In the charged world of the future, EVs will take energy from the grid when needed, and return energy to the grid when needed. This will require utilities to have a dependable way to measure the back-and-forth flow of electrons, so they can charge (or pay) their customers appropriately. In the industry, this is known as “revenue-grade” metering.
Utilities prefer to own or control the devices delivering revenue-grade data, but installing a smart meter just to keep track of EV charging, as some utilities in California have been doing, is an expensive proposition.
What if a revenue-grade meter could simply be included in a charging station? That’s what smart meter maker Itron and EV charging innovator ClipperCreek aim to find out. The two firms have launched a pilot project with the Maryland electric utility Pepco that will test demand response and variable pricing programs, using Itron virtual smart meters embedded in ClipperCreek charging stations and linked to Pepco’s network.
Pepco has been running its Plug-In Vehicle Charging Pilot for a year, offering customers either a standard time-of-use rate or a special demand-response tariff, using a second “socket meter” to separately measure EV charging. “The third option is using the Itron and ClipperCreek solution,” said Itron’s Stephen Johnson. “You have an EV-specific time-of-use rate, and you also have demand response, both using the submeter in the charging station.”