My First Power Bill With Sense & New TOU/Demand Rate From Georgia Power (I hate them now)


I’ve been waiting for this day almost as much as I am waiting for sense to discover my washing machine. :slight_smile: My first power bill from Georgia Power. Not only is this my first power bill since I purchased Sense, it is also my first full bill under the “Smart Rate” Here is a link to the tariff sheet:

With much excitement, I open my power bill, expecting to see a detailed breakdown of my usage so I can compare it to my Sense logs. Here is what I got:

At first I thought, okay, this is pretty accurate when it came to kWh, Sense had 890, the bill had 860, close enough I figured. But when I did the math, my current service of $82.49 was no where near what I thought it would be. Let me explain first what I was expecting, and then what I discovered upon reading more about the rate (which wasn’t advertised, but I’ll take that up with the power company)

Georgia power markets this rate using the following graphic:

Point 1 in the graphic is about demand, avoid simultaneous use of major appliances. I have no gripe with this. Their peak demand for me was 4.9kW and Sense agrees that there was two different one hour time periods when it was that high. I’ve made some IFTTT automation with regards to my water heater and clothes dryer which should prevent that in the future. So no gripe there.

Point 2 is where the deception is. Georgia power implies I can lower my bill by using less electricity during peak times. And according to their rate sheet, this is true. I pay .009 per kWh off peak, so not even a penny. But, I pay .096 per kWh peak! I was okay with this, and assumed my usage should have been about $9.00, plus the demand charge of $39.01. So, where was the other $43 coming from? Back to the TOU (Smart Rate) sheet.

I missed the fact that there is a basic service charge of 0.32 per day. This is on the standard residential rate also, so it isn’t like there is any funny business, you would just think they would break it out since we pay it every month. And it is only about 10 bucks, so I’m still missing $33.

I start reading all of the extra information on page two of the rate while comparing it to my bill. Each of the lines below comes directly from the tariff:

Environmental Compliance Cost, no that isn’t part of current service, it is a separate line of 11.87.
Nuclear Construction Cost Recovery, no, that isn’t part of current service either, it is separate at 3.50
Demand side management schedule, I understand their math and am cool with it.
Fuel Cost Recovery… …wait what?? “The amount calculated at the above rate will be increased under the provisions of the Company’s effective Municipal Franchise Fee Schedule.”

Ah Ha!! Google, what is georgia fuel cost recovery fee? (since they didn’t put it in the tariff)

So, what this says is that regardless of which residential rate you are on, and regardless of what time of the day you use electricity, (peak or off peak), you will still pay .031440 per kWh in the summertime. And we’ll roll that amount right into your current service line, rather than call it out.

First, it seems odd the electric company is charging me about $9 for what I actually used, and $27 to recover the fuel cost!! Second, there was nothing in the customer facing information saying that your fuel recovery charges will remain the same, only your energy charges are impacted by time of use (TOU).

So, what does it all mean? Did I save money? Well, if I would have just paid the standard residential rates, my usage (JUST USAGE no recovery fees since they are static) my usage would have been $46.47. With Smart Rate, my usage was only $9.00, but the demand charge of 39.01 made the total bill $48.00, so almost a wash, but slightly higher with smart rate.

Bottom line, it looks like reducing the demand factor is the only real way to game this rate. For each kW I can reduce it, I will save $7.90. The peak vs off peak savings is significant, but only if you can control the demand (9.00 vs 46.00)

Well, I hope you enjoyed reading all of this. Knowing now what I know about fuel recovery fees, and how TOU doesn’t seem to factor into them, I’m a little smarter now. (really need to get solar panels)


I hear ya! You’d hate California PG&E Rates! Here is what our TOU rate table looks like:

We have a daily minimum charge of $0.32854/day. Summer peak is $0.41813/kWh and off-peak is $0.35469/kWh. Peak is 4pm-9pm each day.

I have solar, so I am somewhat isolated from these rates… But these are the rates that “normal” Californians pay without solar… And I would be subject to these rates for anything over my solar production… It’s pretty egregious…

Not sure if this is true nationwide…but I was on a flat rate plan until I went solar… NEM 2.0 in California requires me to go with a TOU plan.

Interesting and painful. Here in NorCal, the advertised rates include all the bundled additional charges, which are only visible when one pushes down into the rate plans. Here’s the hidden details on my EV TOU rate plan, which is somewhat different from @MikeekiM 's even though this is PG&E as well. TOU, but no demand charges. It is interesting to see breakout between generation, transmission and distribution.

@kevin1 - How do I read this matrix? Do I add all the numbers in the column (separating summer from winter usage of course…or that would be redundant/double counting)… Is your cost per kWh the sum total of the generation cost, the distribution cost, and all of the detailed fees below the energy rate section?

BTW, here is a link to a document with all of the current rate plans… I assume your EV TOU rate plan is represented in the document…

Great analysis… I’m glad we have a simple rate structure in Florida. But if I’m reading you bill correctly you used 860 KWH for a total bill of $104. That’s an all in rate of 12 cents/kWH… which, in my opinion, isn’t really bad. . That’s the same ave all-in rate we have in Florida w FPL.

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One detail that I did not mention on the TOU rate plan that I am on (E-TOU-C), is that it is the only remaining TOU rate plan (that I know of) that includes a baseline credit for minimal baseline usage…

Every household has a different household baseline level, based on geography, size of house and other factors that I am not an expert on. Some have said that it included number of household occupants, but I am not sure how they would accurately get that information.

If you are below your baseline usage, you get a $0.07584/kWh credit. Anything over your baseline usage gets billed at the full rate…

Again, PG&E has a number of TOU rates…and I think my E-TOU-C rate plan is the only remaining TOU plan that has a baseline credit… It is one of the reasons I chose this plan…

@MikeekiM, Yes, my rates are the seasonal sum of all the numbers.

Here’s the less-detailed PG&E overview.

I agree. All the effort I am going to in shaving down usage during peak, and reducing demand, is really only accounting for 10-20 bucks a month, on what is already a pretty low bill.