The Burlington Electric Department (BED), joined by Mayor Miro Weinberger, Vermont Department of Public Service Commissioner June Tierney, and customers Bert Johnson and Betsy Nesbitt, today announced a new, discounted residential electric vehicle (EV) charging rate that will allow customers to charge their vehicles for the equivalent of $0.60 per gallon of gasoline. BED also launched a new, residential charging station incentive that will provide customers who purchase all-electric vehicles (AEVs) an additional $400 rebate on the purchase of eligible Level 2 home charging stations. Further, BED increased its incentives on the purchase and lease of plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) to $1,000, with an enhanced rebate increase to $1,500 for low- and moderate-income (LMI) customers.
“For Burlington to become a Net Zero Energy City, we must tackle the ground transportation sector’s growing greenhouse gas emissions by strategically electrifying our vehicle fleet,” said Mayor Weinberger. “Through lease and purchase incentives, partnerships with vehicle dealers, and a new charging rate, BED is showing the country how an innovative, 21st century utility can push forward the decarbonization of transportation.”
“Burlington Electric is very pleased to be able to offer this new EV rate for our customers, which is a great deal for EV drivers at the equivalent of 60 cents per gallon of gas, and another reason to consider switching to an electric vehicle,” said Darren Springer, General Manager, Burlington Electric Department. “The best part about our EV rate, however, is that it will help more EV drivers charge off-peak and use the grid more efficiently. When our community uses power off-peak, we avoid the need for additional grid infrastructure investments and avoid additional costs, providing a benefit to all BED customers. This initiative will provide economic and environmental benefits and keep us moving toward our Net Zero goal.”
New EV Incentives
To take advantage of BED’s new residential EV charging rate, the following steps should be followed by our customers:
·Purchase or lease an AEV or PHEV by taking advantage of financing support through three local, partner credit unions and the following rebates available through BED:
o AEVs – $1,200, or $1,800 for LMI customers (incentives remain the same)
o PHEVs – $1,000, or $1,500 for LMI customers (new, increased incentives)
·Install a home charging station purchased from one of BED’s three charging station partners, ChargePoint, FLO, or Packetized Energy. Customers who purchase or lease new AEVs are eligible for the $400 BED incentive toward the purchase and installation of their charging stations (incentive does not apply to PHEVs). While customers who already own an AEV or PHEV or purchase or lease a new PHEV are not eligible for the charging station incentive, they still may register for the special rate after installing their charging station.
·Charge vehicles during off-peak hours at the equivalent of $0.60 per gallon of gasoline. BED’s new residential charging rate is $0.08 per kilowatt hour (kWh) during off-peak hours – beginning at 10:00pm and ending at 12:00pm (noon the following day) – a more than 45 percent savings from the regular $0.147 per kWh rate for electricity use. Customers who charge off-peak for the entire month will receive a bill credit equivalent to $0.067 (the difference between $0.147 and $0.08) per kWh for all their EV charging that month. Customers who charge outside the off-peak hours at any time during a given month will be charged the regular $0.147 per kWh rate for the entire month with no peak charging penalty, and then they will have the opportunity to take advantage of the special rate the following month.
Savings for All BED Customers
A BED customer who switches from a gasoline vehicle to an EV, drives 12,000 miles per year, and takes advantage of BED’s new charging rate will save approximately $76 per month, or $912 per year. In addition to these savings, the EV owner may have saved money through BED’s EV purchase/lease rebate (now between $1,000 and $1,800) and charging station ($400) incentives. Additionally, approximately $0.02 of the $0.08 per kWh paid by EV customers on the new rate will be applied toward supporting BED’s operating costs, including grid maintenance, meaning that EV customers, even at this new, low rate, will be providing important new revenues that benefit all BED customers.
Burlington residents Bert Johnson and Betsy Nesbitt, who leased a Chevrolet Bolt AEV in August 2017, joined BED for today’s announcement. Johnson and Nesbitt benefitted from BED’s $1,200 EV rebate, recently installed a ChargePoint Home Level 2 charging station in the garage of their New North End townhouse, and signed up last month as pilot customers on the new, special EV charging rate.
“As a Burlingtonian who drives 75+ miles during my commute to work in Middlebury several times each week, I appreciated the $1,200 incentive BED provided to help me purchase an EV and the creative opportunity BED has provided me to save money through the new EV charging rate,” stated Johnson.
Past EV Incentives
In May 2017, BED launched its EV rebate program, offering a $1,200 rebate on the purchase or lease of a new AEV, and then in June added PHEVs to its EV rebate program, offering a $600 rebate on the purchase or lease of a PHEV. Then, in October, BED increased by $600 its EV rebates for LMI Burlingtonians based on a self-certification process that can be found on the rebate form on BED’s website. In February 2018, BED partnered with local credit unions – VSECU, Green Mountain Credit Union, and Vermont Federal Credit Union – to make EV purchases more attainable through offering low- and, under certain circumstances, no-interest loans. Since the EV rebate program launch, BED has awarded its customers with 61 rebates.
“The Department was pleased to support Burlington Electric’s proposed EV charging rate tariff, which provides an innovative way to incentivize off-peak EV charging,” said June Tierney, Commissioner, Vermont Department of Public Service. “Increasing EV adoption is a key strategy in achieving our state comprehensive energy plan goals.”
“More Vermonters are making the switch to driving electric cars,” said David Roberts, Coordinator, Drive Electric Vermont. “The discounted electric car rates announced today can save Burlington residents thousands of dollars over the life of a vehicle, and encouraging off-peak charging also helps the City maintain affordable power for all customers. When combined with the increased electric car and charging incentives and the over 30 electric car models available in Vermont, now is a great time to go electric.”
Charging Station Partners
BED was joined by representatives from its charging station partners, who shared the following:
“Packetized Energy is delighted to expand our ongoing BED partnership with Packetized-enabled Webasto EV chargers,” said Kate Desrochers, Projects and Initiatives Manager, Packetized Energy. “Supporting EV adoption will be instrumental in reaching Burlington's net zero energy goals. Coordinating EV charging with real time grid conditions is essential to keep rates low. With these specialized chargers, EV owners receive the charge they need, while BED gains valuable grid resources – a win-win scenario.”
“We are thrilled to be adding FLO to Burlington Electric Department’s residential EV rate program,” said Louis Tremblay, President and CEO, FLO. “This announcement is a significant step in our journey to facilitate bringing EV charging to communities, and the initiative will provide significant economic benefits to Burlington’s EV owners. We’re really excited to get this process started and, together with the partners, contribute to accelerate the shift to clean-powered electric vehicles.”
“ChargePoint applauds Burlington Electric’s commitment to increase EV adoption and accelerate efforts to make Burlington a net zero energy city in the years to come,” said Dave Packard, Vice President, Utility Solutions, ChargePoint, who was unable to attend the announcement. “Burlington Electric’s home charging incentive and other innovative programs will expedite the transition to cleaner electric transportation and significantly reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions. Programs like this are key in an early market to spur economic growth and provide customers with more choice as the transformation of transportation moves quickly towards electric.”
Public Charging Stations
When Burlingtonians and visitors to Burlington are away from their home charging stations, EV drivers may use one of 14 charging stations with 26 charging ports (13 dual-port, one single-port) located around the City (a map of these charging stations can be found on the BED website). The formerly single-port charging station at Church and Main streets has been the most widely-used charging port in the City and, therefore, earlier this month was upgraded to a dual-port station. Next in line for monthly energy dispensed are the two dual-port charging stations located in the City’s Cherry Street parking garage and the dual-port charging station located on University Place on the University of Vermont campus.
Additional “Tier 3” Initiatives
As part of BED’s work to move toward the City’s Net Zero Energy City goal, BED has been a leader in offering innovative initiatives under Vermont’s Renewable Energy Standard “Tier 3” program. Examples of BED’s initiatives beyond EVs to advance new technologies include partnering with local bike shops on electric bike (E-bike) and conversion kit rebates, creating an E-bike test ride lending library, offering cold-climate heat pump incentives for oil and propane customers, and collaborating with Green Mountain Transit on deploying electric buses.
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