Request of CL&P for Approval of Electric Vehicle Rate Rider Pilot
Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority
2014 WL 2801554 (2014)
The Connecticut Light and Power Company (CL&P) (plaintiff) filed a motion with the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) for approval of a pilot program for fast-charging stations for electric vehicles. The State of Connecticut sought to deploy direct current (DC) fast-charging stations for electric vehicles on state highways. DC fast-charging stations were subject to commercial electric rates. Commercial electric rates were composed of a demand-charge component, which compensated the utility for ensuring there was enough capacity to meet monthly peak demand (i.e., the amount of electricity needed when customers are drawing the most energy from the electric grid), and the actual cost of the electricity delivered to customers. The demand charges were fixed based on the peak capacity of the charging stations, so less energy use did not reduce demand charges because the peak requirements remained the same. The other component of the rates was the actual energy used. The pilot program was proposed by CL&P as a solution to mitigate high demand charges for the DC fast-charging stations. The charging stations were expected to be utilized at a rate of 2 to 5 percent during the initial phase of their deployment, so the effective price per kilowatt-hour (kWh) was prohibitively high at above $1 per kWh. CL&P proposed using the pilot program to convert demand charges to an equivalent per kWh charge for all kWh used by the customer. Using this method, a customer would be charged in relation to actual energy usage, with demand charges essentially accounted for in the equivalent per kWh charge rather than electricity-usage volume plus the demand charges. CL&P agreed to collect data on the use of charging stations and provide it to PURA for purposes of rate design for fast-charging stations. The Bureau of Energy and Technology Policy (i.e., Connecticut’s office for energy policy), the Office of Consumer Counsel (the advocate for utility customers), and Environment Northeast (an environmental organization) all supported approval of the pilot program. PURA issued an order regarding CL&P’s motion.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning ()
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