Potomac Electric Power Company (Pepco), in a Feb. 11 report filed with Maryland state regulators, said that there were 154 enrolled participants through last December in its Demand Management Pilot for Plug-in Vehicle (PIV) Charging in Maryland (pilot program), which include 130 PIV customers and 24 R-PIV (whole house time of use, or TOU, rate) customers.
The report covered the period of December 2013 through December 2015, the company told the state Public Service Commission (PSC).
As noted in the February “Pepco Demand Management Pilot for Plug-In Vehicle Charging in Maryland Final Report – Results, Insights, and Customer Metrics,” prepared by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) on behalf of Pepco and filed along with Pepco’s report, within the pilot program, Pepco offered two types of rates:
- A R-PIV rate: A whole house TOU rate that applies to the entire house demand including the electric vehicle (EV)
- A PIV rate: Participants signed up for an EV-only TOU charging rate with a separate utility advanced meter infrastructure (AMI) meter. Customers with the PIV rate also had the provision to elect a “Green Power” adder option for an additional $0.0179 per kWh to allow for zero emission charging
The customers enrolled in the PIV rate – as well as those who opted for the Green Power adder – had two options:
- Using their existing 240V Level 2 charging station, which cannot be externally controlled, with Pepco installing a second AMI meter at the customer’s premise
- Purchasing special 240V Level 2 electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) (specified by Pepco) charging station with an embedded revenue-grade metering chip from Itron with communication capabilities. A second AMI utility meter was also installed along with the special Level 2 EVSE with the embedded Itron meter
EPRI also noted that through the pilot program, Pepco wanted to understand customers’ electricity consumption of EV charging, understand PEV owners’ charging habits, reactions to pricing, demand response, and smart charging stations technology. To understand the results, key metrics were established and they were divided into four areas: customer behavior, customer costs, utility costs, and demand response, EPRI said.
The EPRI report is for the period of December 2013 through September 2015.
In its filing, Pepco also noted that about 84% of participants elected the PIV offering as compared to 16% who chose the R-PIV offering. PIV-Green participants, who represent almost 34% of all PIV participants, elected to lessen their savings in exchange for green power (zero tailpipe emissions).
EPRI concluded that Pepco’s pilot program showed that plug-in vehicle customers predominantly charged at off-peak charging times; thus, confirming that TOU rates are an effective way of changing customer behavior and reducing load during peak periods.
Pepco added that EPRI also concluded that on average, Schedule PIV customers saved money by participating in the pilot program, and that based on survey results, customers generally like the pilot program and think highly of the Electric Transportation team at Pepco.
Pepco said that as a result of the success of the pilot program, it is performing a more in-depth analysis on distribution transformer loading to proactively determine specific, potential, overloaded transformers and plan accordingly in order to mitigate outages and reduce cost.
As noted in the company’s report that covered the period of December 2013 through December 2015, the PSC in August 2013 issued an order that approved, as modified, the Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE) Electric Vehicle Charging Station Pilot Program and the Pepco Amended Electric Vehicle Charging Station Pilot Program proposals.
Pepco’s pilot program began in December 2013 with the intended goals of improving electric distribution system reliability and efficiency as well as decreasing the use of electricity at peak demand times. Pepco added that due to slow enrollments, the company in March 2014 requested to extend its pilot program enrollment date for plug-in vehicle charging – experimental schedule “PIV” from March 31, 2014 to Aug. 31, 2014. Pepco added that the PSC accepted the company’s request.
Among other things, Pepco said that it requested in September 2014 PSC approval to extend the pilot program end date to Dec. 31, 2015. The PSC accepted Pepco’s request, the company said, adding that enrollment into the PIV tariff offering closed on Oct. 31, 2015, and the R-PIV tariff offering closed on Dec. 31, 2015, respectively.
Pepco also noted that it filed on Dec. 16, 2015, a request to, for instance, maintain the existing rate schedules (PIV and R-PIV) for those customers enrolled in the pilot program; the PSC on Jan. 20 accepted Pepco’s request through June 30, 2016.
From Dec. 2, 2013 through Dec. 31, 2014, 55 applicants successfully enrolled in the pilot program, Pepco said, adding that during year two of the pilot program, enrollment nearly tripled to 154. That upswing can be attributed to the pilot program postcard communication sent to customers in August and September 2015. During 3Q15, Pepco received 61 pilot program applications and enrolled 34 customers, while in 4Q15, it received 42 pilot program applications and enrolled 42 customers, Pepco added.
Through December 2015, Pepco said that it has received 291 applications for enrollment into the pilot program and has enrolled 154 customers, of which 21 are net energy meter customers. Additionally, there are 54 customers who have maintained enrollment in the pilot program for at least one year.
Among other things, Pepco added that through December 2015, of a project budget amount of about $1.1m, actual expenditures were $686,736 (63%) for the pilot program.
Pepco is a subsidiary of Pepco Holdings (NYSE:POM). BGE is a subsidiary of Exelon (NYSE:EXC).