MADISON – On Thursday, the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) met and voted 2-1 to solicit comment from interested parties on a draft order that would require regulated public utilities to submit plans to the PSC for electric vehicle (EV) pilot programs for regulatory review and approval.
“We have a tremendous opportunity to help guide the impacts that the growing adoption of electric vehicles will have on the energy industry,” said PSC Chairperson Rebecca Cameron Valcq. “Adoption of EV pilot programs can provide future benefits to customers, utilities, and drivers alike.”
Under the draft order, utilities with more than 100,000 customers would be required to submit plans to the PSC by May 15, 2021 for at least one residential EV pilot program or indicate the continuation or expansion of an existing EV program. Programs would have to address rates related to EV charging and electric load management efforts to control the timing of charging. Utilities also could include initiatives to address upfront purchase costs of EVs and chargers.
The draft order establishes a framework for PSC review of submitted proposals from all electric utilities, providing requested regulatory clarity on program requirements while maintaining flexibility for utilities to test different program options and meet the needs and interests of their customers. Comments on the draft order are due by September 28, 2020.
The PSC’s decision to issue the draft order comes after months of work soliciting and gathering input and information from interested parties including stakeholders, utilities, and the general public on EVs and chargers as they pertain to electric utility service in Wisconsin.
Much of the input and comment received identified several areas of interest that warranted further attention from the PSC, including:
- Access to infrastructure;
- Electric load management through “managed charging”;
- EV incentives that could be provided by the utility;
- Regulatory clarity for third-party ownership of chargers;
- Appropriate cost recovery of utility EV investments; and
- The role of utilities in providing EV awareness and education.
In early 2019, the PSC opened docket 5-EI-156 to consider present and future policies and regulation of EVs and their associated infrastructure as they pertain to electric utility service in Wisconsin. The PSC asked for comments on the perceived barriers to EV adoption and held a workshop later in the year to facilitate further discussion on those comments.