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.”
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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