District of Columbia Utility Seeks to Spur EV Usage

Energy utility Pepco Holdings filed a request with the public service commission of the District of Columbia on Sept. 7  to implement a “suite of programs” aimed at spurring the use of electric transportation options among the district’s residents.

Pepco’s proposed $15.2 million program would provide customers with reduced electric rates, credits, rebates and other incentives toward purchasing and operating electric vehicles as well as help encourage further electrification of public transit and other commercial transportation options.

The District Department of Transportation is already using 14 all-electric transit buses within its DC Circulator division – an effort supported by Pepco – which were deployed in early May; buses that are expected to save DDOT $6 million in operating costs over their expected 12-year lifespan.

DDOT Circulator bus

“The electrification of the transportation sector is an essential component to the efforts to drive reduced carbon emissions, air pollutants and provide a safer, healthier environment in the District,” noted Dave Velazquez, president and CEO of Pepco Holdings, in a statement. “[Such] programs both incentivize customers to pursue an EV option as their next vehicle purchase and provide them with the confidence that new charging options will be available to meet their fueling needs across the District.”

Pepco’s latest proposal seeks to deploy a “voluntary” suite of programs that include:

  • Special electric rates for residential customers with EVs who charge their vehicles during off-peak hours.
  • Up to 50 residential customers can receive a 50 percent discount for the equipment and installation costs for a Level 2 smart charging station at their home. Residential customers living in disadvantaged communities will receive a 50 percent discount on a Smart Level 2 charging station and Pepco will cover 100 percent of the installation costs for up to 20 percent of these customers.
  • In coordination with the DDOT, Pepco will install up to 35 Level 2 chargers in neighborhood locations.
  • Commercial customers who own or operate office buildings and garages where dedicated parking can be made available for EV charging, can receive 50 percent off the cost of up to 50 Level 2 chargers and 100 percent of the installation costs.
  • Pepco will install up to 20 fast chargers along main transportation corridors within Pepco’s District of Columbia service area. Two fast chargers would be strategically located in each Ward, along with one charger located in each quadrant to support EV ride share and taxis.
  • The company will create a $1 million innovation fund to provide grants to people or groups with projects designed to advance EV charging across the District and support the electrification of the transportation sector.

To accommodate the high use of public transportation in the District, as well as the lack of dedicated parking or garages, and to provide a benefit to a greater number of District residents, Pepco noted that its application includes charging infrastructure for buses, fleet trucks, and taxi/rideshare services.

The Company’s plan also will target charging infrastructure for multi-dwelling units and workplaces, which offer around-the clock opportunities for charging plug-in vehicle customers who currently may not have convenient access to charging facilities, the company said.

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