Consumer Watchdog Petitions California Utility Commission To Reject PG&E’s Charging Station Build-Out Proposal

APR 27 2015 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 14

PG&E Fleet

PG&E Fleet

PG&E i-MiEV

PG&E i-MiEV

Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s dreams of quadrupling California’s electric car charging infrastructure have met significant resistance.

Basically, the naysayers don’t believe that a utility company should have power/control over charging stations and the electricity provided.  They’re also concerned that PG&E might not have the consumer’s best interests in mind.  But mostly, it seems to be a concern over PG&E created a monopoly.

ChargePoint is against (ChargePoint’s reason = “…bad for ratepayers, drivers and EV industry” PG&E’s plan, so too is The Utility Reform Network (concerned over how much it’ll cost ratepayers and believes that not all that money should go into one basket – electric cars ).

Now, another group has stepped forward in protest of PG&E’s plan.  The group, Consumer Watchdogs, petitioned the California Public Utilities Commission, calling for the Commission to reject PG&E’s proposal:

Allowing PG&E to be the only decision maker with authority over the hardware, locations and pricing of this EV charging network will result in little to no incentive to keep costs low, particularly when these costs are being passed along to ratepayers. Nor can we trust PG&E, which is the subject of ongoing scandal, to give consumers access to the most advanced technology for the least amount of money.

It seems that even well-intentioned plans/ideas are met with strong resistance these days.

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14 Comments on "Consumer Watchdog Petitions California Utility Commission To Reject PG&E’s Charging Station Build-Out Proposal"

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Khai L.

totally agree with the consumer watchdog. The PG&E proposal projected $25k per L2 EVSE! And they were asking to increase electricity rates to cover the cost of the build-out!

I’m all for more EVSE’s, but NOT at the cost of a monopoly provider’s victims/customers.

Ocean Railroader

If there going to spend $25,000 a station maybe they should have all these new stations use the new $5000 dollar 25 kilowatt DC fast charger.

But if they don’t they are being taken to the cleaners along with everyone else.

Khai L.

As its PG&E’s proposal, there’s no indications that they will spend $25k per station, only that they’re asking their customers to foot the bill for that amount. The only people being screwed by this is PG&E’s customers.

pjwood1

I empathize with Charge Point not wanting to be cut out of the business. The optics of rate-payer funded EVSEs aren’t good, assuming PG&E doesn’t get the $25,000 per unit. That assumes roughly having at least one car 24/7, paying 40-50 cents each kwh.

Where it gets tricky is if there is ever to be reciprocal watts supplied by the EVSE, or they need to step down preventing peaks. Then, more limited types, or additional hardware is implied. PG&E isn’t the only utility looking to become a “meter vendor”.

energy matters
By contrast another big California Utility, Southern California Edison, has proposed a plan that has almost universal support. The SCE plan let’s independent groups (non utility) find property hosts, design custom systems, etc and the utility (SCE) will install the power and electric upgrade with a small rebate for the EVSE. This enables a wide variety of choices for drivers and property hosts (apartments, commercial, etc) with no fixed low speed dictated by the utility. The PG&E plan is bad as it: – Costs almost $650 million – Delivers only 3.3KW chargers – Wont put anything in the ground for at least 3 years – Although they claim they are “working with third party EVSPs” they really arent. They’ll select just one and then that party is wholly at risk for performance based on PG&E’s poorly designed system or if PG&E does not perform. A guaranteed bankruptcy for whomever puts their head in that noose. – Scares off private investment as every non-utility EVSE installed is now competitive to the utility and the utility knows who the competition is, where they are going, has better data AND SETS THE COST for the competition. The real push is to set a… Read more »
JakeY

Even though I’m all for more charging stations, PG&E’s plan is ridiculously expensive for the amount and capability of charging stations installed. I can see why there’s opposition.

kubel

I read their complaint. It’s valid. It’s a huge waste of money. They need to go back to the drawing board.

Nelson

It only make sense for utility companies to install and maintain public charging stations. They can charge the going rate for kWh since it’s their electricity they are selling. They sell their electricity directly to home owners, why shouldn’t they be allowed to sell directly to EV owners. Oh, wait the naysayers are probably somehow associated to the oil industry.

NPNS! SBF!
Volt#671

energy matters

Read their plan…. It’s really bad for industry and anyone who cooperates with them. Same w SDG&E.

SCE is much more on target.

Bill Howland

SO where’s Mustang_Sallad saying everybody doesn’t know anything and they’re worth twice the price?

“Subject of ongoing scandal…”

Ain’t that the truth. $7 Billion for a smart meter program that PG&E doesn’t want people to opt out of, therefore keeping the price ridiculously high per month to get what you used to get for free (an analog meter), of course hitting them the hardest so that its much too costly for them to ‘opt-out’ of the program.

mustang_sallad

I was arguing that $8000 per station is reasonable, and pointed to PG&E’s plan as a point of comparison – I would agree that $25k is too much though!

energy matters

Today PG&E linked up with IBEW to intimidate CA Legislators to avoid a vote on AB 1005. Basically the IBEW rep LIED claiming that allowing competition in providing EV chargers would cost IBEW union jobs that had been negotiated under a collective bargaining agreement.

Essentially they claim a federally protected agreement (collective bargaining) was going to be threatened by a State law that does no such thing. Such BS. It just hurts the efforts to get more infrastructure out there.

Thomas J. Thias
There are in excess of 30,000 Electric Fueled Vehicle L2 Fillng Stations in the USA. Citation/ Link Goes To Inside EVs Article On Plug Share Dot Com 1st Quarter Stations Added Report, 04.27.15 http://insideevs.com/plugshare-quarterly-launches-gives-new-depth-behind-charging-infrastructure-in-us/ My comment to Publisher Jay Cole article adresses this. Link Goes To My Plug Share Dot Com Reveal On Inside EVs- http://insideevs.com/plugshare-quarterly-launches-gives-new-depth-behind-charging-infrastructure-in-us/#comment-672200 Following the US Department of Energy’s “Work Place Charging Challenge”, even the 110V AC outler, all EVs refuel this way, over a typical 9 hour standing work shift effectively adds a third or more to an EV owners range. With 74% of US commuters driving less then 34 miles a day, over night, off peak refeuling nails 100% of these commuters daily range needs. Adding the above Work Place FREE perk charging, 110V AC, averaging 40 miles, doubles the effective range for the longer, 26% of the commuters. Thus far LEED does not promote 110V AC workplace refueling credits and this author can see the infuence of the above article, in this reguard. Finally, with north of 1.5 billon 110V AC outlets in North America, all EVs refuel this way, we have been EV refueling ready for many decades. The basic L2, 240V AC… Read more »
ggpa

“It seems that even well-intentioned plans/ideas are met with strong resistance these days.”

I wonder where that statement came from …

PG&E’s proposal well-intentioned only in the narrow sense that it means well for PG&E, at the expense of ratepayers.