By Serenity Berntson
Dakota Electric, serving about 100,000 customers in the southeast suburbs of the Twin Cities metro area, is proposing a two-year electric car charging pilot program with rates at almost half the regular residential rate.
The program encourages electric vehicle owners to charge their cars during off-peak hours—between 11:00pm and 7:00am—when energy demand is low. The program allows Dakota Electric to charge 38 cents per kilowatt hour during on-peak hours, which is more than three times the regular rate.
One interesting environmental benefit offered by this program is the ability for electric car owners to harness wind power, which usually blows harder at night, when there is typically less demand.
The low number of electric vehicles on the road has prevented other Minnesota-based utility companies from instituting similar programs, however Xcel Energy has stated that they will be following the pilot program with interest. Dakota Electric will be joining 22 other U.S. utility companies that offer special rates for electric vehicle owners.
This article was originally published on the website of the Clean Energy Resource Teams. It has been reposted with full permission.
Dan Thiede is the Communications Coordinator for the Clean Energy Resource Teams, or CERTs, at the University of Minnesota. CERTs works to advance the adoption of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in communities across Minnesota by helping people learn, connect, and act.