Second electric meter?

Second electric meter?

Long-time lurker, first-time poster. Haven't finalized my reservation yet, but probably will tonight or tomorrow.

Has anybody out there looked into putting in a second electric meter to take advantage of PG&E's E-9B rate? I talked to somebody at PG&E about this a couple days ago, and the process sounds daunting, to say the least (and the PG&E person wasn't particularly friendly or helpful). Is it worth it? What kind of cost, time expenditure, and hassle would I be looking at? How do I get started figuring this out for my situation?

I'm in a two-year-old single-family house in downtown San Jose, and it sort of looks like there's room in the electrical box for a second meter and main panel, but I'm not sure. If so, this might make it less painful than if I were living in an older house.

Somebody on another thread mentioned that PG&E may be introducing the EV rates as soon as March; the advantage to getting a second meter seems to be a lot less with this rate schedule, and I won't see my car until the end of March anyway, so maybe that answers my question. Does anybody know anything about when the EV rates replace the E-9 rates, or how close they are to deciding?

I read Hills' comments about doing this over on the "Where did the other 19% go?" thread, and they were very helpful, but disturbing. Anyone else out there have info they'd be willing to share?

hnashif | February 7, 2013

I was considering a second meter for the E-9B rates. However, Solar City energy consultant recommended against it as the installation cost for the second meter and panel will be $2,200 more + $200 for PG&E. He said E-9A is similar (except for the shared base line.) In fact. the rates on E-9A is slightly less than E-9B. It also appears from the PG&E website that the differences between the two rates does not justify the additional installation cost. With the pending MS charging time schedule, the off-peak rate for E-9A is 0.048 winter and 0.03855 summer for Tier 1. (Tier 2+ is higher). For E-9B, the off-peak rate is 0.055 winter and 0.04613. For my daily usage, on Tier 1, my annual cost (assuming Tier 1) is $155 give or take.

Hills | February 7, 2013

My detailed analysis of two months' actual Model S charging is already posted on the "where did the 19% or 23.5% go" topic.

If you own a house with no EV and can stay within tier 2, I applaud your energy efficiency. I have PG&E bill in front of me. 440 Kwh monthly use kicks the rate into tier 3.

My estimate is that 1000 miles of driving Model S just about takes the usage into tier 3, this is Model S by itself.

Tier 1 is up to 339 Kwh. Tier 2 is up to 440 Kwh. Tier 3 us up to 667 Kwh.

Schlermie | February 7, 2013

The problem with E-9A is that, although your off-peak rates are lower, your peak rates get higher, so if you use a meaningful amount of electricity during the daytime, E-9B is beneficial, because your household will continue to use the flat (not TOU) rate. If your electricity usage during the daytime is low, then E-9A might work well for you.

shs | February 7, 2013

E-9A works well if one has solar panels and produce more juice than you use during the high $ TOU.

hnashif | February 7, 2013

The downside is peak during summer (2-9pm May-Oct). Otherwise, the E-9A is lower than E-1.

Timpanist | February 8, 2013

I've found Tesla's marketing on this issue a little misleading, at least here in Northern California. They don't tell you about the steeping increasing rates on PG&E's E-1 plan. By my calculations, it'd use as much power to drive the car 1,000 miles as it does to run everything else in my house for a month (more, actually, I think). Because of the way the rates are stacked, the doubling in usage results in a quadrupling of cost-- I actually went from below baseline all the way up into Tier 4. E-6 was slightly better, but not by much.

With E-9A, if I always charge after midnight, I only pay 3.5 cents a kWh in the summer (4.8 in the winter), but it drastically drives up the cost for the rest of my home usage, averaging out to about $100 a month to power the car (about what I'm spending to put gas in my Prius). E-9B and a second meter seems like a way to have my cake and eat it too, but only if the cost of putting in a second meter isn't too high.

The new EV-A plan is more expensive at night, but it does away with the tiered rates in favor of a total time-of-use rate structure. Under this plan, it looks like I'd average about $55 a month to run the car. A second meter and the EV-B plan seems to drop this to around $40-- not enough to be worth the trouble, I think. So the decision also depends on how soon the EV rate schedules goes into effect, and whether they'll let E-9 customers switch right to it or wait a year.

[Boy, was it a pain putting together the spreadsheets to figure all this out! I hope my numbers are close to reality...]

kingkoti | February 8, 2013

@Timpanist, Thanks for the post and info.
I've been breaking my head on the same thing for last couple of days, looking through Leaf,Volt and PGE forums.

I concur with your calculations, I tried PGE's Calculator and in spreadsheet myself, either way having different baseline for home & EV is the only way to get those super saving of EV vs GAS, at the same time the cost difference is NOT significant enough to justify the second meter installation cost (2K - 4K)

I could not find the EV-A and EV-B plan details on the PGE site, where can I find those rates. Your comment on the EV-A/B gave me some peace assuring that MS purchase may workout.

If its okay can you share your spreadsheet with numbers, Yes I really hope these numbers workout in reality.

steven.addis | February 8, 2013

I put in a second 50amp panel for the E-9B rates. I found that it comes down to your overall energy usage. If you're a heavy user (consistently being charged in the higher tiers), the E-9B is worth it. For me, it wasn't even close. We have a large, 100-year old house and our gas/electric bill is $500 to $850 per month. The Model S would have been charged in the highest tier, many times higher than the off-peak E-9B rate.

Here are the E-9 A and B rates:

bbmertz | February 8, 2013

FYI, for those of you reading this thread from the LA area, Southern California Edison has a similar time-of-use (TOU) plan for electric vehicles which does not require installation of a separate meter as well as a plan with slightly lower rates which requires a separate meter. Unless you have a long daily commute, the first TOU plan is probably sufficient.

Schlermie | February 8, 2013


I couldn't find the exact rates for EV-A/B on the PG&E site, but I did find this reference to it (

"By late spring of 2013, the E-9 rate will be closed and replaced with a new electric vehicle rate, Schedule EV, which contains these same two options. The difference is that this new rate will not have a “tiered” structure like the current E-9 rate schedule. When Schedule EV becomes available next spring, customers taking service on either option of the E-9 schedule may choose to stay on that rate schedule, or move to the new EV rate schedule. If no choice is made, they will remain on the E9 rate until at least the end of 2014*, at which point they will transition to the new EV rate. Alternatively, they may also choose another applicable rate schedule if so desired."

andresk | February 8, 2013
weeandthewads | February 8, 2013

I just put a second meter in, for just the super charger. It cost me $3,100 to install (includes the Super Charger installation). Los Angeles DWP gave me a $2,000 rebate towards the work. My out of pocket cost was $1,100. I thought that was worth the investment to clearly understand the cars usage. The work can't be completed until the super charger actually arrives. The second meter is clearly marked by the LADWP with a red label EV and it is on TOU rates. My bill has this meter usage and billing listed. I am going to have a way of clearly see the energy consumption and cost of powering the car. I will report back my findings once I have a couple of months of data.

ken830 | February 8, 2013


1) You keep saying, "Super Charger," but I think you mean High Power Wall Charger (HPWC).

2) I can't believe you still have a e-mail address.

hnashif | February 8, 2013

Using the EV-A rates from PG&E document posted by Schlermie above, I recalculated my electrical charges for January. My E-1 rate was $124.62 (+ taxes and fees), dropped to $97.18. Adding to that $0.99/day increases my liability by $2.26 over my current rate.

Hills | February 9, 2013

Here are my observations after doing a lot of research last November, including hours on the phone with PG&E, plus many more hours on the web and calcuations. I am just a consumer, your mileage may vary.

E9A vs. E1: E9A is based on time of use. E1 is flat rate. Both are tiered. The more you use, the higher the $/Kwh. Who should take E9A? You and your family members are mostly away afternoons and evenings, you use very little electricity and can stay below tier 3, or you have solar. I had PG&E run report on my past year's use on E9A, and there is no improvement over E1.

Saying E9A is cheaper than E9B?? E9A is for 1 meter for whole house and EV. E9B is for 2nd meter for EV only. E9B gives you a new baseline. E9A does not. For most people, E9A does not help. I don't know any family who can stay in tier 1 w/o EV. The Model S by itself will take you at least into tier 2.

The proposed new EV-A rate? This new proposal is designed to be revenue neutral to the utility! That means the "average family" would see NO savings. It "could" help EV owners who can charge EV off peak, as in after 11 pm (one hour earlier than current offpeak of midnight). However, if you can mostly charge your EV after 11 pm, that probably means your household is using electricity in the evenings at higher evening rates. Note that the proposed EV rates eliminates the low prices of the existing tier 1 and tier 2. Your household electric bill may go up! Also new summer EV rates are higher than the highest tiered E1 rates.

tommy-tesla | February 10, 2013

@Hills I think this pretty much matches my observations too, but to be 100% sure I'd have to effectively write a simulator and run my electricity usage through it. Haven't been motivated enough yet.

I agree that Tesla's numbers highly misrepresent the truth. Actually getting the low rate they quote requires substantial additional investment in Solar or at the minimum a second panel.

One surprise I got from talking to PG&E was that whether I _may_ install a second panel is up to the city - it's not a given!


Brian H | February 10, 2013

Evidently, if you use electricity in CA, you're a Bad Person who must be financially treated like a tent peg.

Hills | February 10, 2013

Still happy that I bought the car. If I knew ahead of time how much work and money were required, I might not have put down the reservation. However, trips to petro station only for other ICE cars now, no fumes no exhaust, fun to drive, early adapter of new revolution.

PG&E turned out to be quite helpful, but one needs to be determined. I ended up talking to 5-6 different people over 4 weeks, and if someone was not helpful or not knowledgeable, I just called back. Eventually someone actually requested a simulation comparing E9, E6, and E1, and sent them to me. As I said, E9A and E6 did not help.

The PG&E lady who first made site visit (required) for 2nd meter fisrt told us wrong info, that we needed to dig up streets at our own expense to pull new PG&E cable. She was wrong but at least she called back to correct herself.

For most people, city approval should be easy. However, PG&E told me San Fran is more difficult, as they are more suspicious of 2nd meter being used for something else.

The new proposed rate may make the 2nd meter much less compelling.

What Tesla "markets" is true for most of the country. We happen to live in one of the most expensive parts of the country for housing, gasoline, and electricity, plus taxes.

RanjitC | February 10, 2013

Brian if you use electricity you are a rich man who must pay his fair share so that the poor lineman gets 150k and a pension. They dont want you to get a 2nd meter and pay cheap rates for electricity.

lov2krz | February 10, 2013

I posted th e PGE rate schedules for E6 and E9 on this post

I installed my NEMA 14-50 outlet for $250.00. Interoir Outlet was on same wall as the exterior service panel about 5 ft of power cable used.

I've decided to stay on E6 rates since I over produce on an annual true-up basis. Wondering if installing a second E9 meter is possible.

awaite | February 26, 2013

PG&E is highly inconsistent and arguably suspect.

I spoke with multiple people who all told me they could not perform a simulation using the different rates. Left to my own devices I too spent hours crafting ridiculous formulas in a spreadsheet to arrive at the conclusion that moving my entire house to the E-9A rate schedule would cost me about $50 in summer and be about $5 cheaper in winter (per month) compared to the current E-1 rate I'm receiving which is an older rate and lower than current. If, however, I were to install a second meter for the car and thus get the E-9B rate I will save $110 in winter and $95 in summer per month compared to the E-1 rate I'm on now. Won't take long at that pace to pay for the installation.

Interestingly, the first woman I spoke to at PG&E strongly discouraged me from pursuing the E-9B option.

As I had suspected when I saw the E-9A rates, the higher costs during peak and even partial peak periods than what I'm paying now in the respective tiers more than offsets the savings from my expected EV impact during off peak times.

I'll be making the call to get the second meter installation process going tomorrow.

GLO | February 26, 2013

Ours went is smoothly and we charge after 8PM. It's easy and worth it. A co-worker of mine has a 20 yr old all alectric Rav4. Her largest PG&E bill was $23/month though her typical bill is around $10/mo. (keep in mind he's is old battery technology (NiCad battery pack) and much less range (70-100 miles).

Timpanist | February 26, 2013

@awaite: Your numbers might be different, but keep in mind that PG&E is planning to phase out the E-9 rates in the very near future, in favor of the new "EV" rate schedule. When I ran the numbers, I found the advantage of a second meter to be SUBSTANTIALLY less with EV-B than with E-9B. So you might save $100/month for the next year or so, but your savings after that might be a lot less (I think it was like $15 a month for me).

mal42north | February 26, 2013

I switched to PGE E9A because my estimations showed me saving about $125 a month in winter and about $80 a month in summer, compared to E1. So far my numbers seem to be holding up. It looks like the new EV rate will save me an additional $25 in winter and an additional $100 in summer. I live on the CA coast so my baseline rate is 16.8kWHr/day in the winter and 9.1kWHr per day in the summer. My 50 mile commute ensures i get into Tier 4. Crucial to making these savings though is to switch as much load as possible into the off peak TOU period. I run the pool pump only at night, and usually use the timer on the dishwasher to have it run after midnight.
One note of caution is that even the EV rates are considered temporary, and if you read the small print, they say that they will only allow 30,000 customers to switch to EV. This number will probably get saturated in 2013, leaving anyone taking delivery in 2014 a in a bit of a pickle. Who knows what they have in store for us in the future.