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Agile electricity pricing
Old 12-03-2019, 10:26 AM   #1
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Agile electricity pricing

One of the power companies here, Octopus, is now providing an optional tariff called agile pricing so that customers with stored energy, from batteries (inc. EVs), or with solar panels in the summer can lower their electricity bills. They provide a spreadsheet showing the whole of 2018 with half hour prices for every day. The peak period in the summer months, with highest prices per kWh, seems to start around 3pm and last for 3 hours, and in the winter months start at 4pm and lasts about 3 hours. Every day they publish their prices for the previous 24 hours and the next 24 hours so you can adjust your timing to suit.

We have solar panels with battery storage and the inverter has an optional schedule to force-charge the battery. Since the peak period, starting at 4pm, is 2.5 to 3 times more expensive than in the afternoon then I have scheduled my inverter to force-charge between 1 and 3:30. On sunny days like today, even though it is winter, the force-charge is not needed as the batteries get fully charged from the solar panels. I checked it at 3:10pm, sun too low to generate electricity but the batteries are fully charged so no force-charge in progress, however the 170W the house is currently needing is coming from the grid as it knows I don't want to begin to use the battery power until 3:30.

Clever stuff, but I wish the inverter allowed 2 charge schedules then I would utilize the cheapest electricity overnight and use the battery power during the early morning hours where the price is about 50% higher.

Excess electricity generated during the day is exported to the grid and we get paid for that, but those payments are about half of what we pay to import so the best strategy is to use the generated electricity which is why all the washing machines and dishwashers here have the option for delayed start so working families can load up and then go to work knowing that their wash loads will be done using free electricity, provided it is bright enough outside.
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Old 12-03-2019, 10:28 AM   #2
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I should have mentioned that "smart" meters are required for agile pricing and most of the power companies provide these free of charge.
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