Study Finds Only 6% of US Utility Companies Offer Discounted EV Rate Plans


Tracking which utility companies throughout the US offer discounted rates (EV tariffs, reduced off-peak fees, etc) for owners of electric vehicles is darn near impossible.

The Faster it Spins, The May You Pay...Most of the Time

The Faster it Spins, The More You Pay…Most of the Time

Lucky for us, Northeast Group LLC has been keeping a close eye on this sort of stuff.

So far, Northeast Group says that only 6% of the utility companies it tracked offered any sort of discount for owners of plug ins.

The Group concludes that the utility-level incentives needed to promote the use of electric vehicles are lacking in the US.

We now ask of you, does your local utility offer any sort of discounts to owners of plug-in vehicles?

Northeast Group

Categories: General


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13 Comments on "Study Finds Only 6% of US Utility Companies Offer Discounted EV Rate Plans"

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That is disheartening. But I wonder what percentage of the population that 6% covers. I am covered by SoCal Edison which provides a discount and the cover a good chunk of southern California. Pretty sure LADWP, SDG&E and PG&E offer some sort of discount so together they cover almost 30 million people.

Silicon Valley Power gets it right (as does Alameda Power) – they charge about 10c/kWH all day and all night. Sacramento Municipal isn’t bad – similar rates with a small discount for EV’s off-peak. If you are unfortunate enough to be fleeced by PG&E you will find the 10c/kWH rate at off-peak with an electric vehicle discount. The peak kWH can be 37c/kWH! (EV rate plan)

Be careful what you ask for – you might be getting a PG&E “discount” which just covers up generally usorious residential rates.

I consider that TOU (time-of-use) metering is already an EV/PHV discount rate, and I don’t really see why utilities should offer something more or different. It shouldn’t matter what those electrons are used for, only how much, and possibly when.
Gas stations don’t provide special rates for hybrids or something, nor should they in my opinion.

I can’t help but compare my local municipal utility, with its simple, straightforward rate structure (for residential, the only two questions are: 100% renewables or not, flat rate or TOU), and the behemoth next to it, PG&E, with its massively complex billing, large array of special-purpose rates including two for plug-ins (and surely more grandfathered ones), options for separate metering etc… which not only makes it difficult to compute a cost per mile, but ends up being more expensive in almost all cases anyway.

Well a lot of places might not have an official ‘electric vehicle’ rate but have time-of-use rates that can be attractive for electric vehicle owners. Or you could get a 2nd meter installed and have a separate account for the EV.

PG&E who serves an area with huge EV adoption does have special rates. But the rates are still high and thus it encourages EV owners to install solar PV. And that is a good thing.

The 6% of utilities figure is somewhat suspect. But others here have already figured it out. My own utility and my neighboring utility offer Time of Day plans just perfect for electric cars.

Heck if you’re an existing Nyseg Time-of-day customer with an analog meter (similar to those pictured on this blog), you can get the meter to turn the car charger on since there is a time switch built into the meter originally used to turn on the lower element of electric water heaters from 11:30 Pm to 7 am the next day. Rating is 40 amps maximum. Nyseg’s rate is 2/3 of the slightly higher day rate (that is if you elect not to be time-of-day).

IL has TOU / hourly-rate-plan as well. I learned about it and switched when I got a Volt. Funny thing is that is saves me money on A/C as well (ie. 2-4pm, 4-6am). My electric bill is less than before I bought and charged a Volt during the middle of the night.

I have a TOU rate, with a bonus of having a special 10P-6A rate for the entire meter (not just charging) because I have a plug-in car.

Hawaiian Electric (HECO) has a residential EV rate which is TOU and only about 7¢/kWh below regular residential rates during off-peak hours but 3¢/kWh about residential rates during peak hours. It requires that the EV charging circuit be on its own meter. But this is only a pilot rate limited to 1000 meters and that expires at the end of September with no guarantee that it will be continued. I’m currently in the process of installing a charging circuit but don’t know whether to install a separate meter or tap into downstream of my apartment’s current meter.

HECO has a residential TOU rate as well, but we don’t have enough high-wattage appliances whose use we could shift to off-peak hours to actually reduce our electric bill due to the higher rate during peak hours compared to the regular residential rate.

So for us, adding the EV charging circuit downstream of our apartment’s electric meter might be the least expensive alternative.

In Brussels they don’t make a difference on the KWh tariff, which is about 20 $ cent/KWh on average, but actually a bigger problem is high installation price on higher than the base 10 KVA power. They give base power away for free but you have to pay like hell if you want 6 or 7 times as much. They make you pay for all the fossil burners that receive their 10 KVA for free and even add some thousand dollars more. A 69 KVA line goes for as much as 15000 $, extras not included!

Dallas, Texas: Oncor / TXU do not provide any EV discounts.

Georgia Power has a rate of 1.9c/kwh from 11pm to 7am. It averages about 12 cents a night to charge my Leaf.

Any installation, or hardware costs, for a seperate EV meter?

Time based metering goes back to a federal standard, under PURPA, in 1978, and is in no way an “EV incentive”. Of course, the economics work great, but that wasn’t Eric L’s question.

I wish EPA stickers used an average overnight utility rate, instead of 12 cents per kwh. They’re inaccurate, by far, as a result.