Electric Utility led EV incentive programs help grid stability, reduce emissions, manage costs, and provide greater efficiency

 In Electric Utility

The United States has come to realize the benefits offered by cost-saving, emissions-limiting renewable energies such as electric vehicles (EV). EVs, indeed, are the most-tangible, fastest-growing example of renewables’ momentum, offering a multitude of benefits for consumers, businesses, utilities, and the environment. With utilities incentivizing consumers and joining states and the federal government in supporting the rise of EVs, it is important to understand the diverse array of incentives available and how widespread these programs are. As such, what follows is a brief introduction to utilities’ incentives for EVs and the growing role played by such policies.

The Rise of Utility led EV Incentives

Despite states and the federal government amplifying efforts to incentivize the use of renewable energies, these incentives occur at purchase or installation and come in the form of a rebate or tax credit, often times not much more than $7500. Utility prices, consequently, are not affected by such policies, which makes charging more expensive and has long served as a disincentive for the use of EVs. However, with credits, rebates, and off-peak, time-of-use rates increasingly common, utilities have taken it upon themselves to ease this burden and propel the rise of EVs in their coverage zones.

Some utility companies like Pepco, Georgia Power, the Orlando Utilities Commission, and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power have offered incentives for years and, thus, serve as prominent archetypes for subsequent plans. Indeed, this success has propelled the number of utility companies offering incentives for EVs to grow in recent years.

Today, there are 44 utility companies in the US offering discounted rates, rebates, or other incentives for EV implementation, an impressive increase over the 28 companies offering such programs in 2015. Furthermore, there are more than 200 utility companies which offer time-of-use rates serving similar incentivizing purposes and making intelligent charging of EVs more affordable and efficient.

The growth of these incentive programs has been due to the success thereof and the clear willingness on behalf of consumers to benefit from the technological and financial benefits on offer. In addition to time-of-use or off-peak plans, which offer lower rates for charging during times of decreased demand, there has been remarkable progress made in credits or rebates which incentivize consumers to invest in EV technology and emphasize the short- and long-term benefits. One of California’s leading utility companies, Southern California Edison, for instance, has started to offer a $450 rebate for the purchase of EVs or PHEVs on top of the existing off-peak rate plan. Similarly, ConEdison offers an incentive program, SmartCharge NewYork powered by FleetCarma which provides owners up to $400 for off-peak EV charging.

While ‘off-peak charging by electric vehicles could help reduce rates for all utility customers’ as well as costs for the utility companies themselves, rebates and credits available from utilities in California and Minnesota, for instance, ease the transition for consumers into the EV marketplace and ensure optimal utilization of the special rate plans available.

Implementation of EV Incentives by Electric Utilities

Given the growing diversity of incentive plans now offered by utility companies in 22 US states, it is important to understand some of the various options available and the benefits thereof.

Notably, in addition to the benefits to consumers and the environment, utilities have realized that they, too, can benefit from the implementation of such incentive programs. Off-peak charging, in particular, saves significant costs through reductions to ‘the cost of generation… [as well as] utility investment in generation, transmission, and distribution infrastructure’. These advantages, along with those to consumers’ costs and efficiency, have led to these programs’ increasing diversification and implementation. For example, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) offers off-peak time-of-use rates of $0.025 per kWh with a further $250 credit for panel installation and a rebate of up to $4,000 for Level 2 EV charging station installation.

Though the adaptation of such policies has seen increasing popularity among utility companies in recent years, with Connexus Energy, for example, offering a similar approach to the LADWP’s, such balance in incentives is rare among utility companies. Indeed, states such as Kentucky, Tennessee, and South Dakota have a distinct lack of utility- or state-based incentive programs for EVs. Even utilities with some level of incentivization such as Florida’s Orlando Utility Commission or Indiana’s Indianapolis Power & Light tend to favor one or the other form of incentive; in these cases, the former focuses on its rebate program while the latter offers specific PEV charging rates, but no rebate.

While special rates tend to focus on off-peak times and, thus, remain fairly consistent on a case-by-case basis, the rebates offered can vary, between a rebate on the purchase of a new EV; a new or used EV or PEV; a Type 2 home charger; or for businesses to install charging infrastructure. Put together, these policies have the capacity for great impact on this market; unfortunately, utility-based programs too often emphasize just one or two of the various programs offered. Though understandably hindered by funding and demand justification, continued and expanded incentivization of EV use is vital to the continued inundation of EV technology and the multitude of benefits to our society and our planet.

SmartCharge RewardsTM by FleetCarma is a plug-and-play incentive program for utilities to help shift EV charging to off-peak hours and create manageable load growth – without the hassle & cost of installing a submeter. It’s designed to help EV owners reduce the cost of charging and enhance electric grid efficiency and resiliency – making service more reliable for everyone.

What are we to make of EV incentives offered by Electric Utilities

With ’80 percent of EV charging’ occurring within residential properties, the imperative to incentivize off-peak charging and provide credits or rebates to promote home-charging units, for instance, is becoming increasingly urgent. As EV technology continues to evolve and its inundation becomes inevitable, utilities will continue to join states and the federal government in supporting the rise of this technology. With special rate plans and rebates predominant amidst numerous options, these programs will become ever-more-widespread and will make entry into the EV market easier for the average consumer. This pattern can only benefit everyone, with cleaner air, lower utility costs, and greater efficiency for consumers among the reasons that now is truly the time to take advantage of these incentive programs and join the EV revolution.


EV incentives offered by Electric Utilities by State

State Utility Incentive
Alabama Alabama Power Time-of-use charging incentive of 1.7155 cents per kWh
Alaska AEL&P Limited time-of-use rate (Capped at 10 participants)
Arizona APS EV Time-of Use discounted rate
State Reduced vehicle license tax and up to $75 tax credit for equipment installation
Arkansas N/A N/A
California PG&E Time-of-use rates; residential PEV rebate of $500
LADWP Special PEV rate; $250 credit for time-of-use meter; commercial and residential Level 2 EVSE rebate up to $4,000
SMUD $599 rebate or free Level 2 charger
SDG&E Off-peak EV rate plan
Pasadena Water and Power Up to $600 of free EV charging for one year
Colorado State $5,000 income tax credit for EV purhcas; $2,500 for lease
Xcel Energy N/A
Charge Ahead Colorado Up to 80% funding for EVSE installation
Connecticut State Connecticut Hydrogen and Electric Automobile Purchase Rebate (CHEAPR); between $750 and $3,000, depending on battery size
Eversource N/A
Delaware State Delaware Clean Vehicle Rebate Program; up to $2,200 for purchase or lease
Delaware EV Charging Equipment Rebate Program; up to $500 for residential
Florida FPL N/A
OUC $200 rebate for businesses to install workplace EVSE; $200 rebate for residential purchase of new or preowned PEV
JEA $500-$1000 rebate for PEVs
Gulf Power $750 with purchase of EV for EVSE installation
Georgia Georgia Power Level 2 EVSE rebates; $250 residential, $100 for builders
PEV time-of-use rates
Hawaii Hawaii Electric Company Off-peak charging rates
Idaho Idaho Power Time-of-use rates
Up to $300 incentive for Level 2 home charging station
YTCC $5,000 rebate for publicly accessible EVSE
Illinois ComEd Three different charging rates
Ameren N/A
Cleanview Energy $75 rebate towards residential charger
Illinois Electric Cooperative Time-of-use charging rates; 0.55
Indiana Indianapolis Power and Light Public and private charging rates, time-of-use rates
NIPSCO Reduced rate for PEV charging
Iowa Alliant Energy $500 rebate for Level 2 home charging unit
Kansas N/A N/A
Kentucky LG&E N/A
Louisiana State 36% tax credit
Entergy N/A
Maine Central Maine Power N/A
Maryland Pepco Time-of-use, off-peak rate
BGE Time-of-use rate
State EVSE Rebate Program; up to $900 residential, $5,000 commercial
Cleanview Energy $75 rebate towards residential charger
Massachusetts State Rebate up to $2,500
Mass Energy Discount on qualified PEV purchase
Cleanview Energy $75 rebate towards residential charger
Michigan Lansing BWL Residential time-of-use charging rate
Indiana Michigan Power Time-of-use rate; up to $2500 rebate with purchase or leave of new PEV and installation of Level 2 EVSE
Consumers Energy Time-of-use charging rates
DTE Energy Two specific charging rates
Minnesota Dakota Electric Two off-peak charging rates; up to $500 for installation of charging unit
Connexus Energy Reduced rate for PEV charging; $500 rebate for Level 2 EVSE installation
Mississippi N/A N/A
Missouri Ameren N/A
Montana N/A N/A
Nebraska N/A N/A
Nevada NV Energy Specific, off-peak charging rate
New Hampshire Liberty Utilities Whole-house time-of-use charging rate
New Jersey PSE&G Time-of-use EV charging rate for off-peak times
New Mexico N/A N/A
New York ConEd SmartCharge NewYork
National Grid N/A
State Drive Clean Rebate; up to $2,000
North Carolina Dule Energy No specific charging rate; up to $5,000 per charging port
North Dakota N/A N/A
Ohio N/A N/A
Oklahoma State Alternative Fueling Infrastructure tax credit; up to 75% cost reduction for EVSE installation
Oregon Portland General Electric No specific EV charging rate; time-of-use rate plan available
State Alternative Fuel Vehicle Infrastructure Program; tax credit for 50% of cost of residential EVSE
Pennsylvania State AFV rebates up to $1,750
PECO $50 rebate for purchase of new, qualifed PEV
Cleanview Energy $75 rebate towards residential charger
Rhode Island DRIVE Up to $2,500 rebate for PEV purchase or lease
PP&L Discount on qualified PEV purchase
South Carolina Duke Energy No specific charging rate; up to $5,000 per charging port
South Dakota N/A N/A
Tennessee TVA N/A
Texas State AirCheck Texas Drive a Clean Machine program; rebate up to $3,500
Austin Energy Reduced off-peak rates
50% rebate for Level 2 charging station installation, up to $1,500
Cleanview Energy $75 rebate towards residential charger
Utah Rocky Mountain Power N/A
Vermont State Drive Electric Vermont rebate up to $1,000; VT EV Charging Station Loan Program
Green Mountain Power N/A
VEC $250 credit for purchase of new or used PEV
BED $1200 rebate on purhcase or lease of qualifying EV
Virginia Dominion EV Only Pricing plan; off-peak rates
Washington Pugent Sound Energy $500 rebate for Level 2 home charging unit
West Virginia State 35% tax credit up to $7,500
Appalachian Power N/A
Wisconsin Madison Gas and Electric Off-peak time-of-use rates
Alliant Energy $500 rebate for Level 2 home charging unit
Wyoming Yellowstone-Teton Clean Cities $5,000 rebate to businesses


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