Local utilities are terrified of Tesla's Powerwall 2


(Re-uploaded to correct an audio issue)
This Quick Topic covers the real reason your local utility is discouraging home battery adoption and the reason that in the same breath they seek to be the ones to install the batteries.

Never before have the utility companies been confronted with a situation where they are in direct competition with their customers… … and they are absolutely terrified of it.

If you are interested in solar, I would highly recommend you contact SunWorks using this promotional link. Mention the Energy Sovereignty Project and see what they can do for you.


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19 replies
  1. David Kendall
    David Kendall says:

    Thanks for doing this. I installed 2 PW2's 16 months ago to complement our 7 year old 13.2 kWh PV system, operating in self powered mode since installation, and operating as a microgrid for ~9 months exporting ~60 percent of our excess solar back to grid. We have net metering and they pay us for net metered production up to $5k/year. We also have two Tesla's that we charge off our roof. The PW2's have worked flawlessly for us up in Edmonds, WA. We do rely on grid energy to supplement our solar November – mid February. Our utility provider was easy to work with, probably as we were only the second PW2 installation in WA at the time we installed.

  2. david r
    david r says:

    I like your idea, but I think you would have to go off-grid, for this to work for each home. I think someone will have to pay for the grid, in the long run. or leave it like it is.

  3. Jim Whitehead
    Jim Whitehead says:

    Electric utilities aren't afraid of a little solar. They are afraid one day their monopoly is up when people start selling excess power to the neighbors by running a line between their properties (phase-matched to the grid, etc). Its technically possible to do it now, but most don't know it. This is why many utilities try to ban the practice and never discuss it publicly. Their fat cat monopoly will be up. For example, Colorado allows little solar, unless you own EVs. Each EV you have allows more panels. (See DaErik). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_h0TTwV32s&list=PL5ELX7Co6gbn3JOhF9aLCkgP3v2945Uym

  4. W N
    W N says:

    They've tried to outlaw the private homeowner from installing solar PV systems in AZ. The lobbying group was the electric utilities backed by the Walton Family and Warren Buffet….two major shareholders. The Republican backed bill failed a few years ago and they will be trying to vote on it again.

    This past year, they convinced the public to vote against mandatory Solar PV generation by the utilities serving the Phoenix metro area. Claiming it will raise their future rates by 80%.
    So the bill was killed by the ill-informed and paranoid public. Convinced it was government interference and socialism. This country is so corrupt.

  5. Chris Teasdale
    Chris Teasdale says:

    The more and more home owner grid tied PV and batteries we keep adding aren’t we sort of asking the utilities to sell us very little power in the sunny season and then in winter we expect them to provide us a ton of power. Like a seasonal “duck curve”. And at this point there isn’t an effective way to store summer solar energy for winter months. Not as extreme of a problem in California but in places further north or places with lots of storms and snow it is even more dramatic. Not that I am any big fan of my power company.

  6. Billblom
    Billblom says:

    Apparently most utilities want to charge you for your panel capacity. In Florida, they want to throw you out of your house if you disconnect from the grid.. They simply want to 'collectivize' everything spent on solar and take over control of it. If you stay connected, they wiggle the frequency, which takes panels and generation off line… Nice trick.

  7. Smarthome Tech
    Smarthome Tech says:

    Kentucky utilities just changed their rate structure away from net metering and towards solar feed credit half of the rate they charge when you consume power. This was targeted at only roof top solar homes as the standard rate are not changing for other customers. They are also creating this adversarial relationship by proposing that solar customers pay larger connection fees.

    As far as their proposed model for customers that want renewable they created the cooperative model where the KWh charge includes the cost to build. The plan is laughable as you would have to pay more than twice the normal utility cost to be green. This is where I would rather own and produce my own energy. The utility will never have the best interest of the customer at heart as the customer generation takes profitability away.

    My recommended approach is for them to have an option for those that want to buy battery for their homes. They would have to compete with local providers, but at least they don’t have to use deception to get peoples money. Excellent video and topic!!

  8. GT Barsi
    GT Barsi says:

    This is just more big business with captive customers finding another way to bleed more money out of the customer base. I do not live in CA so I do not know SMUD or the other local utilities in CA. Does SMUD actually generate their own power, or are they purchasing it from a separate generation organization?

    From what I seen their has been a trend where utilities have been separating out the generation and the customer delivery into separate organizations. This allows separation of profits, the ability to lobby with out "conflicts of interest", point at the other when criticized and questioned, and limits liabilities. The generation org focuses on maximizing the amount of money they can make generating, charging the customer delivery org as much as possible insuring that the customer delivery org shows as little profit as possible from the direct selling of the utility. The delivery org then maximizes the delivery fees it charges, allowing the utility to expense their delivery infrastructure which is the least profitable of their expenses to the delivery org. In the end the delivery org that the customers have the relationship with has relatively little profit, and when dealing with state or federal regulators is able to show that they will have to increase customer costs in order to meet new regulations, improve / replace aging infrastructure, and or build out new infrastructure. In the end is is all a game to screw the captive customer base. While this is happening the generation org is posting consistent profits and lobbying for higher generation fee caps in order to comply with new green initiatives and lobby for changes to maintain or increase their profitability.

    The facts that the two organizations originated from the same company decades before, that they are owned and controlled primarily by the same people, and that taken as a whole their profitability has steadily increased is never seriously considered. Their is enough of an air gap for politicians to loop hole and ignore their way through to insure that nothing is going to change until the two organizations have burned all of the value out of themselves, at which point they will declare that they are in critical need of state and federal assistance to re-organize / re-build. Of coerce their customers will have to pay for that as well.

    Other forms of utility companies do the same thing, Comcast is a great example.

    Give SMUD hell, and publicly call out any politician that does not condemn this as anything other than what it is, another cash grab by a big corporation.

    If SMUD really wanted to work the issue they would be offering deals on battery storage to the public with the understanding that a certain amount of the capacity of the unit was at the utilities disposal to be used to bank energy for the high demand times. This is generally called a virtual power plant, I have heard that some utilities are doing this and reaping huge rewards as they do not have to purchase as much power during peek times, lowering their total cost to purchase power. If they are trying to do this but are looking to the public to fund it by increasing rates or trying to apply federal or state funds to the program, that is just another double dip cash grab, their is enough savings to the power companies to fund these type of programs themselves, the ROI is rather fast since they get to take power generated at the times that costs them the least and sell it when power costs are the highest.

  9. Tim Patek
    Tim Patek says:

    Wow! Did I hear you correctly, “…$4,600 PowerWall…installed…” Were you able to purchase all your batteries at that price?

    In Texas, it’s approximately $13,000 installed. If I could all the batteries at that price, why not get 6-9 batteries!?!

    The salesman here asked why I wanted the battery…mainly because it’s expensive to install here.

  10. Senior Dockman
    Senior Dockman says:

    What is the size of your system? I have a grid tied 7.2 kilowatt hour system ground mounted here in North Carolina. Really only covers probably 3/4 of my electricity use in an all electric small cottage on Lake Norman. We have a 10 year net metering agreement with Duke energy. However, Duke has a minimum cost per month of $14. Therefore you can never totally escape cost of using the grid. We hope to install batteries when and if the costs come down but had not planned on separating ourselves from the grid.


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