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Re: Simple Math (Score: 1)
by mlmitton on Monday, November 10, 2003 @ 21:09:43 EST
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Has the GWE page changed since you had this exchange about their numbers? Because it seems everybody commenting here is screwing up these numbers.

There are two costs here--The fixed cost of purchasing the device, and the operational cost. The fixed cost is $112.50 'per KwH of daily capacity.' The operational cost is 1.9 cents per KwH. So, if you have a unit producing 26.6 KwH per day, the daily operational cost will be slightly over 50 cents (26.6 * .019). So the monthly operational cost will be about 15 dollars (30 * .50). This is very simple, so please tell me the page has been cleaned up.

The associated question is this: Give these costs, does it make financial sense to purchase the Edison Device? Or to phrase it another way, how much would electricity need to cost from my utility company so that I would be indifferent between buying an Edison device and staying with the power company.

To do this, you need to calculate the present discounted value of the Edison Device over the next 20 years, the expected life of the device.

Using their numbers, the $2992.50 is a cost incurred today, and the $15 cost will be incurred monthly for the next 20 years. Using the formula for an annuity, the PDV of $15 per month for 20 years, assuming a 6% annual interest rate is about $2094. So, the present discounted value of all costs for the Edison device, over the life of the device, is $5086 (2094 + 2992).

Now, how much would you have to pay in electricity to your utility company each month, for the next 20 years, for the PDV of those payments to equal $5086. You use the same annuity formula, but solve for the monthly payment. I get about $36.50.

So, if your average electric bill is $36.50, then you will be exactly indifferent (monetarily) between staying with the utility company and purchasing an Edison device. If your bill is more than that, then you would be better off with an Edison. If your bill is less, then you would be better off staying with your electrical company.

Are we clear on these numbers now?

Post-script for the interested. The discounting formula for an annuity is:

PDV = N * D * [(1-D^n)/(1-D)]
D = 1/ 1+i
N = The amount paid in each period
n = The number of periods
i = The appropriate interest rate. Note that if you're using monthly periods, you need to convert an annual interest rate into a monthly interest rate. A 6% annual rate is a .5% monthly rate (6%/12)

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