Growing interest in electric vehicles spurs Pennsylvania PUC review

Dive Brief:

  • The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission has launched an investigation into issues surrounding third-party operation of electric vehicle charging stations at the request of Chairman Gladys Brown, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. 
  • Among challenges facing the industry, regulators noted the tariffs for Pennsylvania’s electric distribution companies address the operation of third-party charging stations in different ways.
  • Brown said she wants to learn whether "regulatory consistency" across the state could help fuel the growing interest in electric vehicles.

Dive Insight:

According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, the state has about 725 charging stations and 3,600 electric vehicles on its roads. Harmonizing how different utilities deal with third-party operation of charging equipment could help accelerate adoption of EVs.

“I believe the future of this emergent market can benefit from review of electric distribution companies’ existing resale/redistribution tariff provisions,” Brown said in a statement. She said it may be helpful to provide clarity on what restrictions, if any, each utility has "and whether regulatory consistency across the state could help foster increased investment in this maturing industry.”

The commission will take public comment on several issues, including a look at what restrictions are placed on the resale or redistribution of utility service for third-party electric vehicle charging, and specific tariff provisions permitting unrestricted resale or redistribution of utility service for EV charging.

The study will also look at whether it is appropriate to encourage utilities across the state to move toward a tariff design which includes provisions for third-party electric vehicle charging resale/redistributionsuch as Duquesne Light currently has in place. Unlike other electric distribution companies, the Duquesne tariff includes provisions for electric vehicle charging.

Comments are due within 45 days of the investigation being announced in the Pennsylvania Register.

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Filed Under: Distributed Energy