REC Plans Innovative Electric Vehicle Charging Pilot Program
January 28, 2020
REC expects to soon offer a financial incentive for member-owners to charge their electric vehicles (EV) during times that result in lower costs for the Cooperative. REC recently filed an application with the State Corporation Commission (SCC) seeking approval of an innovative, 2-year electric vehicle charging pilot program that would be the first of its kind in Virginia.
EV experts project that a typical EV owner will use approximately 300 kilowatt hours per month to charge their car. Based on that estimate, an REC member participating in the EV charging pilot would receive a credit of $12 per month or $144 per year on their electric bill, further reducing the cost of “refueling” their EV, while helping REC manage its wholesale power costs.
Research shows that approximately 80% of electric vehicle charging will occur at home. If that charging were to occur during peak times, it could require significant infrastructure investments. That could lead to higher costs for all consumers.
The objective of REC’s pilot is to provide a financial incentive for members to charge their electric vehicle during times that would benefit all REC members. To date, most utility EV rate programs require an expensive second utility meter specifically for the EV charging equipment, or require all electricity used in the home to be on a time-of-use type rate. In contrast, REC’s pilot proposes to utilize a lower-cost technology solution - using data from the EV’s smart charger to determine when and how much electricity is used for EV charging.
Here’s how REC’s pilot program will work:
• The Smart EV Charging pilot will initially be limited to 200 participants with an opportunity for more participants in the second year. Members who sign up for the pilot will schedule their at-home EV charging through their car dashboard or smartphone app.
• All electricity used at the house will be measured by the REC meter and will continue to be billed at the standard rate.
• The electricity used by the EV charger will be measured and tracked by metering built into the EV charger and transferred to REC by way of the member’s home Wi-Fi network.
• Smart EV Charging participants will receive a credit each month when they charge their electric vehicles exclusively during the hours of 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
• The Smart EV Charging credit will be 4 cents per kWh and will appear as a separate line item on the bill.
From the pilot program, REC hopes to test the following:
• Whether electric vehicle owners will respond to a price incentive to charge their cars when the Cooperative’s power costs are lower
• How electric vehicles will affect REC’s distribution system
• And the ability to integrate REC’s business systems and emerging EV technology to offer an innovative and efficient option.
REC expects the SCC to seek public comment on the proposal, and to decide on REC’s EV pilot program later this year. REC member-owners interested in the program can learn more at myrec.coop/evcharging.