Electric Vehicle Pilot Program: Expanding Charging Stations and Exploring Incentives

Electric Vehicle Pilot Program: Expanding Charging Stations and Exploring Incentives
02 April 2017

More Utahns are switching to electric vehicles, which is improving air quality and reducing pollution. Utah Clean Energy is working to make sure that the switch from gasoline vehicles to electric vehicles is simple, affordable and helps customers save $$ by making the change. Since last summer, we have been working with Rocky Mountain Power on designing their EV Pilot Program to help promote greater installation EV chargers all around the Utility’s service territory in Utah.  This is an important opportunity to work in tandem with our electricity provider on the front-end, to outline the best strategies to encourage widespread EV adoption to improve air quality.

The Latest

In early 2017, Rocky Mountain Power requested approval by the Utah Public Service Commission for their proposed EV Pilot Program. The pilot is one of the initiatives from Rocky Mountain Power’s Sustainable Transportation and Energy Plan (STEP) policy they passed in 2016.  While we didn’t agree with everything in the STEP bill, we saw the EV components as an opportunity to expand EV’s in Utah.

We have been collaborating in EV workgroup meetings to explore incentive options that encourage homeowners and businesses to install EV chargers, and additional incentives to cover the cost and installation of DC fast chargers across Utah. In addition, we are digging in on a pilot rate design for residential EV customers, dubbed “Time-of-Use” (TOU) rates.  These specific rates options for residential EV customers have the potential to encourage smart energy choices, and to plan for a high penetration of EV’s.

We’re looking at this with the long view - solutions that encourage more EV adoption and integration with our Utility grid, with the ultimate goal of EV’s powered by solar power. Rate design for EVs is about as complex as it gets, but potentially with a big payoff for Utah’s energy future! Our formal testimony will be submitted to the Utah Public Service Commission on April 6th.

Our position

EV Incentives
Our goal is achieve incentive levels that are sufficient enough to drive Level 2 charger installations among homes and businesses across Utah.

Time of Use Rates
Utah Clean Energy’s Time of Use Rate proposal is designed to send appropriate price signals that encourage customers to use electricity the most effective way possible, while conserving energy at all times. Our rate proposal provides price breaks for energy efficient EV homes, and incentivizes users to charge at the smartest times possible to save money.  We are working with groups like Tesla, Chargepoint and EV Go to help structure an effective incentive and rate design proposal. We will have more details once we file our testimony with the Commission on April 6, 2017.

The Company’s EV proposal can be accessed here: https://psc.utah.gov/2016/08/25/docket-no-16-035-36/

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