The Impact of Retail Rate Structures on the Economics of Commercial Photovoltaic Systems in California Page: 4 of 41
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We focus, in particular, on 20 commercial and industrial electricity rates currently offered
by the five largest electric utilities in the state: the Los Angeles Department of Water &
Power (LADWP), Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE), San
Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD).
We compute the annual electricity bill savings that would be realized on each of these rates
by 24 actual commercial PV installations in California, using contemporaneous, 15-minute
interval building load and PV production data from those sites. We then compare the
calculated bill savings across rate schedules and customer sites, and isolate differences
related specifically to rate design, as well as differences related to other factors, including:
the average cost of electricity on each rate, the customer load shape, the PV production
profile, and the size of the PV system relative to customer load.
The results of this analysis should be of value to: regulators and policymakers who have the
authority to approve the design of retail electricity tariffs and want to understand the impact
of those tariffs on the economics of commercial PV systems; stakeholder groups who wish
to influence those rate design decisions; end-use customers who need to estimate the
potential bill savings from PV installations; and PV retailers and consultants who have an
obligation to assist customers in determining the value of PV investments and in selecting
the retail rate that will maximize that value. We encourage further work of this type in
other jurisdictions where the temporal profile of PV output differs, and where retail rate
structures are dissimilar to those in California.
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Mills, Andrew; Wiser, Ryan; Barbose, Galen & Golove, William. The Impact of Retail Rate Structures on the Economics of Commercial Photovoltaic Systems in California, article, May 11, 2008; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc933780/m1/4/: accessed January 20, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.