HECO Utilities In Hawaii Will Exempt EV Chargers From Demand Charge

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As an incentive to open electric vehicle charging stations and hence encourage EV usage, HECO (Hawaii Electric Companies) utilities in Hawaii will make EV charging rates exempt them from “demand charges.”

ev charging
Image Credit: Electric vehicle charging via Shutterstock
Notably, this is not free electricity. Demand charges are for the maximum amount of electricity drawn by a customer at a given moment. This is not to be confused with cumulative power consumption. As HECO describes it, “Demand charge represents the electric utility’s cost to maintain the capacity to meet a commercial customer’s highest demand for a fixed period.”

“Plug-in electric vehicles continue to increase and we want to make it easier for our customers to own and use them,” said Jim Alberts, Hawaiian Electric senior vice president for customer service. “While most electric vehicle owners will continue to charge overnight at home, more charge spots across the islands will provide assurance to EV drivers that they won’t ‘run out of juice’ while away from home.”

“This new rate will encourage businesses to provide direct current (DC) fast charging, which delivers a quicker charge but at a higher demand,” the HECO news release notes. “A DC fast charging station can bring an ’empty’ EV battery to an 80 percent charge in about 30 minutes.”

But this new rate, the Commercial Public Electric Vehicle Charging Facility Service rate, is just one of the new rates. The second one is very similarly called a Commercial Public Electric Vehicle Charging Service rate. This second rate “allows the Hawaiian Electric Companies to operate up to 25 publicly accessible DC fast charging facilities across Oahu, Maui County and Hawaii Island where drivers could quickly recharge their vehicles for a per-session fee. It also allows the Hawaiian Electric utilities to work with the EV industry to manage electric vehicle EV charging more effectively and do research on load control and demand response.”


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Nicholas Brown

Has a keen interest in physics-intensive topics such as electricity generation, refrigeration and air conditioning technology, energy storage, and geography. His website is: Kompulsa.com.

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7 thoughts on “HECO Utilities In Hawaii Will Exempt EV Chargers From Demand Charge

  • Hawaii has 352 EV charging stations and this is enough to convert all vehicles to electric. The biggest island is only 100 miles from 1 end to another. Even if you want to go from this end to other, you can drive slowly and reach 100 mile range.


    • Sure Hawaii may have the stations, and as you say “… you can drive slowly and reach 100 mile range”, but in that statement is the trade off one currently has to deal with. As is the case with most things in life, it’s a trade off. This particular one concerns getting there and getting there and getting there more quickly or in a more “reasonable” time. If the roads on the big island were all level and you had the time to drive the speed required to get the maximum distance it may work, but stopping to charge the vehicle along the way adds time and inconvenience to the trek. For now the more efficient (time and cost) way is still the gas powered one. We can hope that the technology will improve, as it has in the past, to the point where it will be more reasonable to have these vehicles.

  • EVs are terrible for Hawaii. They have a very low percentage of electricity generated from renewables (getting better, I acknowledge), but they have been forever dependent upon coal, petroleum, and natural gas shipped in from the mainland. The islands are not that big, as you point out. I would be interested to see a CO2 footprint comparison of an EV infrastructure vs. modern, fuel efficient ICE cars.

    • Hawaii is starting to install renewables. They finally figured it out.

      There’s little doubt. The carbon footprint of EVs charged with renewable electricity is tiny compared to the most efficient ICEV.

    • Hawaii has excellent wind, solar, and geothermal resources. it’s grid is changing.

      • Adding onto that. Hawaii has a 40% renewable electricity by 2030 target.

    • Actually, Hawaii is already a leader in renewables: “Renewable sources provided 10.5% of total electric power.[1] Hawaii ranked third among U.S. states in geothermal energy and seventh in distributed solar power.[2][3]”

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