Monday, December 6, 2010

A new Residential rate for EVs?

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I detailed why unless you have a detached, unpowered garage, you couldn't get a TOU meter or sub-meter specifically for your EV in Virginia because Dominion Virginia Power is not allowed by the Commonwealth to offer a residential meter on a different rate schedule than the primary meter, as I unfortunately found out last month.

Well, last Thursday, I got a surprise call from Dominion asking me if a new EV rate schedule would be appealing to me.  I was of course very interested in this, and what Dominion is thinking is having this schedule be like the Schedule 1T, a Time-Of-Use schedule, but with potential blackout periods.  Upon further investigation, I determined that the idea would be to shut off power to the EVSE during certain very high-demand peak hours, typically during the day.  I said I have no problem with this at all since I would be charging my EV during off-peak hours anyway and as long as I had guaranteed power from 22:00 to 05:30 or so in the morning, I should be okay.  She also said they would probably be able to inform me 24 hours in advance if a shut-off was to occur, which would IMHO be enough notice in the rare instance where I felt the need to pay the Peak rate and charge my car during the day.  The only issue would be during the summer from 22:00 to 23:00 where she indicated they might need to shut off the power until that late in the evening, which would interfere with my necessary 8 or so hours of charging.

Of course, this would have just been in preparation of the State Corporation Commission bid, so the rate may change over time, but it is fascinating to see how this is progressing in real-time.  However, I should point out the other aspect of an EV rate is also potentially paving the way for usage costs at public charging stations.  Only time will tell…