CLEP - Customer Lowered Electricity Price, or Pricing, is a mechanism that provides customers direct access to the wholesale electricity market, thereby incentivizing choices that benefit that consumer, other rate-payers, the utility itself, and the environment with a free-market solution without any government subsidies.
CLEP satisfies right-leaning viewpoints with optional "opt-in" participation, and a subsidy-free, free-market solution while satisfying left-leaning desires that address climate change issues - it's a political winner.
CLEP's implementation has a few requirements, such as "smart meters", and of course a regulatory structure permitting it. Beyond this, it's then up to the energy consumer to make good choices.
Based on the 5-minute wholesale market, CLEP has two fundamentally different electricity pricing formulas. The first, known as CLEP5, applies year round, while the second, called CLEPm, applies only during high energy demand periods and rewards customers for lowering their energy use during critical time periods. Each provides profit to the utility for the pass-through services they provide and an additional fee that lowers the electricity price for others.
This strategy incentivizes energy consumers to apply sensible, money-saving strategies that benefit all by pricing that, as compared with non-CLEP pricing, "pays" consumers to use energy at less-expensive times or to install equipment to lower their bill. Among these choices are changing time of use, lower-consuming devices, solar PV (especially Community Solar), and a critical option for some communities, a battery. Batteries - and especially when combined with solar - can benefit everyone involved, increasing grid stability, providing resilience during power outages, providing energy at vital times that reduces the need for stand-by power ("spinning reserve"), and can even provide users profit, converting them into a "prosumer".
Electricity customers decide when to use, store, conserve, buy, and sell electricity and these choices may be used to enable CLEPs features to generate savings & income for the customer. Customers save money just by changing when they use the equipment they already have and can even earn net income if they use CLEP cashflows to fully-finance newer equipment. CLEP can double cashflows from energy efficiency and renewable energy while lowering everyones electricity prices. CLEP is an Opt-In rate that complements your current rate. Here are just some of its remarkable benefits:
CLEP can motivate customers to invest in zero or low-emissions generatino, electrical efficiency, and energy storage!
CLEP provides short pay-back periods for thermal and electric storage investments and makes many improvements cost-effective for the first time!
CLEP flattens peak demand at negative costs to all ratepayers and completely shields users from extraordinarily high-priced "peaking-plants."
Some links to helpful materials:
- A 12 minute, 40 second video on YouTube describes CLEP in basic terms. We highly recommend starting here! Note, though, that the audio is a bit spotty.
- A "10 minute" (8 slide) Microsoft PowerPoint presentation also describes CLEP. On slide three, the mathematics are provided and explained while slide 6 shows the cashflow for a battery over 10 years, and slide 7 shows a side-by-side comparison of CLEP versus other electricity rate designs.
- Descriptions of some concepts:
- Align-By-Design - This expression was coined to get the idea across that the various financial interests of electricity generators, utility operators and customers must be aligned if we are to address the financially suggessful integration of renewable energy sources into the American experience. If the interests of the various parties are not aligned, renewables ultimately fail to live up to their potential. But if these interests are aligned, success is assured, but it has to be designed in to rate structures to work.
- Community Solar - This is where an off-site solar array is shared by members of a community to "subscribe" to the electricity generated.
- Whole-Home Battery - Generally, a Whole-Home battery is an electricity storage device (ESD) (e.g., battery bank with inverter) large enough to provide all of the power and energy needed for one days unfettered electricity consumption on the most demanding day of the year, and can be recharged between 1 and 5 AM.This concept was first articulated in, and is fully described in a 154 page PDF of a presentation delivered on Sep. 23, 2014 at the EEBA Conference in St. Louis, MO.
- Here's an e-learning class about CLEP. (You can sign up or run it anonymously.) NOTE: This class was developed specifically with the situation in New Orleans in mind as it has been part of an on-going rate-case there. As such, it has some local-to-New Orleans content, such as citing the Mid-Continent Independent System Operator (MISO), which operates the mid-continental grid, from the Gulf to Canada. People not served by MISO will have their own local equivalent. See more about the rate case below.
- A computer application called CLEP Dashboard runs a fairly realistic simulation of the consumer's experience with CLEP, and provides a number of popular home-upgrade options and lets the user observe the financial benefits of their choices. You can request a live, in-person demonstration performed via screen-sharing.
- Here's another YouTube video, this time by an Align-by-Design talk about CLEP recorded on Feb. 24, 2019. It's broken up into 12 pieces and totals about four hours long. Some of it is a bit campy, but it gets the ideas across.
- CLEP is involved in the 2018 Entegy New Orleans (ENO) Rate Case. Here are some materials about that:
- Feb. 1, 2019: Direct Testimony by CLEP's inventor, Myron Katz.
- Apr. 25, 2019: Surrebuttal Testimony
- Jun. 1, 2019: Response to ENO's Interrogatory
- Jun 1, 2019: CLEP Dashboard
- Jun 17, 2019: Opening Statement to Evidentiary Hearing
- Jun 26, 2019: Initial Post Evidentiary Hearing Brief
- Aug 9, 2019: Reply Brief
- An OpEd for CLEP, August 21, 2019 in Microsoft Word (docx)
- A talk given at the Growing Sustainable Communities Conference in Dubuque, Iowa, Oct 25, 2019 titled, A Novel Electricity Rate Effectively Addresses Reliability and Sustainability -- While Using the Profit Motive to Get Us All on Board to Save the Biosphere! This is in Microsoft PowerPoint (pptx).
Contact information:CLEP Energy Email: Info @ ClepEnergy.org