Dominion Virginia Power seeks to extend electric vehicle pilot program by two years

The Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) is seeking responses on the proposal by Virginia Electric and Power d/b/a Dominion Virginia Power, to extend by two years its existing electric vehicle (EV) pilot program so that program enrollment will continue through Dec. 1, 2015.

In its Nov. 18 order, the SCC said that while the proposed revision was not filed as a motion, it is treating the filing as such, noting that because of the short time frame between now and the date the EV pilot program enrollment period is set to expire, it is requesting that the parties file their responses on the proposed revision by Nov. 20. Dominion Virginia Power, which is a subsidiary of Dominion Resources (NYSE:D) may file any reply to the responses by Nov. 22.

In its Nov. 8 filing, Dominion Virginia Power said the pilot program includes two experimental and voluntary EV rate options designated Rate Schedules 1EV and EV, collectively, the EV rate options.

The company noted that it is not proposing to change any pilot terms or conditions previously approved by the SCC and supported by the SCC staff in the case.

“Rather, this extension merely extends the existing pilot by two years in recognition that electric vehicle sales are starting to increase in the company’s Virginia service territory, and that an extension would allow the company to acquire additional information (including information demonstrating that its EV rate options are changing customer behavior and EV charging use during peak periods) in furtherance of the public interest,” the company said.

That information will help the company to determine whether it should offer those EV rate options as permanent tariffs after the pilot’s conclusion.

Under the company’s proposal, the pilot will conclude on Nov. 30, 2016, thus allowing customers who enroll in one of the EV rate options the opportunity to participate for the required one-year term. The pilot’s enrollment limit of 1,500 participants will not change.

The company also said it is requesting SCC approval to continue pilot-related expenses under the existing cost cap of $825,000 approved in a July 2011 order. The cost of continuing the pilot is about $268,000, which covers costs for continuing customer education and notification for existing pilot customers, additional enrollments and the associated education and notifications, as well as continued evaluation, measurement and verification studies. That amount would bring the total projected pilot costs to $660,775, meaning that the projected costs associated with the pilot’s extension will fall within the approved budget.

Dominion Virginia Power also said it seeks SCC action on the matter as close to Dec. 1 as is feasible, as that would allow it to continue customer enrollment in the EV rate options without any gap.

According to the company, as of Oct. 22, current participants under the 1EV rate option total 195, and 45 under the EV option.

Growth in EV adoption levels across its service territory has increased by more than 700% over the course of the pilot, the company said, noting that in October, state Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) data registrations indicated 1,345 EVs were registered. By comparison, in February 2012, the company received initial registration data from the DMV indicating that 184 electric vehicles were registered in the company’s service territory, the company said.

In Nov. 19 comments, SCC staff said that it is not opposed to the company’s petition to extend its pilot program, noting that granting a two-year extension will allow more time for the pilot to reach full enrollment, allowing the company to perform a more thorough analysis of the results of the pilot program.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 2807 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares, chief editor for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 13 years. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial. She has also covered such topics as health, politics and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines. She can be reached at corinar@pennwell.com.