is using UL to fight energy storage. Solar customers cannot go off-grid. Residential energy storage is still too costly for that and is only good for backup and TOU offset.

The cited article’s writer Mr McMahon is on crack. No big corporation will ever lower rates if they have a captive market. More so for PG&E what with Californian’s penchant for suing them for every little thing.

I didn’t say there is an alternative now, but the more utilities make it worse for customers, the more they move their customers to looking for alternatives.

To put it this way, people don’t look for alternatives if they don’t have problems, and the more problems utilities make, the more support they will give to alternatives. Aka, they are killing themselves in the long term for short term gain.

I also showed residential costs are higher than utility costs for solar or non-solar. But that gap is going to shrink within the next decade. And if utilities don’t treat their customers right, they will end up losing everything when people move away from them.

Right. The more the utilities fight to keep their local monopoly and keep charging excessive amounts for electricity, the harder everyone is going to look for an alternative.

To be fair, it’s not all the fault of the utilities. A lot of the problem is an absurd level of regulation by the State of California on just how utilities can and can’t bid on power, a result of “Green” advocates allowing idealism to trump practicality.

That has left a legacy which is still forcing all too many Californians to pay far too much for electricity.

But that can’t last forever. Sooner or later, taxpayers will vote in State representatives who will force changes to the regulatory system. In fact, if my understanding is correct (I don’t live in California), the problem has already abated somewhat… just not enough.

“PS The highest rate in the country is Hawaii and it is due to them using expensive oil to generate electricity.”

Yes, and the installation rate for home solar in Hawaii is so high that the electric utilities have successfully lobbied the State government to require home owners to get the utility to approve hooking up any home solar installation.

That sort of unjustified local monopoly can’t last forever. Sooner or later, there is going to be a taxpayer revolt.

Utilities always have to approve solar systems.

Net metering is a scam that doesn’t scale. Anyone who feeds into the grid should be paid wholesale TOU.

From what i have read, the wait time to be approved in Hawaii is about 5 years. They only allow so many new home solar hookups per year.

They shouldn’t allow any to feed back into the grid. Or at least shouldn’t give any credit for it. Most places in Hawaii already have excess power on sunny days.

So come up with your daytime EV charging solution….

@rad: That’s horrible – why not?? Damn them.

It doesn’t scale – sure. Scam – more like subsidy.
When you distribute to your neighbor, the distribution costs and losses are less so it is worth more than wholesale. Admittedly – not by a lot.
Net metering is a bit like the EV tax credit. We don’t have the stomach to have a carbon tax so we make do with subsidies. It is a problem with our political system.

You have not heard the years of conning by our utility that I have. The lame-assed excuses for raising rates, while simultaneously delaying maintenance on their infrastructure.

And you are right abut Hawaii but you forgot Alaska. So, for the pedantic, the continental US. Better?

“They will never, ever go down.”

Hmmm… “Never” is a long time.

“Hmmm… “Never” is a long time.”

I believe rates in Texas actually declined slightly due to the addition of large amounts of wind power.

“What all of these additional costs have in common is that they stem directly from underlying physical limits with generating electricity from sunlight and wind. Both “fuels” are dilute and unreliable.

To make up for those inherent weaknesses, expanding energy from solar panels and wind turbines requires massively increasing the physical footprint of energy production.

Renewables require the use of vastly more land, longer and less-utilized transmission lines, and large amounts of storage whether from lithium batteries, new dams, compressed air caverns.

All renewables thus require a material throughput — from mining to processing to installing to disposing of the materials later as waste — that is orders of magnitude larger than for non-renewable energy sources.

As such, while there is and will remain complexity and uncertainty about the specific causes of why solar and wind make electricity expensive, most if not all stem from their underlying physical and (thus environmental constraint), which is the limited, diffuse, dilute, and unreliable nature of renewable fuels.

And that’s something we need to talk about — and deal with — if we are to protect the natural environment while expanding prosperity to all.”

You’re crazy – the distributed nature of renewables is a huge advantage, particularly solar, which should be going on roofs, not clear-cutting forests. The beauty of solar panels is that they can be placed where land is already being utilized (roofs, parking lots, etc.). The beauty of wind power is that the land can still be farmed and grazed without any disruption. In fact, it’s an additional source of income to the farmers to lease the land and access to the turbines.

“My state is short of production”

Care to name your mythical state? The last time I heard a similar claim it was Kentucky which didn’t have measurable solar in their electricity mix at the time. At the time they were 96% fossil fuels so if their rates were going up it was FFs and greed not renewables.

California. Look it up. Don’t let that hate blind you.

Here comes another Con…

You mean the the biggest subsidiary that government gave to oil and coal was putting one of them as director of EPA and getting rid of regulations

Lets see the history of rate increases. Id love to see where electricity rates have been reduced.

Electric charging stations both public and in home recieve subsidized reduced rates. (Subsized by increased rates for home users.)
So if you increase the number of EV usage at their reduced rate. Then averages would seem to go down.

But even that is not true.

Reduced rates for EV are relatively new. So even one extra EV add today will reduce average rates even if the rate for the second EV is higher than the first.

Electric rates in many place are low. But they will rise as the infrastructure must be built out.

I am 68 years old and never once in my adult life has rates, the cost per kwh ever gone down.
I doubt many people actually look at anything but the total on there electric bill.

Electric companies in California are required to send a letter to the top 5% of residential power users every six months. I know this because I get a letter informing me that I am exceeding the average neighborhood bill by 110%, every six months. So, at least a few Californians know that they are using tons of electricity, and exactly how much this costs them.

In that letter, my provider, Southern California Edison, then proceeds to list ways I could save, like caulking, more insulation, leaving my blinds open in the winter, using more LEDs. It’s really humorous, while being somewhat irritating.

You see, I have 3 EVs. I don’t waste electricity. My 3 EVs use more than half the output from my overall bill. SCE knows this. They provided a $750 credit on every one of my EVs. But still, they send me the required notice. Someday, electric companies will figure out how to count the number of EVs on their network.

Do you have a solar roof?

I agree with ron. If you do not have solar on the roof, get it. ASAP.

From 1990 to 2017 US electricity generation increased by about 43%. (about 2,800 to 4,034 Billion Kwh)

Retail prices for electricity increased by 60%. (6.57 c to 10.54 c )

/tell me again how increased production/consumption is going to decrease the price?

Uhm, you forgot to adjust for inflation.

6.57 cents in 1990 is 12.52 cents in 2017.

So a price of 10.54 is actually about 20% drop in price.

Ummm, ok ….

“Between 2000 and 2019: Electricity experienced an average inflation rate of 2.64% per year. This rate of change indicates significant inflation. In other words, electricity costing $100 in the year 2000 would cost $164.17 in 2019 for an equivalent purchase. Compared to the overall inflation rate of 2.02% during this same period, inflation for electricity was higher.”

But that’s only looking at the last two decades, when the focus has been on using more and more renewable energy, which is more expensive to generate.

Contrariwise, looking at a longer period of time, the rates have fallen drastically since the 1920s, even while demand has risen quite substantially.

Okay, but come 2000, electricity usage has plateaued due to focus on efficiency.

But it certainly won’t be on a plateau if everyone starts driving a big battery BEV. My rough guess is that if everyone replaced their gasoline vehicle with a equivalent BEV, you could nearly double residential electricity consumption.

That would require an upgraded grid and significantly more power generation — that wouldmean increased cost per Kwh. I would also argue that at this stage of the battery game, .. plug in hybrids and higher efficiency vehicles — (like the Rav4 hybrid) might be a better overall fit.

/I was just sketching a guess off of what I think a typical household would use, Didn’t see Windbourne’s post below.
// if everyone traded their current vehicle in for a prius prime or a 28 Kwh ioniq EV, that would be a different story, … but that ain’t gonna happen.

If every car were to go electric, it would only be about a quarter increase, maybe even less.

There is no need for any major upgrades, there is enough offpeak capacity to power every car.

About 1.8 drivers per household in the US. Average household electricity consumption is 867 Kwh/mo. Average driver– 13,474 mi/year.

Optimistically figuring 3 mi/Kwh (charging efficiency losses, pre-conditioning, BEV pickups and SUVs — could be higher), .. I get that to come out to 674 Kwh/mo. ….or a 78% increase in average household electricity consumption– could be higher.

/now if everybody was going to drive a prius prime or ioniq EV, then that 3 mi Kwh might need an upward adjustment, … but that ain’t gonna happen.

How I calculate is as follows:

In US, the total miles traveled was 3.22 trillion miles. If say we do use 3 miles per kwh, that ends up 1.073 trillion kwh, 1.073 billion mwh, 1.073 million gwh, 1,073 twh.

US generated a total of 4,090.58 twh in 2017. 1,073/4,090.58 which is about 26% or a quarter.

US VMT includes trucks, busses etc… That’s not going to be 3 miles per KWh.

My posts above are focused on the residential section of the “grid”. Including commercial and industrial kind of takes us off in another direction.

/ and BTW, we haven’t even started talking about our aging electric infrastructure— much of which is getting close to it’s planned 50 year lifespan ( 5 trillion $ upgrade needed?)

My rough guess is that if everyone replaced their gasoline vehicle with a equivalent BEV, you could nearly double residential electricity consumption.

That may be true.
However, we are replacing all road vehicles now. As such, we will double our electricity over the next 10-15 years (do not forget about replacing vehicles, but growth as well).

And efficiencies will gradually drag down electricity use over that some decade.

It only provided price data to 2011

I live in PA, electric generation was de-regulated here over a decade ago and rates have done nothing but go down since.

“I am 68 years old and never once in my adult life has rates, the cost per kwh ever gone down.”

Likely true, but that’s not the right question. The right question is: Have electricity rates always gone up as fast as inflation? Haven’t inflation-adjusted electricity rates actually gone down over time in most areas?

It would be interesting to look at what happened in the U.S. during the ’60s and ’70s, when most businesses and homes installed central air conditioning for the first time. That certainly caused a significant increase in electricity demand, and some say that was just as big an increase as it will be for converting cars to EVs.

Unless you can point to the real, inflation-adjusted price for electricity going up during that period, then I don’t thing you’ve got a valid historical argument.

“Lets see the history of rate increases. Id love to see where electricity rates have been reduced.”

It isn’t all about the rates. In CA we have some of the highest rates in the nation but our average bill is lower than the national average.

During the drought locally our efficiency measures were effective enough that our water district had to raise rates to stay financially viable. Even after the rate increases the average water bill declined. In contrast after the much hearalded federal tax rate cut our federal tax bill increased.

Mild climate and lots of residential NG use is why your average bill is lower. Doesn’t hurt that RE costs are high so average square footage is lower. But the main thing is you don’t need to heat a lot – and when you do, you use NG. You don’t need to a/c that much which is always a/c (Depending on where you are).
Much of the US uses electricity to heat water – but almost no one in CA does.

Haha, you bought their con-job hook, line and sinker. I heard that claim from them and laughed.

California benefits from the mildest climate in the country, our energy costs should among the lowest per month.

Electric charging stations both public and in home recieve subsidized reduced rates. (Subsized by increased rates for home users.)

Wow. Not only are you ancient, but you have no knowledge of utilities or economics.

First, electricity prices HAVE gone done before. But it is always a ploy by utilities to make themselves look good. IOW, they do that at end of fall, and then raise it again next quarter. So, yeah, I agree with you.
Secondly, I am charging our EV, and it is based solely on time. If we do it during peaktime, we pay .18/kwh. At off-peak, it is .08. And the shoulder is .12. Point is, NONE of that is subsidized. Why? Because if we do the dishes or laundry/dryer in the middle of the night, we still pay .08 / kwh. The advantage to Excell is that they have plenty of excess power during the night (2100-0900, but are very tight in the peak time (1400-1800).

The fact that you think that shows such ignorance.

@Gary The difference between cost and rate is the issue. The original article is correct that rates should fall because costs fall, but whether rates fall depends on the decisions of the utilities, and they look for any excuse to raise them, regardless of validity.

The other cost savings they don’t mention is that there is pretty much no net increase in total energy required. To see this note that it takes about 6-7 kWh to refine a gallon of gas. That same amount of electricity will power an EV for about 24 miles, assuming about 4 miles/kWh. Now my memory is that average fleet fuel economy in the US is 24 mpg. So just reallocate the same amount of energy to transportation as it takes to refine fuel in the first place.

The second advantage is the use of off peak charging, because you better believe a refinery doesn’t shut down at peak hours of electricity demand.

The third issue is that refineries pay commercial rates, which are peanuts compared to residential rates. To provide some context, I was talking to a friend who works at Sandia National Lab. They pay less than 4 cents a kWh. Even if a regulated utility only passed on half the cost difference to consumers it would be huge win for both.

Ya is takes some revising of the distribution system, but the grid needs some serious updating anyway.

Great point about hidden costs of refinement. Now add in the pipeline and trucking costs and environmental costs of oil leeching into the ground from old leaky gas stations. By this point the picture is very compelling for electrons.

“…it takes about 6-7 kWh to refine a gallon of gas.”

Sadly, this is an EV advocate myth. Most of the energy for refining gasoline, diesel and other fractional petroleum distillates comes from heat generated by burning waste products of the refining process, not from electricity.

Yes, substantial electricity is used during the refining process. But it’s probably on average less than 2 kWh per gallon, not 6-7 kWh.

On the other hand, the ghg emissions associated with “burning waste products of the refining process” and other refining processes add from between 15 to 30% to the emissions from burning the gasoline itself – and it’s much worse if its shale oil that was fracked.

Shale oil is light and much easier to refine.

Kudos to Pushmi for being an EV advocate without being selective about facts. Humans have a hard time with this.

“Yes, substantial electricity is used during the refining process. But it’s probably on average less than 2 kWh per gallon, not 6-7 kWh.”

Based on EIA’s2017 numbers it looks like the electricity, natural gas (as opposed to still gas),and steam purchased come to the equivalent of about 2.5 kWh per gallon of gas refined. I’m assuming that close to 100%of the gas consumed in US is refined in the US. This is only the refining process though. It does not include extraction or distribution.

“it takes about 6-7 kWh to refine a gallon of gas”

Please do not spread this ridiculous lie, it only serves to make people dumber. Refineries typically use 0.1-0.3 kWh of electricity per gallon of fuel output. Just one example:

“The Flint Hills refinery requires roughly 120 MW of power, 24 hours a day to operate”

Flint Hills outputs 339,000 bpd:
339k bpd * 42 gal/barrel = 14.2 million gallons/day
120 MW * 24 hours = 2.88 million kWh
(2.88 million kWh/day) / (14.2 million gallon/day) = 0.2 kWh per gallon

“Refineries typically use 0.1-0.3 kWh of electricity per gallon of fuel output. Just one example:”

What is the variance of a sample size of one?

I think it much better to use EIA’s numbers for all refineries. You’ve not included natural gas purchased or steam purchased both of which could be used to produce electricity.

It was just one example, as I said, but the numbers are typical.

Refineries use lots of low grade heat, not much electricity. Here’s one that generates up to 1 kWh of electricity per gallon:

Guess what? They need less than half of that and export the rest to the grid.

This is an important factor to remember when ICErs claim EVs are freeloading on the road system, not paying gas taxes.

First, some states do charge EVs fees to make up for this (mine is quite high). But, second, just as gas consumers might overpay for road infrastructure, we are overpaying for electrical infrastructure, especially in areas like mine that don’t charge based on time-of-day, and charge higher rates for each marginal kWh.

Since everybody benefits both from roads and the grid, this is mostly a wash.

BEV and ICEv drivers pay the same for healthcare but ICEv cause a lot more damage to health.

BEV and ICEv drivers pay the same for Middle Eastern Wars and to protect Oil Tankers sailing through the Point of Hormuz and the Suez Canal but BEVs don’t use oil for fuel.

And to those that say Americans don’t use very much Middle Eastern oil, the price of oil is not determined by national or regional supply and demand. Oil is a global fungible product whose price depends on global supply and demand. The purchase of a gallon of gasoline/diesel anywhere in the world supports the price of oil everywhere in the world. That is why the US military is in the Middle East.

“As More Electric Cars Hit The Road, Our Electric Bills Will Get Cheaper” – Oh dear oh dear… THEY said the same when what’s-his-name said if you like your Dr. you can keep your Dr.

As an MD, I can tell you this is absolutely true. But it is a function of private insurance, not ACA. ACA does encourage networks but do remember the intent- set up a ridiculous system to make a single payer more palatable. Medicare for all eliminates the problem. At this point the quasi monopoly of BCBS has made Medicare for all worth it just to put BCBS out of business.

Medicare for all doubles or triples tax rates for everyone. It works in theory, but nobody will want to pay the bill.

Yeah, we can see how Canadians pay 2x or 3x the U.S. tax rate for their single-payer health care system.

Oh, wait…

I can’t wait for single-payer health care to become the norm in the USA! Just think of the savings and the improvement in access to health care for everyone!

Actually, you have it backwards. In practice, universal health care systems throughout the developed world – single-payer or not – all cost less.

The sensical thing would be to have employers pay. They just change a line item from $8000 per employee from BCBS to Medicare. I did make up the $8000 but you can plug in whatever similar number you want.
While I do feel for all the employees at BCBS, I will get over it and so will they.
I didn’t always feel this way, but there has ceased to be any value-add in private health insurance in the US.
When was the last time you actually looked at your electric bill.

You don’t have electricity under rocks…

Oh Dear How many times a day has the current occupant of the WH said something incorrect.

I can’t count that high. One of those fact-checking organizations says that about 2/3 of the sentences coming out of his mouth in public are rated as mostly or completely false… not just stretching the truth a bit.

So perfect economic justice comes from just submitting to the infallible will of Big Fossil and Big Pharma and Big Insurance as compliant crack whores to respectable old White pimps and never upsetting their status quo. The mysterious enemy is not just “socialists”, it’s capitalists who have a different idea. Suddenly, when the latter appear, the good conservative falls all over himself defending rigged markets that make a joke of real competition, from the Pentagon to nuclear power.

This makes no sense, unless one’s underlying agenda is to say that the corporate oligarchy we endure is infallible, because to admit that it’s not would lead us to question the tremendous explosion of inequality around us and seek reform.

“THEY said the same when what’s-his-name saiD….”

Said I was getting the greatest tax cut ever? My federal taxes went up by thousands.

oh, that is because you are middle to low class. Sorry. Nothing for you.

“that is because you are middle to low class. ”

Actually I’m probably classified as upper middle class. I’m below the AMT most years. The loss of deductions that were eliminated were the main source of my tax increase.

it was somewhat meant to be funny.
Most of the ppl that are paying more in taxes are middle to low class.
IOW, the GOP put the hit on the lower classes, rather than upper class.

President Barack Obama said, “Every single good idea to bend the cost curve and start actually reducing health care costs [is] in this bill.”

I don’t know about you, but my health care costs have gone up substantially.

Endless government solutions.

“don’t know about you, but my health care costs have gone up substantially.”

The ACA succeeded in increasing the availability of healthcare and slowing the overall rate of cost increases.

Not to worry, The current POTUS promised you great healthcare that you were going to love. Are you saying you don’t love your healthcare and that he didn’t deliver?

Very true. After buying Nissan Leaf, I switched from fixed rate to real timing pricing and charge the vehicle only at night with the night time prices being very low.
This also helps the power plants run at a constant load during the night time also.
Normally the night time power consumption will be lesser and the plants run at much lower capacity.
If more people buy EVs and switch to real time pricing, then the power plants will run for more hours at night earning more with the same equipment.
Consumer gets lower price. Environment is much cleaner.
Besides some customers may also install solar panels which provide cheaper energy over long run.
Win win win.

Absolutely they could do more AND help themselves with load management. Technically it is not hard to slow down EV charging when supply is tight and to ramp up extra charging when demand is slack. It is far easier to do than to ramp up and down generation plants.

Exactly. Dispatchable load is the future. EVs are by far the largest potential dispatchable load.

The concept that using more electricity via electric cars will lead to lower electric rates does not make sense to me. It would seem more likely that the opposite occurs: higher usage requires more infrastructure buildout or greater production, which leads to higher rates. And I get a 404 error (not found) when I try to check the Forbes article for clarification.

The MJ Bradley article referenced projections of savings in 2030 and 2050, which may or may not be accurate since many things can change in that amount of time and the researchers’ assumptions may or may not be accurate. The E3 article referenced benefits of changing charging behavior from overnight to midday. Neither of these articles present a case why or how electric vehicles reduce electric rates today with current charging behavior.

” It would seem more likely that the opposite occurs: higher usage requires more infrastructure buildout or greater production, which leads to higher rates.”

Yep. Historically that has been the case (see my post above)

Nope. Historically, inflation-adjusted electricity rates have fallen drastically over time even while demand has soared. You’ve cherry-picked the time period to make it appear otherwise.

Nope – the primary infrastructure cost is distribution. Every house has electricity and no increase is needed. If there is a local transformer problem, then introducing TOU makes it go away. Or introducing demand charges. Or allowing a smart charger. So many potential fixes for the local problem.

EVs do not have to increase regional peak generation one single bit. The bulk are charged at night.

Now on a sunny but cool day in a high solar generation area, the utility may want every single EV to charge and that is a bit of an infrastructure challenge. But the payoff is zero fossil fuel use – ie fuel costs.

“Yep. Historically that has been the case (see my post above)”

Were it not for game changing renewables your historical perspective might be relevant to the present. The cost of renewables have fallen below the most cost effective FF, NG. Renewables are declining fast enough that now intermittent renewables plus storage are cheaper than NG. The costs of Both Renewables and storage will continue to decline which spells real trouble for NG and coal.

Then electricity rates in Germany ought to be dirt cheap, … they are not.
“The run-away expansion of wind turbines and solar panels has made German prices the highest in Europe since 2013, not just because of surcharges but because more volatile green power capacity also necessitates new transmission grids and higher costs to manage them.”

and they are adding batteries to manage it. Lots of issues in Germany, and lots of expense.
The nations that are lowering their CO2 are doing so with nuclear, geothermal, and hydro.

Since when is more sales (from adding the EV owners) a bad thing? You build infrastructure to sell to more customers.

“…higher usage requires more infrastructure buildout or greater production, which leads to higher rates.”

So, you’re saying that the economy of scale doesn’t apply to generating electricity? Why would that be?

I don’t think there is any question that average inflation-adjusted electricity rates — that is, the price per kWh — will go down over time, as more and more power plants are built out to supply more demand, from more and more plug-in EVs. The problem, of course, is that rates are not going to decrease by an equal amount everywhere. Inevitably, there will be areas where increased demand will result in increased rates. And people living in those areas will be complaining loudly indeed… just as they are now.

“higher usage requires more infrastructure buildout”

Higher **peak** usage requires more infrastructure buildout. Charging EVs off-peak allows utilities to get more revenue from the same infrastructure. This lowers the per kWh cost.

Whether that lower cost will be passed to consumers is a political issue. It generally will not be in states like CA and NY.

“As you increase electricity sales for charging the vehicles, it has the effect of driving down rates for all ratepayers because it spreads the fixed cost of the system out across a larger volume of sales.”

As a general rule, I have no doubt this is going to be true… sharply contrary to what EV haters keep telling us!

However, the danger is applying a general rule to a specific case. There are areas where electricity rates are much higher than they ought to be by any rational standard; areas such certain regions of downstate New York. In such areas, where electricity rates are unnecessarily high due to local fees, short-sighted regulatory restrictions on utilities generating or buying power, and/or inadequate maintenance of the grid, then the greater demand for electricity from more and more EVs may actually drive up prices.

So let’s not pretend that increasing demand for electricity is going to be a win-win for everyone. Just as with any substantial change to utilities, there will be winners and there will be losers.

Our intuition about the grid and power companies is completely backwards. I have a few stories I use to help illustrate this. I was in Hong Kong decades ago, and I saw on ad on television in the hotel. There was a cartoon of a drop of water telling viewers to ‘take an extra long hot shower this weekend!’ This was from the power company–they were telling us to use more water and more power. The company I work for makes a product that uses a lot of power. As our sales went up, our test units drew so much power we blew out the transformer out in the street (actually underground). So the power company beefed up their power and put in another transformer. More growth, another blown transformer. They happily did it again. Think of it like a McDonalds. There was a McDonalds near my work that was very crowded at lunch time, so the drive through took a long time. What do you think they talked about in the McDonalds offices? “Oh no, our hamburger supply chain is overloaded. We have to tell people to eat fewer hamburgers.” Of course not. They just built another McDonalds and… Read more »

We have more energy efficient lights, motors, appliances, semiconductors, servers etc. and renewable energy once it’s built the energy to power is free for the life of the solar or wind turbines.


Right – the power companies are incentivized to encourage conservation. That incentive is money and does not go away from their profit motive. When Duke Energy is subsidizing my light bulbs (there were little signs for years on the LED bulbs), they are doing it for profit. How this formula works out is unclear to me, but it does.
When Duke pays me for installing solar panels or making my house more efficient, they are either getting paid or hitting targets that the government requires to maintain their monopoly status and guaranteed profit margin. Either way, it favors their profit.

Seems like residents adopted solar faster than the utilities could handle it, but the utilities are learning to minimize solar feed in curtailment:

Also, they have recently made this big announcement (mind blowing solar + storage):

Finally, 5 reasons to be optimistic about Hawaii’s clean energy future:

Past solar-plus-storage prices in Hawaii came in at 13.9 cents per kilowatt-hour in 2016 and 11 cents per kilowatt-hour in 2017. One of the projects announced this week by Hawaiian Electric is more expensive than the latter price — 15 megawatts of solar and 60 megawatt-hours of storage at 12 cents per kilowatt-hour. But another 90 megawatts of solar and 360 megawatt-hours of storage came in at what Finn-Foley called a “jaw-dropping” 8 cents per kilowatt-hour. That means that from 2016 to 2019 solar-plus-storage PPA prices in the state dropped by 42 percent.

Will Giese, executive director at Hawaii’s Solar Energy Association, called the pricing “mind-blowing.”

“With prices like these, it’s easy to understand the confidence of Hawaiian electric providers that their islands can hit 100 percent renewables ahead of the 2045 mandate,” said Finn-Foley.

Though Hawaii still relies mostly on oil for electricity, it’s gaining on its goal to reach 100 percent renewables by 2045. In a statement released before the new year, Hawaiian Electric President and CEO Alan Oshima said that in 2018 the company made significant progress in pursuit of that target.

“David Bissell, president and CEO of the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative, says that providing solar to the grid without batteries cost the cooperative 20 cents per kilowatt hour in 2013. The solar power was purchased from rooftop solar customers who participated in the cooperative’s net energy metering program, …. Recent grid-scale projects consisting of both solar and battery storage have come in at around 11 cents per kilowatt hour.”

They pay 20 cents to well-off homeowners for rooftop WITHOUT storage vs. 11 cents for large-scale WITH storage. Other ratepayers shoulder that extra cost. Kauai has excess solar production on sunny days – those 20 cent mid-day kWhs are basically worthless. It’s just brain dead.

“What has helped keep these prices so low are the availability of state and federal tax credits. Without them, or even a decline in the amount of support they provide, the cooperative would not be able to employ as much renewable.”

Nice of the other 49 states to pitch in, but we need solutions that scale up.

Ok, there ARE issues here, which I have tried to convey multiple times here. First, our electric bills will NEVER get cheaper. Costs may go down, but I can promise you that utilities will not charge us less. So disavow that idea right here and now. Secondly, Grids/powerplants CAN be harmed. In addition, it IS possible for us to overwhelm the grids (yes, we have multiple grids, but not enough of them). Think about this for a moment and use just a little bit of logic. Electricity uses about 30% of the energy that America consumes. The vehicles on our roads consume about 33% of the energy. So, what we are talking about is doubling the electricity needed. So, where does the electricity & spare grid come from? Here is power plants: 1) Nat Gas is about 30%, and it around 90% capacity. IOW, nat gas is ran 90% of the time. 2) Coal is around 30% and it is around 50% capacity. 3) Nuclear is around 20% & is around 95% capacity. 4) hydro is around 7% & is ~95% capacity. 5) wind/solar/geothermal, etc is the rest (~13%) & is around 95% capacity. Those power plants that are already… Read more »

You said: “The vehicles on our roads consume about 33% of the energy.” You are forgetting that EVs are some 4x more efficient than gas cars. 33/4= 8.25% . Roughly the energy used in refining gas!!

I find it hard to believe that NG is running at 90% capacity. They are called peaker plants for a reason.
Nat gas could be run 90% of the time and generate only 10% of capacity. They turn them way down at night but keep them spinning because it is more cost-effective to do so.
That is your fallacy. Idling does not count the same as full output. You clarify your statement with “ran 90% of the time” but the way you describe it looks dishonest (or political).
An article a long time ago (now) stated that we had enough night time slack for 80% of miles driven. It will take at least a decade to get there (and probably more).
There should be enough solar and wind to get to the other 20% by then.

nat gas power plants come in various forms. Peaking plants, unless old power plants are used inefficiently , are Turbines. PP is about 25% of all nat gas power plants. The turbines are around 2/3 of that, so 18%? These are inefficient and expensive to run, but are relatively cheap to install. How expensive to run? Here in Colorado, Xcel claims these cost .18-.23 / kwh. So, This is not what is going to charge our EVs. So, 75% of 30% (nat gas % of total) are combined-cycle plants and these are around 95% usage. Keep in mind that the new NG poer plants being built are NOT peaking plants. These are replacing old coal plants. This is YOUR fallacy and obvious political approach to this, in not knowing the facts. There WAS enough slack to cover our EVs for a long time. Multiple studies have shown that. And yes, all were more than 5 years ago, and most were more than 10 years ago. The problem comes in moving to wind/solar. Wind is mostly nighttime and solar is obviously daytime. This is becoming obvious in CA. They flipped the peak time. FOr them, nightime is now their concern. That… Read more »

“And since you are such a huge believer in AE, let look at”

Looked at that laughable article that contends CA Would be better off if we had invested in nuclear.

Look at GA who got state approval for Vogtle in 2003. They haven’t gotten a single watt out of units 3&4 and won’t until sometime next decade. They will only be able to complete it after bribing current Regime for billions in federal handouts so CA is paying for GA’s folly. Vogtle 3&4. Are going to cost about 25billion so CA could have opted for 8 of these which would have provided about 36% of our electricity needs not the 100+% claimed.

In contrast the nation and world are benefitting from CA’s investments in the solar and wind industries. A few shady charters have benefitted from Vogtle.

yeah. That is why I normally include speaking of 4th gen SMRs. NuScale is a great example. But to date, not a SINGLE nation that has pushed wind/solar has achieved it relatively low costs.

And if CA’s had invested into Nuclear power, instead of Solar/Wind, they would already have zeroed out their pollution due to electricity.

I will say that solar panels on rooftops is actually a great thing.
Also, doing solar in the desert, which CA has, is ideal.

I like to refer to Forbes as the thinking man’s Fox News. Shellenberger is a bit biased pro-nuclear – and that is being nice. Nuclear is not without significant issues. I am a big fan of nuclear because you do need some baseload and you particularly need winter energy.

Someone once said – “all of the above”.

All of the above EXCEPT fossil fuel.
We need an energy matrix with none having more than 33%
Though to be fair, I would like to see us stop build solar over regular land. Horrible mistake.
Desert is fine, but regular land with vegetation, trees, etc does more to stop climate change that putting solar there. Instead, put solar on roofs or over parking lots.

And yeah, he is biased. Irks me since we need all, but, he is correct about numbers.

You already forgot about Fukushima a d that nuclear energy is more expensive plus there still isn’t somewhere to safely store the highly radioactive spent fuel.

Yeah your so right and the other nuclear plant V.C. Summers in S.C. is in a similar situation.
The billions that were wasted will be paid by rate payers.
The utility could allow consumers to install solar panels and batteries to there home.
Or at least build utility scale wind a d solar power. It would have been generating power years ago for less money.