How Utilities will Respond to the Surge of EVs

How Utilities will Respond to the Surge of EVs Energy Federation Incorporation EFI | Energy Federation Incorporation

As utilities race to the “carbon emission-free by 2050” finish line, studies reveal that gas-powered vehicles will soon be a dying breed. Your typical gas-consuming car is responsible for 28% of the world’s emissions, according to epa.gov. It’s no surprise that global electric vehicle sales are estimated to skyrocket 70% by 2021. While companies like Uber and GM are already making strides to advance their electrification, there will soon be a demand for utilities to empower their customers to make the energy-efficient choice as well by investing in ENERGY STAR certified EV chargers. One EFI utility client is a leader in this initiative, offering instantly rebated EV chargers on their online marketplace.

The Trends of EVs

According to the McKinsey Electric Vehicle Index, the expansion of electric vehicles slowed down from 2019 to the first quarter of 2020. EFI suspects it was from the pandemic’s effects of the stay-at-home order, the loss of jobs, and the need to reduce spending. For 2021, there will be an increase in EV adoption in the U.S. due to President Joe Biden’s mandate for federal government to choose electric vehicles. Not only will this speed up change for government agencies, but also for consumers. President Biden proclaimed on January 25th that this will be “the largest mobilization of public investment in procurement…”. With more implementation coming our way with electric vehicles, how can utilities prepare their customers for new energy charging costs?

How Utilities are Preparing for Grid Change

Knowing that 80% of EV drivers will be charging their cars at home, utilities will have a direct focus on increasing energy savings and reducing peak load times for single-family homes. One way utilities are paving the way is by incentivizing ENERGY STAR certified EV chargers.

Select utilities are now offering incentives for customers who decide to purchase EV chargers and here’s why: The average kWh is 12.6 cents, and customers are typically charging their EVs for a 100-mile range. That’s the same cost as running your central AC unit for six hours. Although this doesn’t seem too costly for powering a vehicle (almost half the cost of gassing a car), it could be a considerable amount for low-income homeowners looking to make this conversion. Utilities are empowering customers to purchase an energy-efficient charger because they use 40% less energy than the average charger.

Some utilities are offering other incentives such as: Offering customers cost reduction if they choose to opt into a demand response program with their EV charging. Vehicles charge during off-peak hours (at night) to conserve the peak-load times during the day.

The Utility's Approach to EVs

EFI, the industry leader in delivering energy efficiency driven technology solutions, worked with one leading utility client to focus on the importance of residential EV charger adoption. Although spending on EVs somewhat declined during the early half of 2020 in the US, the utility wanted to continue to push the needle forward by rewarding customers who made the choice to go energy efficient. Starting in July of 2020, EFI implemented a new category on the the utility marketplace which included instantly rebated ENERGY STAR certified EV chargers from ChargePoint and Juice Box. Their residential customers could save $500 on either charger at checkout, making these products a reasonable and competitive offer.

To market their instant rebates, the utility worked with NYSERDA to target customers who have purchased EVs, creating small, segmented, effective outreaches. As a way to ensure the utility can track the installment and demand response success of these chargers, EFI reported serial number information to the utility on both offered units.

Preparing for an EV World

One of the most effective ways to provide awareness, succeed in program goals, and distribute ENERGY STAR certified EV chargers is through a utility marketplace. A utility marketplace is used to provide instant rebates and to create user-friendly engagements with your customers. With these positive touchpoint interactions, EFI advances your program goals by managing the customer journey from start to finish. Give customers instant access to the ENERGY STAR products, and provide education they need to make the energy-efficient purchase – all in one place.

Take The Next Step:

• Consult an EFI expert on the utility marketplace and how it can be accessible for all of your customers.

• Customize your brand and experience to be unique on the marketplace with EFI.

• Strategize with EFI to generate an effective marketing plan for your offerings.

• Sit back and watch the success of your EV instant rebate and demand response program as EFI takes care of the entire customer journey.

Want to learn more? Reach us at solutions@efi.org

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