Utility rates and data entry

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Hello All:

I am having trouble with the input of the utility rate. Is the rate
file supposed to come from the utility, or can I just input a rate and
model the relative savings?

Best regards,

Tracy A. Black, P.E.; LEED AP

tblack_pe at cox.net's picture
Joined: 2011-09-30
Reputation: 0

To be the most relevant the rate should come from the local utility(ies)
that will service the building you are modeling.

cmg750's picture
Joined: 2010-10-05
Reputation: 0

Agreeing with Carol, I'd also add that I'm not aware of any utilities
who create/publish rate files for use in eQuest.

Every rate I've ever used has been (1) sourced by myself, either from
the relevant utility or owner, with references kept on record in my
project file, and (2) defined in eQuest by myself. If I ever wish to
use a previous rate for a given location, I will open up the old file
and save the rate as defined for importing into the new project (this is
rendered simple through buttons in the wizard rate definition screens).

If you're asking whether you can just input a (simple) flat rate to
estimate relative savings, where in reality you have demand/block rate
structures, the answer will depend on what you are trying to compare
relatively and what magnitude of effect those loads would have on the
block/demand charges. In short, there's no short answer - it will boil
down to your own judgment based on your understanding of the loads and
their profiles.

Hope that helps!



Nick-Caton's picture
Joined: 2011-09-30
Reputation: 805

For US locations, utility companies are required by law to publish their tariff schedules for the public – but these are not eQuest files. Many do on their website, but if you’re in a rural co-op of any sort you might have to get a copy from their office or have them fax it to you.

I’ve always built them from the tariff sheets, but I start in wizard mode by selecting pre-built rate that is similar in structure (there are a few California utility rate structures that are pre-packaged). From there, I modify it.

The most difficult part of me even WITH an electrical engineering background is figuring out the complex rate structures from the tariff sheets, especially if the utility company has gone to market-based pricing (i.e. the per-kWh cost of electricity each month is adjusted based on their cost of raw fuels for power plants and the price of purchased electricity from someone else). The laws of algebra unfortunately make entering all components of a rate a must, especially if there are demand charges, fixed charges, and different block sizes.

The only exception to this are the rare cases where a user is not being charged for energy. I worked on a municipal project that had a “franchise” agreement with the utility company from when they first turned over control of a municipal utility system and generating capacity over to the bigger utility company. Essentially, they paid an annual fee and were not charged separately for energy use for government run facilities, including street lighting. In cases like this, you would use the CBECS tables and come up with a flat per-kWh rate.

Jeremy R. Poling, PE, LEED AP+BDC

Jeremy Poling2's picture
Joined: 2011-09-30
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From: http://bepan.info/contents
All the information dates prior to 2006
Sample Utility Rates published by utility companies: http://bepan.info/utilities
Typical Utility Rates in Excel format: http://bepan.info/design - 6 - Typical-Utility-Rates
Utility Rates in DOE21E format: http://bepan.info/doe2inp - 3d - DOE21E Utility Rates INP-BDL - Examples
Uitility Rates in DOE22 format (not uploaded): http://bepan.info/doe2inp - 5d - UTILITY - eQ-DOE22-inp - User-Insert-Templates - Override-Defaults

Varkie Thomas's picture
Joined: 2011-09-30
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