Post by Barry Kresch
Charging Incentives Via The Utilities
The incentives drafted by the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority that will be made available through Eversource and United Illuminating (commonly referred to as utilities, but in regulatory parlance known as EDCs or electric distribution companies) have been mostly finalized. There are a number of parts to them and we will be writing about them periodically over the next few weeks. There are subsidies for residential, commercial, municipal, and fleets. The residential charging program includes incentives for multi-unit dwellings (MUD) as well as single family. Incentives include subsidized charging stations, installation, make-ready, discounts on electricity, and demand charge mitigation.
The grid at the top and the explanation below cover the incentives for single family residences, which became effective on January 1, 2022.
The incentives for charging stations require the purchase of utility approved hardware. Incentives are not retroactive. The list of approved chargers will be published on January 20, 2022. Approved chargers will be smart chargers. Taking the subsidy requires enrollment in the demand-response charging program.
Residential Single Family Incentives
- Up to a $500 incentive for purchase of a level 2 smart charging station. Smart = WiFi connected at a minimum of 25 MBPS or cellular service, 4G minimum.
- Up to a $500 incentive to bring a 240 volt line to the garage, if needed.
- Owners give the utility permission to see charging data.
- Up to $200 per year for participating in demand-response charging events. Two year commitment required.
It is possible to get charging incentives for a non-networked (i.e. dumb) charging station that may have been previously installed or even for one that is bought new. In this case the charging information can be obtained either via vehicle telematics (if the vehicle has that capability), or the utility can send a device that will enable a dumb charger to access WiFi. There will be no charge for this device. The EDCs will be publishing a list of which vehicles qualify for telematics.
A $100 enrollment incentive is offered to people who participate using either telematics or a charger upgrade device.
- An owner buying a new dumb charger is not eligible for the hardware subsidy, but is eligible for the installation subsidy.
The managed charging program in year one is limited to a demand response program. EV owners can get up to $200 per year ($50/month over 4 months) for their participation, whether that participation comes via a smart charger, telematics, or upgraded dumb charger. The demand response program is in effect from June 1 through September 30. During high demand periods, the utilities are permitted to reduce the rate of charge going to your vehicle. The vehicle will charge at roughly the rate of a level 1 charger during these periods. Typically, an event will last up to 3 hours and occur between 3:00 – 9:00 PM. There can be up to 15 events per month. Customers will be notified in advance of these events and be permitted to opt-out. If a customer opts out of 2 or fewer events and is plugged in at least once per month, they still qualify for the $50 monthly incentive. A 2-year commitment is required. Event notifications are to be communicated via smartphone app, web portal, email, or text message, usually the day before the event, but sometimes the day of the event. If you are not home and therefore not plugged in during an event, and have not opted-out, that counts as participation.
The demand-response incentives will be paid off-bill after the end of September.
There is no incentive for those who trickle-charge (level 1).
If a home does not have enough space in its panel to accommodate an EV charger and wishes to upgrade electric service, that is out of scope of the program. Service upgrades can run $5000 or more. Before doing that, it may pay to find out how much room you have or whether you can share a circuit. Perhaps you can install a lower-powered unit than you originally planned.
An Advanced Managed Charging program will be offered beginning in 2023. Details have not yet been finalized.
If someone uses the hardware and installation incentives, but then does not allow the demand-response throttling, and therefore will not collect any of the $200 incentive, it is not known if the EDC will try to claw back the hardware and installation incentives.
Note: Eversource is maintaining its Connected Solutions branding and migrating existing customers into the new program.
We are planning a virtual meeting for January 25th at 7:00 PM, which will include speakers from PURA and UI.
This is the Eversource splash page with links to apply for the incentives. This is the UI page. There is still being work done on the back end and the application portals will be open by the end of Q1 2022.
Incentives available to Eversource and UI customers only.