At the time of writing, 24 states have what are known as “Deregulated Energy Markets” available to some or all or households and businesses within their borders. In a deregulated market area, a given potential solar customer has the option to go to an “Electricity Marketplace” and select what company they would like to take electricity generation service from. Most Marketplaces have >20 companies participating, each with its own rate that can vary based on Zip Code. All of this can make a solar salesperson’s job much more difficult. This article hopes to help you understand how these rates work and how to use them in Aurora.
A Deregulated Rate is divided into two components:
- The Distribution component is the charge from the company, referred to as “The Distribution Partner,” who is responsible for the distribution and transmission of the electricity. Because this company is the one who owns and maintains the power lines and other transmission architecture, a customer doesn’t get a choice of which distribution partner they have.
- The Generation component is the charge from the company, referred to here as “The Generation Partner,” who is responsible for electricity generation. This is the part of the bill that the customer gets to choose.
In most states, the customer also has a choice to ignore the electricity marketplace and just take generation service from their Distribution Partner. These rates are called “Full Service” rates. If your customer is using a Full-Service rate, you can skip the rest of this workflow and select the appropriate “Full Service” rate in the utility rate area of the Consumption Tab.
Depending on the state, the customer may get their bill from the Distribution partner (most common) OR the Generation partner. In either case, the Distribution and Generation component of the bill will be tallied in separate sections of the bill. Often these are listed on different pages.
Additionally, because they control the physical infrastructure, the Distribution Partner is the one that sets and maintains the energy export policies for their service area.
Now that we have some background, Here’s How to Model Deregulated Marketplace Rates in Aurora:
- In the “Utilities” tab in the database section, find the utility entry for the Distribution Partner (the company that provides the Distribution and Transmission service.)
- Under this entry, each rate classification will have two versions, a “Full Service” rate, and a “Distribution Service” rate. You may need to use the search function.
- If you can’t locate the appropriate distribution service rate, please contact email@example.com
- Once you have found the correct Distribution Service rate, click the “...”s to the right of the rate, select “Duplicate,” and choose a new name that will help you find the rate later.
- Open your duplicated rate and find the “Adjustments” column. By default there will be “0”s listed there initially.
- Use the “✎” buttons next to the “0”s to add your customer’s Generation supply rate (in $/kWh) from their utility bill in the “Adjustments” column. Sometimes, if the Distribution rate has a tiered or time-of-use structure, you will need to enter the generation supply rate in multiple places. Do not modify any other portion of the rate.
- Note: The custom rate will Auto-Save each time you make a change.
- "Click the “➕“ next to the rate to make it a . This “saves” the rate and makes it so that the rate will show up in the rate selection box in both new and legacy Aurora."
- Navigate back to your project. Your custom rate will now be available in the utility rate selection area of the consumption tab.
Important Note: At the time of writing, Aurora cannot model Deregulated Service Rates for Texas Utilities. This is a known issue that we are working to resolve.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact firstname.lastname@example.org