EV Club Follow Up with Eversource and UI
This post concerns vehicles with telematics. Telematics is where the utility is able to communicate directly with the vehicle, as opposed to a smart charger, the latter being the basic design of the program. This information has been developing, and in some cases, changing. This is the latest. Here goes.
The basic design of the program is to provide subsidies of up to $1000 for the purchase and installation of smart chargers. In return, the recipient is required to participate in the demand response programs where the utility can throttle the rate of charge during high demand periods. The utility pays then the customer $200 annually for full participation in the demand response.
One thing that is different than what is in the video of our meeting is that all vehicles, including Tesla, are eligible for a smart charger subsidy. At this time, there are no approved Tesla chargers in the program. That could change if Tesla chooses to submit a charger for qualification (or possibly they have and it is in the approval process). Tesla owners can use an eligible J1772 smart charger and qualify for the hardware incentive. Of course, an adapter will be necessary.
For those people who already have chargers that are not qualified chargers because they are either dumb chargers or non-approved smart chargers, another way to participate in the program is via telematics, if you have an eligible vehicle. Tesla, Chevrolet, Ford and a few other makes have eligible vehicles. This is the page that lists eligible vehicles for each company. It is subject to change and is expected to change as this is still early days. There is a $100 enrollment incentive for people participating via telematics.
Registering for Telematics
Registering for this telematics path is difficult and confusing at this point because Eversource and UI are still in the process of building out their websites and back-end integration. The back-end part of it is further complicated because there are two external vendors involved. One vendor is managing the rebates. The other is managing the telematics. Both utilities are using the same vendor for the rebates, but they are using different vendors for telematics. Consequently, there will be different vehicles that are telematics-eligible for each utility. While it is possible to stumble your way through the process, it is better to wait for the time being. As long as the program registration is done before June, no incentive amount will be lost.
We have provided detailed feedback to the utilities about the pain points in the registration funnels as they exist now.
In the case of Eversource, there is yet another layer because it is retaining its Connected Solutions branding and transitioning it to the new program. This process is not complete and there is old content still on the website. It is possible to link to that old content from the homepage and you may find yourself answering questions that are non-sequiturs. Some members have reported landing on a Massachusetts page. This is all part of the same problem, and the advice is the same – wait.
When we booked the virtual club meeting about this program for early in the year, we did not realize that there was still be a lot of developmental work to be done by the utilities to get to full implementation. Eversource and UI have advised us that in about a month, they will be able to give us more definitive information regarding the specifics of a more consumer-friendly telematics registration funnel and we will communicate that out when we have them.