Consumer Watchdog has petitioned the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to reject a PG&E proposal for a major buildout of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure on grounds that it will raise costs for ratepayers while stifling innovation.(Earlier post.)
In February, PG&E filed an application with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for permission to build an estimated 25,000 electric vehicle (EV) chargers at sites across its service area in Northern and Central California—8 times the number currently installed. If approved, this program would be the largest deployment of EV charging stations in the country, PG&E said.
Allowing PG&E to be the only decision maker with authority over the hardware, locations and pricing of this EV charging network will result in little to no incentive to keep costs low, particularly when these costs are being passed along to ratepayers. Nor can we trust PG&E, which is the subject of ongoing scandal, to give consumers access to the most advanced technology for the least amount of money.—Consumer Watchdog petition
PG&E’s proposal would pass through the estimated $653.8-million cost of the program to all ratepayers in their service territory, which covers most of central and northern California.
PG&E said that the total impact on system average bundled rates would be minimal in 2016
and 2017 and would average only a tenth of a cent per kilowatt-hour over the next five years of the program. A typical residential customer would pay about 70 cents more per month over the period 2018 to 2022, according to PG&E.
The chargers would be located at commercial and public locations, including multi-family dwellings, retail centers, and workplaces. Approximately 10% of the chargers would be installed to support disadvantaged communities. PG&E would also provide tools and educational materials for site hosts and customers to learn about the benefits of electric vehicles.