Dominion Energy’s program to offer discounts on electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure installation in Virginia has not seen any participants in the first year since its launch, according to a report filed with electric utility regulators. Despite the lack of participation, Dominion sees the program, called the Charging Tariffs, as a crucial step in facilitating Virginia’s transition to EVs and making EV charging more accessible to businesses and low-income communities.
The program operates in two ways. Firstly, Dominion covers 50% of the infrastructure costs for organizations looking to electrify their vehicle fleets and businesses or apartment buildings. Secondly, residential customers can enter into a financing deal with Dominion for the installation of charging equipment at their homes. Dominion has also set aside funds to cover 100% of the costs for up to 100 low-income customers.
However, the public utilization of Dominion’s charging infrastructure sites, which is a part of the program, has not been initiated yet. Kate Staples, director of electrification for Dominion Energy, explained that although there has been significant customer interest in the program, committing to it requires an in-depth decision-making process. Dominion’s previous program, which provided rebates to commercial customers who already installed infrastructure, was considered more streamlined compared to starting the installation process from scratch.
The cost of charging infrastructure varies depending on the type and speed of chargers, ranging from $0 for level one chargers to up to $90,000 for faster chargers. Factors such as installation complexity and site-specific requirements can further affect the overall cost.
Dominion’s program aims to fill gaps in charging infrastructure not supported by federal funding, as Virginia is currently utilizing about $100 million in federal funding for installing charging infrastructure along highway corridors and local communities. While legislative efforts to provide charging infrastructure installation funding in more rural areas did not succeed in this year’s General Assembly session, advocates emphasize the need to enhance charging infrastructure to support the growing prevalence of EVs.
With Virginia following the Clean Car standards, which prohibit new gas-powered vehicle sales after 2035, the number of EVs is expected to increase significantly. Besides the environmental benefits, expanding EV charging infrastructure would also contribute to energy grid stability and lower rates for all customers. Moreover, as bi-directional charging technology advances, additional battery storage capabilities from EVs can supply energy to the grid in the future.
However, a report from Generation 180, an electrification advocacy group, highlights that a lack of infrastructure remains a barrier for drivers considering the transition to EVs. The report suggests that awareness campaigns and infrastructure support can foster network effects and encourage EV adoption.
Dominion plans to enhance its education materials, providing prospective participants with detailed information on cost savings and emission reductions through fleet electrification. By taking a personalized approach, Dominion aims to accelerate customer decision-making.
While Dominion’s Charging Tariffs program has yet to see participants, the company remains committed to supporting Virginia’s transition to EVs and hopes to increase engagement through improved customer education and personalized guidance.
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