Electric seller's mystery

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  #1  
Old 08-03-17, 01:32 PM
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Electric seller's mystery

Locally we have several companies the retail electric. Of course though there is really only one supplier of electricity. They provide the lines, meters etc. So the mystery to me is some of the plans offered by some retailers. For instances one offers solar electric for days. Well heck what do they really mean? The neighbor on the same same pole may be buying from a company offering wind powered electric.

Obviously they are both just getting whatever is at the pole. I suppose they really mean rates based on solar or wind but of course what is at the pole is probably from natural gas. The commercials never make it clear. The commercials make it sound like you are getting electric from solar panels or wind or whatever.

Got to say to me it sounds like they are selling misleading BS or am I somehow misunderstanding?
 
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Old 08-03-17, 02:06 PM
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I suspect you mean electricity sellers. I can explain how it works but I need to go take my bath now and then go see my sister. I won't be back for several hours.
 
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Old 08-03-17, 02:17 PM
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Our local POCO is our only electricity provider and they get theirs from TVA. They have 'green' program where you can pay extra to support solar/wind power but I don't think the consumer gets much out of it other than an extra fee on the bill. They say you are buying green electricity but best I can figure it's just supporting wind/solar, it's not like they set up panels or a turbine on or near your property to get that 'green' power to you.
 
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Old 08-03-17, 03:27 PM
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It doesn't matter where the power comes from or what produces it..... it is all carried thru the same grid. When you buy power it could have been produced by any number of methods including your neighbors solar panels.

You can opt to "buy" power from an alternate provider. That power is also carried thru the common grid so you still pay your primary provider for carrying, distribution and line charges. Those charges are the same for everyone. With an alternate provider the cost to produce the power is what you pay less on. It usually amounts to pennies.

My town has decided to enroll all the households into an alternate electric provider plan. If you don't want to be included you have to opt out. How's that for b*lls.
 

Last edited by PJmax; 08-03-17 at 03:53 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 08-03-17, 03:50 PM
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PJ's explanation is right on. If you produce power that can be sold back to the power company then it all goes into a common grid.

It's been a lot of years since I looked into it, but here in Metro Buffalo, New York you have a choice to buy power from several providers. The catch is what the futures (market futures) will be. That's the risk. Each provider has several lock'd-in rates. If the power cost go down you keep paying the higher rate, and vice versa.
 
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Old 08-03-17, 10:12 PM
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These guys explained it pretty well. Note also that the local utility will add a "wheeling" charge to the cost of the electricity to cover the maintenance of their infrastructure. IF you are lucky you might be able to save a small percentage on the "imported" power but mostly this is for large consumers such as commercial buildings and industrial plants.

The company I retired from buys natural gas on the spot market. They have an "energy manager" that each day guess how much gas the company will need for the next day or over the weekend. The manager then makes a spot purchase of X number of Therms, hoping to buy enough, but not too much. Anything that is not consumed in the specified time period then goes to the local utility as a gift but if too little was bought the shortfall is made up from the local utility, at a very large penalty cost to the company. The local utility also assesses a transportation charge payable by the company buying the gas. Just like with the electricity, the savings can be huge when you use a lot of gas. We would usually use more gas in a day than the average residence would use in a year.
 
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Old 08-04-17, 01:35 AM
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Good explanation in your last post, Furd. About what I thought. My main point though is the customer is made to think that the power coming straight from a field of solar cells or wind mills but really they are just getting the mixed source power from the grid.
 
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Old 08-04-17, 07:46 AM
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Sources

Just like you Cheerios may contain oats from more than one farm.
 
  #9  
Old 08-04-17, 10:33 AM
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Yep, you get your energy, be it electricity, natural gas or whatever from a pool. If you opt to pay extra for solar, wind etc. then your "contribution" is used to purchase the higher cost energy to refill the pool.
 
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