Our third year of Solar usage.

Projected Usage 2015-09-09

This is a third year update. Click here for the 2nd Year of Net Metering.

It’s been three years since our PTO was approved, we originally estimated our savings on driving the Active E or a vehicle like the Active E. Since then, we moved from one EV to two EVs to three EVs back to two EVs. We’ve also driven around a lot and our mileage has grown significantly since then. I haven’t done the math, but estimated that we’re either at break-even this year or definitely in a few months.

In our first year of Solar use, we had a credit. Which, as we found out, we could not claim. Because, it turns out, Net Metering means that though we’re credited for the production at a $ rate, customers are paid out on OVERPRODUCTION of power and not on the CREDITS earned. What this means is the system produced greater kWh of energy than consumed by the end user. If this is the case, the customer is PAID OUT the power times the wholesale rate of production. Last year, we paid over $200 to SCE for the entire second year of Solar. This third year, coupled with our nearly a month of travel to Maine and back in our Here, There, and EVerywhere roadtrip, we’ve been out of the house for about a month. So, that created a month of overproduction. As a result, the annual net metering statement was for approximately $40 for Year 3.

This full third year of solar production is basically the Model S and Roadster. What is interesting is that our usage this past 3rd year probably would have cost us less than Year Two’s Annual bill. But the month off really helped. At less than $4 a month for power for the third year is greater than I expected. So, I chalk this third year as a monumental year. Considering our average electric bill prior to going EV and solar was closer to $200 a month, it is incredible to get most of our transportation and home energy use at so little.

Now, this current fourth year, I wonder what our bill will be. Most of the past three years our electric tariff was on TOU-D-EV. This was a special whole house rate with a discount for EV drivers. A few months ago, Southern California Edison got rid of that tariff and adjusted the Time of Use tariffs so that the times that start with Peak, Off-Peak, and Super Off-Peak.

Under TOU-D-EV, the Peak rates were from the hours of 10am-6pm M-F, the Super Off-Peak hours were from midnight-6am every day, and Off-Peak is any other time. This was great because Solar was credited during the peak times most days and helped off-set a lot of the costs.

Under TOU-D-A, the Peak rates are now from the hours of 2pm-8pm M-F, the Super Off-Peak hours are now from 10pm-8am every day, and Off-Peak is still any other time. Though the Super Off-Peak hours are longer, the effect of moving peak time to the hours between 6pm-8pm means that we’re no longer generating credits at the Peak rate between 10am-2pm. Additionally, we’re spending more between 6pm-8pm because we’re paying at Peak rates and not Off-Peak rates.

So, I’m projecting paying a little bit more for electricity next year… Unless we go on yet another LONG roadtrip.

Interested in going solar? Get a quote from my solar vendor – Real Goods Solar.

MyEV post-mortem review…

A few months ago I published a guide to install the MyEV on our Tesla Model S. What I didn’t share in the original post, but did on subsequent comments is the purpose of the support of the Indiegogo project – MyEV Electric Vehicle Logger and App.

Since we’re a two electric vehicle family, there is some healthy competition between my wife and I on who is the “more efficient” EV driver. The marketing for the MyEV project introduced the fun, social gaming concept using the loggers that MyCarma built for the MyEV product. Since my wife drives a 1.5 Tesla Roadster, I made sure that the folks at MyCarma are able to support her car for the purchase of the two units. I was pleasantly surprised by their positive answer.

The original version of this post was to be along the same lines of the installation guide for the Model S, but we ran into some snags with the way that the Roadster reports itself. Furthermore, it appears that we were the only Roadster owner to support the project for the Roadster. In the end of the day, the Roadster reported data at a rate that was too much for the logger. I appreciate the effort from MyCarma to try to resolve this challenge. Especially since I needed them to make the product work in conjunction with OpenVehicles.com OVMS.

Here is the Custom Roadster cable to the MyEV unit.

IMG_20150429_162640The folks at MyCarma were aware of my requirements to have the unit work with OVMS, so they sent me a Y-cable for the Tesla Proprietary diag port with custom OBD adaptor. IMG_20150429_162701

Like I said, this one is built for the Roadster

IMG_20150429_162728Here is the cable chained up. IMG_20150429_162807

And connected

IMG_20150429_162838Here is the footwell with the OVMS installed in the Roadster. IMG_20150429_171344

Pulled the cable and OVMS off…


When connected, the Bluetooth connection should work.

IMG_20150429_171029And start transferring the log files. IMG_20150429_170949

Here’s what the setup looks like, before it is tidily installed.

IMG_20150429_170848Then put it back in place. IMG_20150430_135749

So. It all hooked up just fine. The problem lay with the fact that though it looked like the unit was logging and transferring it actually wasn’t. I tried playing around with it and finally asked for help.

Tech Support at MyCarma replaced some cables, did some programming and generally tried to help me for at least a month if not longer. At the end, since we were the only Roadster purchasers of the product, it became cost ineffective for them to figure it out and offered me a refund for the unit. I explained to them the reason why we purchased two units (one for the Model S and the one for the Roadster) and they went ahead and refunded us for both units.

The app looks like a lot of fun, but we really needed it to work for both vehicles and it was quite good customer service of MyCarma to provide us with the resolution. I continue to hope that they fix the Roadster, but lacking any further sales. It’s like Waiting for Godot.

[Added at 10:20 PM 9/27/2015 – I forgot to add pictures of what the software looked like when I was using the product]

All these screens are for the Model S as the Roadster one never really processed the data properly. The roadster processed at a speed that the logger could not figure out.

Here is the summary of the power charged for as long as the unit was plugged into the Model S.


Here is the charging histogram of when the most amount of power was added to the car. Considering that the unit was installed before the start of our Here, There, and EVerywhere roadtrip in May 2015.


Several leaderboards, this one is for the Same Model (Model S) in the Same Region (California?)


The next leaderboard is for All Cars in the Same Region. IMG_1040

The last leaderboard is for all cars in all regions.