New pilot program to offer lower rate as incentive for businesses, building owners to host EV chargers
Plan will cut electricity costs, demand charges for commercial customers
News Release from HECO, 2/3/2022
HONOLULU, Feb. 3, 2022 - A new Hawaiian Electric pilot program aimed at encouraging greater electric vehicle adoption will reduce the cost for commercial customers to provide EV charging at locations such as office buildings, fleet facilities, shopping malls and condominiums.
The new commercial EV rates, approved by the Public Utilities Commission, will be available beginning in mid-March on Oahu, Maui and Hawaii Island as part of Hawaiian Electric’s continuing effort to boost EV use and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from ground transportation.
The five-year pilot program will employ a time-of-use rate structure that incentivizes charging during midday hours when there is abundant solar energy flowing into the grid. The lower-cost midday period is designed to produce fuel savings for EV drivers compared with fuel costs for gas-powered cars, as well as compared with Hawaiian Electric’s existing rate options.
The new rates will benefit medium-sized commercial customers under Schedule EV-J and large commercial customers under Schedule EV-P. Here is the breakdown:
EV-J rate - Available to the first 1,000 customers and intended for Level 2 and small-scale DC fast charging
EV-P rate - Available to the first 500 customers and aimed at larger DC fast chargingoperations
Depending on site-specific factors, Hawaiian Electric projects that the new rates will provide savings ranging from 7% to 58% compared to existing rates for J and P customers. The new rates will be published on the company’s website when the program becomes available in March. Interested customers may send an email to GoEV@hawaiianelectric.com with the subject “EV-J/EV-P”, and include their name, company and contact information.
The new rate applies to the amount Hawaiian Electric bills to the operator of the charging station – a business or building owner, for example – and not to the drivers who use it. HawaiianElectric does not control what site hosts charge for EV charging, if anything.
“We know there is growing demand for electric vehicle charging in all market segments across Hawaii, including with our commercial customers,” said Aki Marceau, Hawaiian Electric’s director of electrification of transportation. “We can support this demand by providing well-designed rates that leverage the clean energy produced in the middle of the day and make it easier for all our customers to participate in the transition to electrified transportation.”
The new EV-J and EV-P rates also offer demand charges that are much lower than the existing rates for those customer groups. Because managing demand charges can be an issue for site hosts, keeping the charges low will help mitigate those concerns and encourage the installation of charging stations at public and workplace locations. Hawaiian Electric’s application to the PUC received widespread support from commercial customers, including public transit providers, fleet operators and electric bus manufacturers.
The pilot rates are for electric vehicle charging only, and therefore requires site hosts to install a separate dedicated meter. Separate metering will also facilitate data collection from the charging sessions that will provide useful information to the site host and Hawaiian Electric.
The new rates complement another program recently approved by the Public Utilities Commission aimed at reducing the upfront costs to businesses seeking to install EV charging equipment. Under the Charge Ready Hawaii Pilot Project Hawaiian Electric will cover the cost of installing “make-ready” infrastructure to support the deployment of up to 180 Level 2 charging ports at 30 commercial sites over three years, including 14 sites on Oahu and eight each on Hawaii Island and Maui.