OUCH, I just looked at my SonCal Edison bill

OUCH, I just looked at my SonCal Edison bill

Where on Earth is the $.11 per kwh average rate everyone refers to when talking about "fuel" costs for the MS?
My Tier 1 rate starts at $.13 and hits $.36 at tier 5. I average $.28 per kwh each month. Edison just upgraded all of the meters in my neighborhood to support "time of use" billing. Should I switch over once I get the MS ? Any Edison customers here to help?

michael1800 | 30 June, 2013

You'd have to look at your own energy consumption throughout the day to make that call. When do you use how much energy? If you can't tailor your consumption to match a schedule, a standard tiered plan might end up being the better bet. Kids tend to make or break a time of use plan.

You can easily calculate your Tesla charging costs at different rates, but whether that makes it cheaper or not depends on how much your non-charging, non-ideal time energy use is in comparison.


simplesolarinc | 30 June, 2013

You have 3 options:

Depending on how your usage throughout the day is:

1) Go on Edison's Time of use home & electric vehicle plan which allows you to charge from 12pm-6am at $.09 cents in the summer and $0.10 in the winter. Downfall to that is your usage during 10am-6pm weekdays are billed at $0.47 summer and $0.35 winter time.

2) Go on their electric vehicle plan which is $0.33 for summer rates from 12PM-9PM and $0.23 for winter rates. $0.11 9PM-Noon summer and winter.

3) Go Solar and offset your bill completely

read more here:

Bighorn | 30 June, 2013

Depends where you live--we pay 7.5 cents/KWH in WY.

TikiMan | 30 June, 2013

I just installed a Solar-City system on my home, and I am avarging +48 kWh per day back into the grid. My regular daily use is around -70 kWh this time of year (swimming pool, A/C, and MS), thus my So Cal Edison bill should drop to around -23 kWh per day, which should knock my bill down to Tier 1 rates, and cost me $0.00 USD to run my MS!

tranhv68 | 30 June, 2013


Simplesolar is correct.

The fact that you can afford a Tesla means you probably use enough electricity to be in tier 4 or 5. This means that with the residential tiered rate, your marginal cost for each kwh charging your Tesla is about $0.36. At an average rate of 3 miles per kwh, you are looking at 12c/mile. For 1000 miles a month, you electricity would increase approx. 120 give or take.

Get solar panels and switch to TOU-D-TEV. If you charge between midnight and 6 am the summer rate is only 9c/kwh or 3c per mile or an extra $30/month. You do not need to spend money on separate meter but the caveat is that you must lay off the electricity during peak hours between 10:00 am and 6:00 pm.

If that is impossible, then a separate meter will work better and you get the low rates for a longer time interval.

The best alternative, which I have, is to get solar panels and change to TOU-D-TEV. This allows you to sell power back to edison during peak hours (when your panels are making you the most power) at peak rates, and then buying back the power between midnight and 6:00am for much less. The going summer peak rate is $0.58/kwh while the night super off-peak rate is $0.09, a six-old difference. You can buy back 6 kwh for every 1 kwh you sell.

For example, I charge both a leaf and a tesla and my electric bill with a 4kw solar system installed was -$14 last month. That's right, a credit balance.

ColonyGolfer | 30 June, 2013

I used to live in Calabasas and let me tell you, it is impossible to lower your daytime electric usage....the summers can get you 95 to 105 degrees, 10 or 12 days in a row. Now I'm in FL, and it's as bad or worse.....AC runs a lot. But soon a supergharger is coming 10 miles from home!

jchangyy | 30 June, 2013

@calabassaskid: I live Santa Clara, CA, just north of San Jose. I get power via Silicon Valley Power. As mentioned many threads ago, I get $0.09/Kwh for the first 300kwh. then, after that, I pay $0.11/kwh. Only 2 tiers. Under 300kwh, or above 300kwh per month.

Docrob | 30 June, 2013

I agree with the posters recommending the EV TOU plan with solar panels, 9c/kwh overnight for your EV then produce power during the day at up to 58c/kwh with your solar panels. Then shift all discretionary loads like washing machines, laundry loads etc to overnight so you can export as much power during the day as possible. Basically you can then offset 5-6kwh of night time power for every 1 daytime net kwh exported. At a 1:1 rate you would need about 3kw of panels to offset average EV usage then it just depends how much of the rest you wish to offset, realistically with the 5-6:1 ratio on the TOU plan if you can maximise daytime exports you probably only need 5Kw of panels to significantly ameliorate or eliminate your bill.

shop | 30 June, 2013

Go on the TOU rate - see if your bill is lower. If not, switch back. Charge after midnight.

CalabasasKid | 30 June, 2013

It looks as if I'm gonna go through with the solar system. I've been working with a local contractor who specializes in clean systems (installation wise) and can get me a complete 10kw system for about $3.15 per watt.
I'm not a fan of leased systems. Why let the leasing company take the 30% tax credit and then turn around and charge me a payment which is only 15% cheaper than my bill? Not one company has offered me a closed end lease where they commit to a specific residual price. I was gonna use the the $33k for the MS as a hefty down payment but I think this is a better investment. Then, I will just run more of the MS financing cost though the S Corp. what sense does it make to be in a nearly 50% tax bracket if I can't take advantage of the same oppresive tax code to my advantage?
I will call Edison tomorrow.
Thanks folks

Docrob | 30 June, 2013

Make sure you thoroughly invest in efficiency measures first, swap lights for LED's, insulate, heat pumps, solar hot water etc etc. The "negawatts" from these actions are cheaper to generate then to buy extra solar capacity. With good efficiency 10kw is certainly a very large system with a commensurately large upfront cost to have to recover. just do your homework so that you don't spend an extra $15,000 on solar panels that could have been unnecessary with $5,000 spent on increased efficiency.

Kleist | 30 June, 2013

I changed to LED light and that saved me about 300 kWh a month... that is about half what the MS needs. Investment of $600 with $100 monthly saving... ( yes I pay $0.36 per kWh ).

CalabasasKid | 30 June, 2013

I have about 100 ceiling can lights in my 5300 sqmft home. 2/3 of them have been switched over to Comp Flourescents. LED's are superior but each Par 30 equivalent is about $30-$40. I doubt I'll earn that back anytime soon when compared to what the Flouresents burn ,

Kleist | 30 June, 2013

To be honest... I was suprised by the actual saving, I didn't expect it. And most was changing CLF to LED. I did it 6 month before the MS arrived and I looked at the bills a year earlier and after... 300 kWh on average - bill was around $200 and then all of a sudden it was just under $100.
LED prices are coming down so if it is not for you today, keep it in mind. $0.36 per kWh is a big incentive.
Overall the MS made me more aware of our electricity usage. My house has 500 W baseline usage 24 hrs a day (~300 kWh a month ) - next week I'm off and I will hunt down the sources of that ( fridge, comuters, TV, etc ) and see how I can cut down on that. I don't want to change my comport level... just elimate the thoughtless stuff.

In CA long term solution is saving and Solar... the rate plans (here PG&E) will always get you on way or another. Future rate plans will be revenue neutral at best and therefore only window dressing.

johnmoe | 30 June, 2013

Where on Earth is the $.11 per kwh average rate?

I just checked the rates here in MN (summer):
9.453 cents / kWh

Time of day billing (summer):
Peak: 20.27 cents / kWh (9 am - 9 pm M-F)
Off Peak: 2.70 cents / kWh


Docrob | 30 June, 2013

Agreed calabasa, swapping LEDs for CFL's will take several years to pay off but without a doubt swapping the remaining HIDs for LEDs will take you about 6 months to pay off max. The other factor to remember is that the difference between a 8 watt LED and a 50w halogen is not extra light, the extra consumption is almost all heat production, so 100 halogen ceiling lights at about 40watts of heat production each is equivalent to a 4kw heater running. So in summer when your AC is running and you come home and turn on the lights just remember your AC is using its first 4kw of cooling power just fighting 100 little radiant heaters before it even begins to cool the place. Cutting that 4kw of heating from your home will have an immediate commensurate effect on your cooling requirements on summer evenings. I read about a resort who installed LED lighting and saved 25kw on their lighting bill and unexpectedly found that the load on their cooling systems dropped by almost 40% representing a further 20kw of cooling power consumption evaporated.

cgiGuy | 1 July, 2013

$.10/kWh here in Texas. 24/7.

Byong | 1 July, 2013

@Kleist - Did this analysis a while back and the biggest hits on my energy usage that surprised me was the DVR. If you have an older DVR, it can draw 50w no matter if it is on or off, so it's 50x24x30 = 36kwh/month sink. LED's can help, but you have to keep in mind how long the lights are on in your calculation. I've converted some high use lights to LED. If you have a recirculating pump for your hot water, that will suck down watts also... consider a timer for that (do you really need to recirculate hot water 24x7 :)

TikiMan | 1 July, 2013


Yup, did the same thing, and bought my system. It was too big of a tax break to pass up, and anything you can get that much of a tax break on (which is also a investment), is worth it it my book!

tes-s | 1 July, 2013

6.3 cents distribution charge
7.6 cents power generation charge

Total 14 cents per kwh plus $16 monthly service fee.

Same price all the time. Distribution charge is fixed by the utility; you can choose your own company for the generation and rates vary.

AmpedRealtor | 1 July, 2013

I think we are spoiled here in Arizona where we pay 5.8¢ off-peak and 6.5¢ peak rate on our solar TOU plans. I wonder if it's because the Palo Verde Nuclear Station is in my back yard?

gary.greene | 1 July, 2013

I have highest tier charges for SCE as well and was equally upset by the increase in my electric bill (roughly $100/month) after getting the MS. I live in a historic home and can not install solar panels on roofs within view, thereby reducing solar as an option for me. I'm having a separate meter installed and once completed, should reduce electricity rate to about 11 cents per kwh. With that said, $100 per month of extra electricity cost is the price of 1 tank of gas in a equal sized car (e.g., Audi A8 shown on the Tesla video) so I figure I'm still ahead of the game. Gas isn't getting any cheaper in CA (price increased today with added gas tax).

emoflash | 1 July, 2013

Renton Washington I pay $.06 per for first 600 kWh and $.10 per

djm12 | 5 July, 2013

Go solar if you can!!

RDoherty | 6 July, 2013

I know it's getting a little off topic, but do you mind listing the brand of LED lights you found to be good enough to replace your in-ceiling HIDs?

drp | 6 July, 2013

Just switched on my solar panels after installation late yesterday. So far this morning, after about one hour of full sunlight, I put 3 kW into my house via the solar panels! This is going to be a pretty exciting summer. Maybe it would be wise to use solar panels, particularly in California. I'm in the Midwest.

Docrob | 6 July, 2013
Rdoherty, these are what I am progressively swapping my 50Whalogens out for, 80% less power and pay for themselves in about 9 months with 3-4 hrs/day use. I find them slightly brighter then the halogens they replace but a nice warm tone and instant on unlike CFLs. They direct swap with MR16s sockets and work with almost all current dimmers and transformers unlike many LEDs.

Philip2 | 6 July, 2013

We have been using LED for about 2 years. We like the CREE brand -

NJ has a clean energy program where there was a 50% discount on the cost of the bulbs. The program has gained popularity and they are out of funding at the moment but should start again soon

SUN 2 DRV | 6 July, 2013

Costco has some great prices on LEDs. Under $18 for a very nice PAR30 with diffuser and a warm white color. They're so popular that they are sometimes out of stock, but well worth seeking out. I've tried lots of LEDs and just love these. Some others have an odd color temp and others don't have a diffuser so they cast multiple harsh shadows (which can be used for dramatic effect in some scenarios)

These Costco LED PAR30s look exactly like an incandescent PAR30 in operation. But they give off dramatically less heat and use about one sixth the energy.

BAT | 6 July, 2013

I wish Tesla would start focusing on lobbying California's power monopolies to price electricity more fairly. Even the upcoming "EVA" billing plan that eliminates the horrible tier system will not solve the problem because it raises rates for ALL electricity across the board.

It's crazy that in Tesla's home market of the San Francisco Bay Area that it's currently not practical in economic terms to own an electric car solely because PG&E is set up to punish electricity use instead of rewarding it.

TikiMan | 6 July, 2013


I remember when So Cal power utilities were reasonable, fairly priced, and we never had brown or black-outs due to lack of power. When California offered up 'power deregulation' to the voters back in the 1990's, I begged folks to VOTE NO!!!! However, all the lies and propaganda were too much for the greedy idiots here that thought it would making things better, and the majority voted for deregulation, and what conspired afterwards is a sad mark on California history (ENRON fraud, skyrocketing power rates, brown-outs, black-outs, et al). The powers that forced deregulation upon California should be ashamed for themselves (and I hope they learned their lesson).

With that said, the California's utility market has become a huge money-grab (just like oil refinement), and they can raise rates for absolutely NO reason what-so-ever. Also, with no new power generation plants on the horizon, I suspect we will continue to see rates rise.

All we can do is accept the fact that very little will change, and it will only get worse as more and more homes and businesses are built, to accommodate the ever-growing population here. The only thing you can do to offset the ever increasing power cost, is to invest in power-saving devices (LED's, newer appliances, etc), and power-generating equipment for your home (solar power, wind power, etc). | 6 July, 2013

We ended up going in two steps--moved most the house to CFL, but the wife hated the light and the delay on some fixtures, so we ended up rolling everything to LED. Here, SMUD subsidized some portion of the fixture costs, then Home Deport has then on sale every once in a while. Pretty much, I adopted a plan, where every time I go to Home Depot, I bring back one more LED bulb.


AmpedRealtor | 6 July, 2013

You can't go wrong with solar. I have a 14 kWh system on my roof which costs me $170/mo on a lease with no money down. It uses the most efficient SunPower panels made in California - this was important to us and the reason we did not use another company that used cheap Chinese solar panels. After adding our lease payment to our post-solar electricity bills, we've already saved $900 in 9 months versus doing nothing and keeping the status quo. By the time we are at the 12 month point with our PV system, we expect to save close to $1,200 the first year. That's totally free money!

generubin | 6 July, 2013


I'm just north of you in Ventura. Without too much detail, driving 2,000 miles per month my bill went from $45 to $230 with the Model S arrival. TOU put me back at $130. Solar City System has me at $0.


sidney_wang | 26 July, 2013

@AmpedRealtor - if you are located in Northern California, would it be possible to name the company who is leasing the SunPower panels to you? I'm also interested in SunPower. Thanks.

David Dennis | 26 July, 2013

I switched to LEDs about a year ago in my most-used light fixtures. I started with Philips 19 watt dimmable LEDs from Home Depot. They worked fine but were quite expensive at $40. (I think they were have been 19 watt or a little less). They produce clear, bright, lovely dimmable light.

Being a gadget fan I switched again to Philips Hue LEDs for $60 each. They are about the intensity of a 50 watt halogen bulb, but you can change their color and match it to various scenes. It's a lot of fun playing with them. They cost $60 each but do things ordinary lights wouldn't even dream of doing. My only problem with them is that the green and blue colors are a bit weak. Reds, oranges and purples are gorgeous! If you want to be able to vary color temperature depending on your mood, or change your lighting with the tap of an iPad, the Philips lights are fabulous.

I'm not sure how much impact they've had on the power bill because this summer has been much cooler than the last couple of years. I've noticed a lower bill but it's a bit difficult to quantify due to other lifestyle changes (more and different computer equipment, etc). I live in South Florida so cooling costs are very important. I pay about the average of 11c per kWh here.

it is indeed ironic that the most Teslas are sold where they are the least economically viable!


john3morton | 26 July, 2013

I have had my MS for 1 week now.

I have Solar (from Solar City)

I switched SCE to TOU rates just before picking up the car.

So far looking at my daily usage it appears my initial calculations for powering the car are spot on.

I have done a little extra driving this week "just because" so I have adjusted for that.

I figure for my 112mi round trip daily commute at $0.13/kwh should cost about $80 / mo.

With my household typical usage and the solar combined with TOU rates, I calculate that my car's energy cost will be CUT IN HALF to only $40 / mo!!!

SO I recommend ANYONE who is in Tier 3 or above to GET SOLAR (Solar City is great to work with) and switch to the TOU.

When you talk to the Solar company mention TOU and that you need a system that will exceed your daily usage so that you get credits at the expensive rates to apply to the car's usage at night on the cheap rates.

You DO NOT need solar to produce ALL of your energy - the costs for Solar are higher than the off peek TOU rates so you only want to offset the expensive daytime peek rates.

It turns out my system installed last year with the MS just a glint in my eye, is perfect for my usage.

You mileage may vary - good luck


oildeathspiral | 26 July, 2013


I disagree with your comments on electric power here in CA.

The renewable mandate is the biggest reason rates are going up. Google the DWP's comments a year or two ago. He said rates would go up something like 8%/year for 6 years and that assumes there aren't stability issues with so much wind and solar coming onlin. The public pressure to close down San Onofre won't help rates or reliability either and was based on anything except economics. They may or may not be right about whether it could be made safe but that was never really part of the equation.

The 1990s power deregulation was nowhere near true deregulation and in fact most experts warned it was terribly flawed even before it was implemented. The games that were played by Enron of course exacerbated things but let's face it, the politicians hid their incompetence behind Enron's corruption.

davidg11 | 26 July, 2013

So is now not the time to mention that my 100% clean hydropower utility up here in WA state charges us only .027 per kWh?

oildeathspiral | 26 July, 2013


It's ALWAYS the time to mention that kind of win-win!

Anonymous | 26 July, 2013


really? only .027 per kWh?

Damn, California sucks, specifically SCE. I thought the midnight-6am rate of .09 rate was cheap (SCE cheapest rate btw).

Tesla-David | 26 July, 2013

I live in WA State and installed 13.2 kwh solar array eleven months ago, which also included heat pump and heat pump water heater with recirculation pump. Also did energy audit and had house weatherized with additional insolation and other repairs. Subsequently, replaced all existing lights with LED's, and the impact on our electrical use has been dramatic. Right now it is taking only around 19 kwh/day to run our all electric home and charge the Tesla, which is requiring around 9 kwh/day for my normal work commute (~35 miles). We are averaging around 66 kwh/day production from our solar panels (July), and will be a net producer of electricity for the entire year by the end of our first year (mid-August). We have not paid an electric bill since we moved in last September, and we just received a check from our Utility provider (Snohomish county PUD)for $4,400 for the electricity we produced over the last 10 months. They cap the rebate at $5,000. Buying a solar/inverter system made in WA state (Itek panels/Blue Frog Microinverters) has definite incentives for homeowners here, as I currently sell every kwh back to the grid at $0.54/kwh and buy it back at $0.08/kwh. These incentives are currently in place until 2020. Therefore, there are very positive economic reasons to do solar right now, especially with the 30% federal tax credit rebate, and WA currently has no sales tax on installing solar systems.

Docrob | 26 July, 2013

I can't fathom why you would buy a system that produces 65 Kwh a day for a home that uses 19kwh /day?
Also I think you mean additional insulation, as insolation is the energy content of the sunlight hitting your array which is rather difficult to increase without moving your house a few states,

shs | 26 July, 2013

We are with PG&E and switched from E6 to E-9A when we got our Tesla. While the after midnight baseline price is good 3.7 cents/kWh summer, and 5 cents in the winter, the thing that is currently not working at all for us is the summer afternoon pricing. While the E-9 pricing is similar to the E-6, the applicable times have switched from 11AM to 7PM with E-6 to 2PM to 9PM with E9-A.

It used to be that for most all of the "summer" months we could generate a nice negative usage and use those dollars to offset winter heating electricity costs (geothermal). Now because we lose 3 hours at our best solar generation time and pay the high $ when while cooking and watching TV after 7, we struggle to break even during this time. Nothing to do with the car, as that charges at night. No doubt we are still saving money compared to buying gas, but this seemingly arbitrary shift in the timing of the high $ summer time period seems to really diffuse some of the advantages of solar.

Our house is very well insulated and we use LEDs almost exclusively. Our favorite LEDs are the Array Quantum lights by Nexxus that use quantum dots to create a very nice familiar warm white light with the highest combination of Color Rending Index and Lumens per watt of any LED out there. I just wish they made something other than a Par 30 with the quantum technology. We have used MR16s from Array Lighting in our home theater and they look good and dim well without changing color temperature.

Tesla-David | 26 July, 2013

The goal is to balance out our electric use and production for the entire year. We overproduce in the spring/summer, and underproduce in the fall/winter. My goal is to be at net 0 for the year, which we will do by the end of our first year, with seveal kwh to the good.

Tesla-David | 26 July, 2013

I meant insulation not insolation.

Docrob | 26 July, 2013

The wunderground solar calculator says that a 13.2kw array in Seattle Wa should produce about 63kwh/day in July and 16kwh/day in December with an annual average of 42kwh/day for the whole year, so unless you heat your home on winter with electric heating it seems like you will still substantially over produce over the course of a year. If hat does end up being the case you could switch to electric heating and save on your gas or heating oil bill.

Tesla-David | 26 July, 2013

My system was initially turned on on 8/16/12 and has produced 9,989 kwh as of 7/25/13. The corresponding electrical use has been 10,316 kwh for the same time period (96.8%). My Itek panels are rated at 240 Watts/panel X 55 panels = 13.2 kwh. I started with a 41 panel system, but after monitoring my Tesla use (car delivered on 1/2/13) I added another 14 panels to make up the Tesla use. I will only barely over produce, but the point for me is to be close to net neutrality. I know this is not a big deal for you but it is for me. My goal is to reduce my carbon footprint as much as possible, and this is in keeping with that objective.

fluxemag | 26 July, 2013

@joehuber, I got four of those Costco bulbs to replace 75W recessed incandescent lights on a dimmer switch.

This is in the living room where we spend most of our time at night. For $80, they put off a very nice light quite similar to the old flood lights. The only difference is they are a bit more directional, even with the diffuser. The added bonus is zero heat output (I live in AZ). I calculated they paid for themselves in well under a year. Anything that is not on a dimmer switch I used CFL bulbs, with the exception of 3 decorative lights. The impact to my power bill was substantial. I also put a timer on my water cooler so it shuts off when we're asleep.

I would totally put up solar, but we will most likely move before it would be cost effective.

Docrob | 26 July, 2013

" I know this is not a big deal for you but it is for me. My goal is to reduce my carbon footprint as much as possible."
What on earth are you basing that assumption on, my 5kw solar array and net neutral bill for the last 18 m ths would beg to differ.