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Energy & Environment

WPS Proposes Rebate For Residents Who Install Electric Vehicle Chargers

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GREEN BAY, WI (WSAU) -- Wisconsin Public Service is proposing a new rate credit to help offset the cost of installing electric vehicle chargers in residential homes.

Matt Cullen with WPS says with close to 20 million electric vehicles projected to be on the roads in the next ten years, it makes sense to help residents adapt their homes for the technology. "There are some [chargers] out in the communities, but they are not necessarily widespread. Having a dedicated charger that you can plug your vehicle into every night to recharge the battery does make it more convenient to operate the vehicle," he said.

The proposal calls for customers who install a level 2 charger in their homes with a dedicated meter to receive a $1,000 credit from WPS to offset the costs of the installation. Cullen says the Level 2 charger is one of the more popular residential models, which delivers a voltage comparable to a household appliance like stove or clothes dryer.

Customers would then see two numbers on their electric bill, one for their normal household electric use and one for the vehicle. Cullen says that will allow them to see exactly what it costs to charge the car, and also provide WPS with valuable information about how the technology impacts power use. "It allows us to understand what the patterns of use are. Are people going to be charging them through the overnight hours? Are they going to need to charge them at other times of the day? Is our system ready to handle this increased demand from electric vehicles, or are there additional steps that we need to take to best serve those customers?" said Cullen.

Those who install the charger would also qualify for what WPS calls a time of use rate for the power if they are charing their vehicle at night. Time of use rates allows users to pay a lower rate for using power when demand for electricity is lower. Meaning those that charge their cars at night would pay a lower rate than those who do so during the day.

The state's Public Service Commission still needs to sign off on the proposal. If that happens Cullen expects the program to launch in 2021.