Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has submitted a proposal to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to establish new commercial electric vehicle (EV) charging rates to help drive more rapid customer adoption.
As EV charging stations become more common in places such as multi-family residences, businesses, transit stations and other commercial spaces, PG&E has recognized that the existing rate structure does not best meet the needs of commercial EV charging. Currently, public or fleet EV chargers on PG&E’s commercial electric rates can see higher costs than the typical business customer, on average. These costs pose challenges to the expansion of EVs and needed charging stations.
Under the existing rate structure, high-power public EV chargers that are on business electric rates can incur demand charges, a cost included on commercial customer bills that are calculated based on the peak electricity usage of a customer during a billing period. Planning around and managing these demand charges pose unique and significant challenges to EV charging projects.
PG&E’s proposal would replace demand charges with new subscription pricing, allowing customers to choose the amount of power they need for their charging stations, similar to choosing a data plan for a cell-phone bill. This subscription charge would be much lower than current demand charges, and allows customers to have simpler, more consistent monthly costs.
Stakeholders in the clean transportation sector were quick to endorse PG&E’s proposal.