Arizona regulatory staff recommends approval of Electric Vehicle Policy Implementation Plan

As TransmissionHub reported, the commission, in a decision docketed on Jan. 16, adopted policy to encourage regulated utilities to invest in infrastructure and develop programs that support EV charging and widespread transportation electrification

Arizona Corporation Commission staff on May 10 filed a proposed order calling for the approval of the Electric Vehicle (EV) Policy Implementation Plan, which was produced through two EV stakeholder meetings and from written comments filed in the matter.

As TransmissionHub reported, the commission, in a decision docketed on Jan. 16, adopted policy to encourage regulated utilities to invest in infrastructure and develop programs that support EV charging and widespread transportation electrification.

As noted in that filing, Commissioner Boyd Dunn in August 2018 requested a docket be opened on his inquiry into EVs, EV infrastructure, and the electrification of the transportation sector in the state. That docket was closed in October 2018 so that the issue could be addressed in a rulemaking docket instead. In November 2018, the commission directed its Utilities Division Staff to develop the policy statement on EVs, EV infrastructure, and the electrification of the transportation sector in Arizona, the commission added.

As noted in staff’s May 10 filing, the commission directed staff to develop an implementation plan for the policy. The plan filed along with the proposed order on May 10 “is intended to provide guidelines to public service corporations (“PSCs”) regulated by the commission on how to best implement the policy,” staff said.

According to the plan, PSCs are encouraged to propose EV pilot programs to the commission for consideration and approval by July 1, and that in their proposals, they are encouraged to focus on infrastructure, education and outreach, rate design, incentives/rebates, as well as cost recovery. PSCs that propose EV pilot programs are required to submit a comprehensive transportation electrification plan (TE Plan) along with their submittal of pilot programs, the plan said, adding that the pilot programs would continue until further order by the commission.

Discussing rate design, the plan said, for instance, that PSCs should, as appropriate, develop and propose innovative rate designs applicable to EV charging, and that the commission may choose to adopt those interim rates in EV pilot programs prior to approval in rate cases. Also, the plan said, PSCs should, as appropriate, propose rate design tariffs that incentivize customers to charge vehicles during off-peak hours, to take advantage of periods of low or negative pricing.

On cost recovery, the plan said, among other things, that PSCs may be permitted to enter joint investment with non-regulated entities when appropriate, and that they may request commission approval to fund, as well as seek, cost recovery of make-ready infrastructure, while non-regulated entities would bear any additional costs.

As part of their pilot programs, PSCs should develop education and outreach programs for commission consideration and approval, the plan said, adding that a PSC may also seek recovery of the costs of its education and outreach program.

Discussing the location of EV charging stations and make-ready infrastructure, the plan said, for instance, that if PSCs provide turn-key EV charging station solutions for end users, it must be done in a manner that supports a competitive marketplace; site hosts must have the option to choose from a qualified vendor and product list which chargers they want installed.

Among other things, the plan said that PSCs are to coordinate and jointly develop – with stakeholder input – a joint, long-term, and comprehensive transportation electrification plan for Arizona, to be filed by Dec. 31 for commission review and approval.

According to staff’s filing, comments to the recommendation(s) of the proposed order are due by May 20, and the matter may be scheduled for commission deliberation at its open meetings scheduled for May 21 and May 22.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3235 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares, chief editor for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 15 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 clinares@endeavorb2b.com.