Electric Auto Association
East (SF) Bay EAA Chapter

EVs and Solar in Alameda

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Location: Alameda

Participation: 18 members


There were 18 persons at the meeting on Saturday, including a couple of 'out of town' guests.  One was from the Electric Vehicle Club of the South (Atlanta) and another was from the Golden Gate EV club.

Paul Cooper's Notes:

Brian Frus  and Bill Garvine from Alameda Municipal Power presented information on present and future plans for electric vehicle charging and AMP's electric power pricing structure.  Much of the information was taken from the presentation recently made to the Alameda Public Utility Board on July 12th:

AMP’s current policy includes a monthly credit on an AMP customer's monthly electric bill.  The amount of credit is based on the weight of the vehicle, and ranges from about $9 a month to $22 a month.  (see AMP's EV-X rate schedule for current weight limits and monthly value).  There is good and bad in this plan, for both the customer and AMP.  As an example, if a Leaf owner received a $15 credit each month, the electricity value would amount to roughly 120 kWh of 'free' power - enough for about 500 miles a month.  The typical lease allows for 1,000 miles a month, so half of the power would be free, and the other half would be at standard rates.

Many non-EV households in Alameda only use enough power to dip into Tier Two power rates.  Many EV owners, even though they are otherwise conservative with power use at home, tend to have a large amount of power at level three rates - directly attributable to the charging an EV at home.  This tends to wipe out the savings possible from the monthly EV credit.  Because there is no way to tell how much power is being used by an EV and how much is being used by normal house loads, some federal incentives are not available to AMP that could bring the cost of power down even further.

This approach differs to the dual-meter approach commonly used other utilities such as PG&E where one meter is used for the house, and another is used for the EV, allowing the utility and the vehicle owner to separate out how much is being used for charging. Alameda Municipal Power is planning on implementing the dual-meter system at some time in the future.

Other items discussed were power cost concepts - Why the time of day is important to EV charging.  There is a win-win system if charging is done during off-peak times that increases revenue for AMP while EV customers save money when they charge using obtain lower cost off-peak power.

Charging during peak hours (afternoons and evenings in Alameda) is bad for everyone - in this case, EV charging could increase costs for all AMP Customers by forcing AMP to purchase expensive peak power from other utilities.

Alameda Municipal Power has 45 Total EVs Registered as of March, 2012:  Leaf (19), Plug-in Prius (3), Volt (1), Other (22).  Alameda has roughly 6 EVs per 10,000 persons.  Although places like Los Angeles and San Diego Counties may have a larger number of total EVs, the total rate of EV adoption is above many other west coast areas.

Number of EVs in other utility districts

Utility          Coverage                   Population     Number of EVs       EVs per Capita x10,000
PGE           Northern California    14M              2,000                      1.4
SMUD       Greater Sacramento     1.45M              40                      0.3
SCE           Southern California     14M             1,000                       0.7
SDGE        Greater San Diego        3.4M          1,300                       3.9
AMP          Alameda                      73,800             45                       6.1
Palo Alto    Palo Alto                     64,400             60                       9.3

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