Dramatic increase in CT electric bill - 2018 Honda Clarity Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-23-2020, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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Dramatic increase in CT electric bill

I'm wondering if there is anyone else in New England with the same experience as me. I am discovering that CT is not a good state in which to own an EV. I was shocked by two large increases in our electric bills, for December and January. For example, in January there was a 53% increase over last year's bill for the same month. I purchased a meter to measure the kWh charge going into my Clarity, and found, for the first half of January, that it used 171 kWh, which was 21% of the total kWh usage, or $37.66 of the total bill. If my charging was similar for the full billing month, it probably cost me $75 to charge the Clarity for a month. That will buy a lot of gas at $2.55/gal. Another way of looking at it is it costs me about $.08/mile on electric.

Understand, that CT has the highest electricity rates in the nation, over 22 cents/kWh. Unfortunately, no tiered or TOD rates are available either. I've seen many posts on this site referring to rates quite a bit lower, so I'm wondering if they are aware of their true electric rate. In CT our bill is split into 2 parts, Supply and Delivery, each having their own rate. To derive the true rate, simply divide your total bill amount by the number of kilowatt hours used that month. Another source for electric rates is at https://www.eia.gov/electricity/mont...?t=epmt_5_06_b.

Right now, I'm going to switch to all HV mode to reduce electricity consumption. Perhaps when it warms up this Summer I'll try EV again.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-23-2020, 10:00 PM
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I have heard of Clarity owners in New England who never plug in and just use HV Charge occasionally to build up some EV miles so that they can at least drive EV some of the time. Or like you said only plug in during warmer months when you at least get more miles per kWh.

Have you checked into being able to charge at work? Many people didn't think they could but when they asked they were surprised when they were told yes. Also you can check on Plugshare.com and try and maybe find some free chargers in your area. Most of them charge pretty fast so you can get about twenty miles added per hour of charging. Although that does mean sitting in your car, but you can have the car turned on while charging and run heat or AC, and read, surf the Internet, phone call, take a nap, etc. Now it won't be worth going out of your way more than a mile or two to get to a free charger, but if you find out where they are you can take advantage of them when you happen to be driving by one and have some free time to charge.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-23-2020, 10:07 PM
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Other parts of the country have the same concept as supply and delivery even if they haven't deregulated. Even in states where the utility is also the marketer (which is still most states) there is an advertised "rate" that someone pays for electricity, which is what most people focus on. But then they are also charged a bunch of add on tariffs for the actual delivery of the electricity, as well as various other tariffs collected by the state for various things. The tariffs are either fixed rate or based on kWh, which means that even if someone gets a discounted rate like in a TOU/TOD (time of use/time of day) rate plan, this only lowers the rate portion of the bill, all of the tariffs remain as high as always since that is a separate part of the bill.

Also in a tiered situation people can get confused about what tier to use to calculate their charging, some figure I'll just use an average price. Or they just divide the total bill by total kWh. But if there are tiers then realistically all or most of the charging will be in the higher tier and that's the rate they should probably calculate on. Using me as an example, we have a tiered rate during summer, but before I got my Clarity I only barely got into the higher tier, meaning only a small fraction of my usage was at the higher rate. But that means any additional usage beyond what I normally use will be high tier. Meaning that realistically all of my charging is at the high tier price, so that's what I calculate on. I use a spreadsheet which is really the only way to get an accurate picture.

That being said, here in Georgia as in most parts of the country, even with all of the tariffs it is still cheaper to charge the car than to to use gas.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-25-2020, 01:05 PM Thread Starter
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Hi 2002,
Thank you for your helpful information; you suggested several strategies I might use. Disappointed that I haven't heard from other New Englanders, since we all have pretty high electric rates, and it would be interesting to hear their experiences. I am retired, so charging at work isn't an option, but there are a few free charging stations in my area, one of them at our town library a mile away, so I may consider stopping there occasionally for 1/2 hr to add EV miles. Chargepoint states their Level 2 chargers can add "about" 25 miles of range in an hour. I will just have to fill in the time by reading, checking emails, or Internet surfing; though retired, I still live a pretty busy life and like to use my time efficiently. I also like the idea of charging while driving, which can be used in addition to the charging station visits. My overall goal, of course, is to reduce driving costs AND my carbon footprint. I drove a Ford C-max hybrid for 6 years and achieved an average of 37 mpg, so I'm hoping to improve on that with my Clarity. I just started driving in Hybrid mode exclusively so I can make a direct comparison.

You are entirely correct in your analysis of electric rates; the supply part, averaging under 10 cents/kWh here, gets far more publicity than the delivery part (including tariffs, etc), which accounts for about 57% of my bill. I've spoken with an Eversource rep (our local utility), and he said their efforts in the EV area right now are supporting the expansion of public charging stations, rather than providing special rates for EV owners. Will have to talk to my state representatives about this issue, since the company is regulated. If Eversource is sincere about having their customers "save money and energy", they should recognize the growing use of EVs in their 4 state area and offer lower rates for their EV owner customers. I envy the rates you pay down in GA, which appear to be around 11.69 cents; no wonder people are leaving CT for down south! Thanks for letting me vent .
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-27-2020, 03:45 PM
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Dividing the total bill by number of kWh won't really give an accurate cost to charge your Clarity. Most utilities have a meter/connection charge that you pay every month even if you use 0 kWh. That needs to be backed out to get the incremental cost of electricity. Some utilities will have other flat fees not based upon actual usage that would also need to be backed out.

Last bill we used 795 kWh. Bill was ~$109. $11 (+taxes) of that was the "basic charge".
Our incremental electricity cost is ~$.12 (we elected the "green energy" option and paid ~$6 to support solar/wind projects)

Basic Charge 11.00
Energy Use Charge (795.000 kWh x $0.06329) 50.32
Transmission Charge (795.000 kWh x $0.00243) 1.93
Distribution Charge (743.710 kWh x $0.04662) 34.67
Distribution Charge (51.290 kWh x $0.04652) 2.39
Green Source [sm] (795.000 kWh x $0.008) 6.36
Subtotal - Energy Charges 106.67
102 RPA Exchange Credit (743.710 kWh x $-0.00922) 6.86 CR
102 RPA Exchange Credit (51.290 kWh x $-0.00768) 0.39 CR
105 Regulatory Adjustments (743.710 kWh x $0.00013) 0.10
109 Energy Efficiency Funding Adj (743.710 kWh x $0.00397) 2.95
109 Energy Efficiency Funding Adj (51.290 kWh x $0.00362) 0.19
110 Energy Efficiency Customer Svc (743.710 kWh x $0.00006) 0.04
112 Customer Engagement Transformation Adjustment (795.000 kWh x
$0.0003) 0.24
123 Decoupling Adjustment (743.710 kWh x $0.002) 1.49
123 Decoupling Adjustment (51.290 kWh x $0.00058) 0.03
125 Annual Power Cost Update (51.290 kWh x $0.00176) 0.09
132 Federal Tax Reform Credit (743.710 kWh x $-0.00162) 1.20 CR
132 Federal Tax Reform Credit (51.290 kWh x $-0.00166) 0.09 CR
135 Demand Response (743.710 kWh x $0.00044) 0.33
135 Demand Response (51.290 kWh x $0.00118) 0.06
136 Community Solar Start-Up Cost Recovery (795.000 kWh x $0.00006) 0.05
137 Solar Payment Option Cost Recov (795.000 kWh x $0.00047) 0.37
143 Spent Fuel Adjustment (743.710 kWh x $-0.00017) 0.13 CR
145 Boardman Decommissioning Adj (743.710 kWh x $0.00026) 0.19
145 Boardman Decommissioning Adj (51.290 kWh x $0.00025) 0.01
Subtotal - Adjusting Schedules 2.53 CR
CityTax (1.5%) 1.52
Low Income Assistance 0.69
Public Purpose Charge (3%) 3.03
Subtotal - Taxes and Fees 5.24
Current Energy Charges 109.38


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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-27-2020, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by MPG+ View Post
I've spoken with an Eversource rep (our local utility)
The real problem is Eversource has a monopoly on power distribution in New England. They have duped the PUCs of those states into thinking they have to charge that much to make a profit. You really need to be talking to your state reps about the Eversource's price gouging.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-28-2020, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
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Good point, obermd. I'll plan on doing that and pushing for some reduced overnight rates too.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-28-2020, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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Hi DucRider, thank you for your detailed input, and I sense you're correct; I just need to dive back into our bill and separate the flat fees to get a more accurate rate.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-29-2020, 06:53 PM
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I'm in MD. Our electric rates are not as crazy, but just keep in mind that it makes a huge difference WHEN you charge. If you charge during peak demand, the cost will be prohibitive in more states than not. If your electric rates are really that sky high, a good way to bridge the gap might be to buy a high MPG regular hybrid -- the Prius comes to mind. They are in a similar price bracket to the Clarity, but they're smaller cars so they can go further on gasoline alone. Driving one feels almost the same as driving an EV because you are usually in EV mode when you're accelerating from a stop, and you have an eCVT so you don't feel transmission shifting either.

The Clarity is not especially efficient as a non-plugin hybrid. Worlds better than a 6-cyl Impala or something, granted, but the amazing fuel economy of the Clarity really comes out of charging it from electricity. It's basically a Civic if all of its power comes from gasoline.

Loving my new car!
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-29-2020, 07:33 PM
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We drive our Clarity on battery every day,

usually not draining the battery completely, then recharge every overnight. Our electric bill went up $20-$25 per month after we bought the Clarity, but our electric rates here in Iowa are only .08 cents all times of day due to our utility getting most of their energy from wind turbines. If your electric rates are nearly 3x that in CT as you say, that would project out to about a $75 increase/month, which is what you said your bill increased by. Makes sense.
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