Second meter for home charging?

timbop

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I'm wondering if anyone else has a second meter with time-of-use billing for their EV? I have 200 amp service, but the Mrs has been bugging me for years to put in a hot tub, which typically requires a 50 Amp 240 volt circuit. I've already got dual air conditioners on 40 amp circuits, as well as a 50 amp line running to our double oven. Adding another 40 amp breaker for a BEV just feels like I would be pushing it. On top of that I have normal residential service from PSE&G in NJ which carries an $.185 to $.195 /kWh rate depending on time of year and how much power you use (over 600 kWh in summer the rate goes up). PSE&G does offer time of use billing, but I work from home 2 days a week and my menopausal wife only works part time - so I don't think I could get away with letting the house warm up to 80 degrees by 8PM when the rate drops from $.27 to $.12.

It feels like the best option not to overload my existing service AND to get the cheapest EV charging is to add a second TOU meter just for EV charging (hope to talk the wife into getting rid of her Durango too). Anybody do this, or even know if PSE&G will do it? PSE&G's website is useless, and from what I've read on other fora just getting them to replace the regular meter with one that supports TOU billing is an exercise in futility. Trying to add a second meter with different billing might be impossible.
 

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I'm wondering if anyone else has a second meter with time-of-use billing for their EV? I have 200 amp service, but the Mrs has been bugging me for years to put in a hot tub, which typically requires a 50 Amp 240 volt circuit. I've already got dual air conditioners on 40 amp circuits, as well as a 50 amp line running to our double oven. Adding another 40 amp breaker for a BEV just feels like I would be pushing it. On top of that I have normal residential service from PSE&G in NJ which carries an $.185 to $.195 /kWh rate depending on time of year and how much power you use (over 600 kWh in summer the rate goes up). PSE&G does offer time of use billing, but I work from home 2 days a week and my menopausal wife only works part time - so I don't think I could get away with letting the house warm up to 80 degrees by 8PM when the rate drops from $.27 to $.12.

It feels like the best option not to overload my existing service AND to get the cheapest EV charging is to add a second TOU meter just for EV charging (hope to talk the wife into getting rid of her Durango too). Anybody do this, or even know if PSE&G will do it? PSE&G's website is useless, and from what I've read on other fora just getting them to replace the regular meter with one that supports TOU billing is an exercise in futility. Trying to add a second meter with different billing might be impossible.
Why not get an electrician in just to evaluate your panel residual capacity, besides he could also evaluate the possibility of adding capacity to your main entrance according to your actual and future needs?
 

dbsb3233

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If the utility company (perhaps mandated by state government) imposes higher rates for heavy users, I'd be surprised if they'd let people add a 2nd electrical service to the same residential address just to get around the heavy-use price premium. Seems like a loophole. Plus there may already be a fixed base charge applied to each electrical service (separate from the incremental kWh usage charge) that would end up making having 2 meters more expensive anyway. Check your bill to see what fixed charges are in there.

May just me simplier to upgrade to a larger service to the house if all that puts you over the limit for your current service.
 

dbsb3233

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FWIW, I've always thought such "heavy user" price premiums were unfair. They tend to treat all residential homes the same, regardless of how many people live there. One house may have 2 people in it and another may have 5. The one with 5 is probably gonna use more electricity. Doesn't make sense that they should get stuck paying higher kWh rates.
 

ClaudeMach-E

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Also why not evaluate the possibility of installing a Solar panel system ???
 

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Also why not evaluate the possibility of installing a Solar panel system ???
Solar Panel system, especially with TOU rate system, is financially beneficial for home charging overnight; generate electricity at highest rates and use it at the lowest rates.
 
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timbop

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I definitely have considered solar, although the orientation of my house is less conducive to solar: my front roof faces east, and my back roof faces west. I did get quotes 2 years ago, and even though the payback due to inefficiency is longer it is still an option to save costs. However, that doesn't change the load on my service. Since I would charge mostly at night when the 2 A/C's and hot tub could be on at the same time, I still need to do something about the possibility that I would be overloading my 200 amp service.

To @dbsb3233 's point it does seem like a way around the billing, so they may not allow the 2 different billing types concurrently. I am also not sure that in my older neighborhood I can upgrade to greater than 200 amp service anyway, so I might not have a choice about the meter. I guess I have to bite the bullet and wend my way through PSE&G's customer service hell, but I was hoping to hear from others who might have experience with a second meter to see which is better anyway.
 

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Solar Panel system, especially with TOU rate system, is financially beneficial for home charging overnight; generate electricity at highest rates and use it at the lowest rates.
I haven't done the analysis recently, but in my situation (solar panels on a 2-story house with 2 A/Cs and living in the Valley of the Sun), the flat rate wasthe way to go. Most solar goes to the A/C's during the day. I'm not sure how charging at night on a ToU plan will affect it. 😅 So many variables and things to consider, lol.
 

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We have a second meter for the EV and one for the house. The EV meter has time of day use rates (which is incredibly cheap overnight--I've posted one of my bills elsewhere).

The house meter has a standard house rate (don't watch that one as much as the EV #'s LOL).
 

dbsb3233

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If none of those were viable options and you can't get more than 200A service (and you're max'd out), I wonder if maybe there's a way to share a circuit with staggered timing? Like for instance, a switch where you can flip between your dryer outlet and your garage charging outlet? You'd only be able to use one at a time, and it would be kind of a pain to keep switching (unless maybe there was a timer that would switch over automatically at 11pm or something). But if you're really desperate...
 

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I had that choice here in Indianapolis when we put in our Leaf charger. They had a considerably lower rate for EVs that charge at night, but it required a second meter and service be installed. There was no way I was ever going to make back the cost of what they told me that would be.
 

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timbop

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If none of those were viable options and you can't get more than 200A service (and you're max'd out), I wonder if maybe there's a way to share a circuit with staggered timing? Like for instance, a switch where you can flip between your dryer outlet and your garage charging outlet? You'd only be able to use one at a time, and it would be kind of a pain to keep switching (unless maybe there was a timer that would switch over automatically at 11pm or something). But if you're really desperate...
I don't think I could get that past the inspector though. I put an addition on my house in 2005 (which is when I upgraded to 200 amp service), and the inspector at the time was a real harda$$ jerk. He's probably not still there, but I am pretty sure he was typical of the breed
 

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I don't think I could get that past the inspector though. I put an addition on my house in 2005 (which is when I upgraded to 200 amp service), and the inspector at the time was a real harda$$ jerk. He's probably not still there, but I am pretty sure he was typical of the breed
Just curious, was the issue because he was a jerk or a hardass? Two different things to me.

I had my service panel replaced on my house, because some conduit feel against it when it was open and having work done. Melted some of the breakers. It's a long story, anyway, the company that did it, obviously wanted to do it as quick and cheap as possible since I wasn't paying them to fix it. Later on, my breakers were tripping and come to find out, the wires were not tightened down and were sparking/smoking. Then a year or so after that the panel started pulling away from the house. Drywall screws are not the end-all-be-all screw for everything! The company refused to fix it for free because it was outside of their warranty period. I wish the inspector would have caught it at the time.
 

dbsb3233

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I don't think I could get that past the inspector though. I put an addition on my house in 2005 (which is when I upgraded to 200 amp service), and the inspector at the time was a real harda$$ jerk. He's probably not still there, but I am pretty sure he was typical of the breed
Yeah, that probably falls into the "jury rig" category that they probably wouldn't like. Not sure if a 240v circuit has to be a straight-shot wiring or of there can be a junction in between.

I don't suppose your dryer outlet just happens to be right on the same wall as your garage? They do make 240V splitter cords (typically for RV use). But you'd need a way to feed it through the wall into the garage. Wouldn't need it inspected that way (no change to actual house wiring), but you'd need to be careful not to use both at the same time. (And who knows what the insurance company might say if your house burned down.)
 
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