*update*: A PG&E employee contacted me after reading this blog, and basically he agreed that the current scheme isn't perfect. He actually said that we're getting creditted a bit too much because the credits do not account for their line transmission charges. I'll admit not fully knowing the gritty details between transmission line charges since I know I do pay a small flat fee for that per month, and by offetting my neighbour's load during high demand sunny hours, I should offload their transmission lines a little bit, but effectively he said that the credits are a little bit too high, which means that you just don't get paid when they get negative.
While I can see his point, I still don't full agree with that someone who makes more electricity than they make isn't compensated for time of use prices at all, but he also pointed out that it's difficult for people with solar to be fully compensated since they do not provide a contract and guarantee of production, like their other providers do.
All in all, it's kind of a mess and the current program isn't ideal, but it is better than nothing.
I was good, I upgraded my server hardware to be more power efficient (old dual P4 Xeon to I3 2100T lower power CPU), spin down hard drives, and reprogrammed my mythtv to suspend and use virtually no power most of the time. This saved about 200W of 24/7 baseload. As a result, our true up bill went from -$38 for the year, to -$110.
So remind me, why is power not worth more when we have to pay for it than when you have to pay us back? Why are all my efforts to save power ending up with a further negative bill rewarded by a flat out $0 that we get back?
For the casual reader, the longer answer is in PGE Trueing Up Encourages Electricity Wasting. Eventually if I ever manage to save enough power, I might get a few dollars back, and PG&E will pocket about $150 of spread.
PG&E, you're supposed to encourage us to save electricity. Is it really smart to antigonize your greener customers with this unfair system?
Here's what you owe us so far: