The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners has released an issue brief on electric vehicles and the important role of public utility commissions. Electric Vehicles: Key Trends, Issues, and Considerations for State Regulators examines trends in EV adoption, provides a synopsis of the types of decisions commissions are facing and offers examples of recent state regulatory approaches to EV questions.
Of particular use to commissions and stakeholders are summary tables within the paper that outline the key issues and perspectives that commissions will likely hear related to who owns charging infrastructure and how to encourage charging during off-peak hours through rate design options.
Produced by the NARUC Center for Partnerships & Innovation with support from the US Department of Energy, the report is timely, as states nationwide have seen an increase in consumer adoption of electric vehicles, subsequently causing increased demands on regulators and electric utilities. Ten state public service commissions or stakeholder groups provided input for the report.
“Electric utilities and commissions are at different stages of exploring their role in developing the infrastructure for EV charging and managing impacts on the electric grid,” said Illinois Commerce Commissioner Maria Bocanegra, chair of NARUC’s newly formed EV Working Group. “When and how EVs are charged can either benefit or stress the grid, and commission decisions related to rate design and managed charging programs can mitigate negative impacts and maximize the benefits.”
“State policies can further drive the adoption of electric vehicles,” said Maryland Public Service Commission Chairman Jason Stanek, vice-chair of the EV Working Group. “As EV penetration steadily increases, state commissions will be asked to approve or plan adequate EV charging infrastructure investments to support EV growth and ensure that customers derive the most benefit from this buildout.”
Along with a review of trends and priority EV questions that commissions will face, the paper cites extensive examples of actions that commissions have taken to date to address these issues.
“NARUC is pleased to provide a resource that supplies commissions with extensive examples of regulatory approaches that other states have taken when considering EV issues,” said Danielle Sass Byrnett, director of the Center for Partnerships & Innovation. “Instead of duplicating initial research and information-gathering efforts, state commissions can find essential information in one place and turn their attention to the details of how EVs will be incorporated into their state’s electricity system.”
The paper is available on the NARUC website at http://bit.ly/EVkeytrends.