Wisconsin regulators consider mandatory EV programs for large utilities

Wisconsin regulators are considering requiring utilities to develop pilot charging programs for residential customers.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports that the state’s Public Service Commission voted to request utility feedback on a draft order that would require Wisconsin’s five largest utilities to submit plans for approval next year. For the state’s 120 or so smaller electric utilities, submitting plans would be optional, but the commission would use the same framework to evaluate them.

Plans would include programs to address issues such as the up-front cost of purchasing EVs, charging stations, rate design, and ways to manage increased electricity demand.

PSC Chair Rebecca Valcq said the proposal is a response to utility requests for regulatory clarity. “Because there haven’t been guidelines…we’re asking applicants to kind of shoot in the dark. I view it as a way to telegraph to people what’s important to us when we look at these programs.”

In recent years, the commission has approved EV charging programs for Madison Gas and Electric and Xcel Energy, but last year, it denied proposals from We Energies and Wisconsin Public Service to subsidize customer charging stations.

Commissioner Tyler Huebner noted that, while some utilities have developed EV programs on their own, other ratepayers have no choices. “It’s important for us to make sure utilities are getting in front of this…so when adoption grows, we’ve skated to where the puck is. If we don’t move forward we risk having some utilities behind where their customers are.”

Source: Wisconsin State Journal

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