NewEnergyNews: ORIGINAL REPORTING: California’s Innovative Rates To Boost Electric Vehicles

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    Wednesday, June 19, 2019

    ORIGINAL REPORTING: California’s Innovative Rates To Boost Electric Vehicles

    PG&E, SCE, SDG&E pursue subscriptions, time-of-use rates to drive more California EVs; As California regulators call for a more formal transportation electrification framework, the state's utilities are stepping up with pilot programs that address peak demand and rate concerns.

    Herman K. Trabish, Jan. 23, 2019 (Utility Dive)

    Editor’s note: The huge demand coming from Transportation Electrification can boost the power system or threaten it and these new plans are intended get the benefit and prevent the harm.

    Policy-driven, ground-breaking, electric vehicle-specific rate designs from California's top utilities could break down cost barriers to driving electric and support grid stability while protecting ratepayers. In September 2018, California lawmakers enacted Senate Bill (SB) 1000 to advance the state's U.S.-leading transportation electrification effort. In December, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) opened a proceeding to develop a formal transportation electrification framework. SB 1000 ordered the CPUC to, within an existing proceeding, consider rate designs that shift the EV charging load away from peak demand and address the demand charges in commercial and industrial (C&I) rates now impeding electric vehicle (EV) growth, CPUC EV Program staffer Carolyn Sisto told Utility Dive. The demand charge in C&I rates has become a barrier to EV growth in the commercial-industrial sector because the disproportionately high spike from charging an EV fleet can make driving electric more expensive than using a traditionally fueled vehicle.

    The commission was already working toward the transportation electrification objectives in SB 1000, but in the new rulemaking, the CPUC directs the state's IOUs' focus to those objectives as well, said Sisto. In 2017, the CPUC approved a San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) trial rate to shift residential EV charging as well as a new Southern California Edison (SCE) EV-specific rate to address demand charges. A precedent-setting Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) demand charge solution would create a new rate class to address C&I customers' EV load. Like the SCE and SDG&E rates, it proposes time varying pricing that acts as a signal to shift usage. Uniquely, it replaces the demand charge with a monthly subscription charge, which is a hybrid version of the energy subscription concept introduced by Navigant Director Lon Huber… click here for more

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