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Clean Transport

Published on July 6th, 2015 | by James Ayre


Utility-Provided Special EV Tariff Rates Becoming More Common In US

July 6th, 2015 by  

Special utility company–provided electric vehicle (EV) tariff rates (for home charging) are becoming more and more common in the US, according to a new study from Northeast Group.

Considering that EVs are becoming more and more common throughout the US, the findings aren’t very surprising — after all, if you’re charging your EV every night during off-peak hours, why wouldn’t you want a good deal?


As it stands now — according to the study — there are 28 different utility companies in 15 different states providing EV charging specific rates.

“After several years of trial and error, utilities are beginning to learn what tariff structures work best for EV owners,” stated Ben Gardner, president of Northeast Group. “Several utilities that previously offered EV tariffs on only a pilot basis now offer full EV tariffs. The benefits of large overnight rate discounts for those charging EVs during off-peak hours are becoming clear to both EV owners and utilities.”

While much of this has been self-directed, governments have been involved as well. For instance, in Minnesota, recent legislation has resulted in all large utility companies now being required to offer specific EV charging rates.

“With gasoline cheaper than in years past, EV tariffs will be an increasingly important incentive,” noted Gardner. “Across the 15 states with EV tariffs, the average equivalent ‘price per gallon’ was $0.77. Using standard electricity tariffs, the US Department of Energy calculated that the cost of an ‘eGallon’ in these states was $1.39. The average cost of gasoline in these states was $2.81.”

According to the study, there are, altogether, more than 24 million utility customers throughout the US with access to EV tariffs. Those interested can find the full study here.

Image Credit: Nissan

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About the Author

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.

  • Mike Dill

    In Nevada, we already have a special TOU rate for charging. Between 10 PM and 6AM, I pay about $0.06 per KWH. That rate is higher in the summer (about $0.065 per KWH) and lower in the winter (about $0.05 per KWH), which is somewhat reasonable as the AC runs 24/7 for most people in the summer time here.

  • Marion Meads

    This makes valid my point. What good are the for-profit third party charging stations against these? Utilities should build the publicly accessible charging stations and not any third party companies so that prices remain attractive for EV adoption, and it retains revenues for utilities as they lose some of them over to roof mounted solar PV.

    Any charging stations that will bill you for more than your residential electric utility rate would never recover its investment as it will have far fewer customers.

    • GCO

      Utilities are a legal and tightly-regulated monopoly. In my opinion, this position is incompatible with providing PEV charging, a service for which there can, and should, be free competition.

      Regarding pricing, you again don’t seem to grasp the basic fact that drivers will charge at a low rate, like at home, 90+% of the time. That matters a whole lot more than how much the remaining few percents costs.

      I happily pay 49 c/kW⋅h to quick-charge. I see this as 9 c/kW⋅h for the electricity, 40 c for the convenience of having it delivered quickly to my vehicle where it happens to be, saving me the hassle of finding alternate transportation. It’s a bargain.

  • Mike333

    This is brilliant from a utility perspective. Give the client a lower rate for EV charging, and that client may not convert to solar. Something to think about.

  • Kyle Field

    SCE has a special plan for EVs in southern california USA. They lower the night time rates (ev charging times) to “ultra off peak” rates…then almost double daytime rates. I don’t understand the rationale and for me being on solar w/net metering, doesn’t make sense. Seems a bit too much like they’re just in it for themselves…

    • GCO

      Wouldn’t higher daytime rates actually benefit you, if your PV system happens to be generating more than you use during those times?

      If your utility allows combining net metering with TOU (mine doesn’t), wouldn’t this mean you’d both sell kW⋅h at a higher price during the day, and purchase energy at night at lesser cost?

      • Kyle Field

        they credit overproduction and charge usage on a kwh basis, not a cost basis. from there, any net usage is charged on a tiered basis with price per kwh increasing as usage increases. conversely, overproduction is credited at a flat “wholesale” rate of something around $.049/kwh.

        • Greg Hudson

          You are being ripped off at 4.9 c/kWh I’m in Australia, on the best deal I could find. $0.68c/kWh export, I purchase power at 29c Peak (7am-11pm) then 12c off-peak 11pm-7am plus all weekends. My house will soon be up for sale, and this power plan will be transferred to the new owner 🙁

          • Kyle Field

            wholesale rates are relative to the area, utility, etc. being that the electric utility here is a government regulated monopoly, it’s not possible to shop around for better rates so…it is what it is 🙂 $.049 is better than zero 🙂

  • Ivor O’Connor

    What price drops for EV charging are expected? Are the costs maybe $.04/kWh? If it is substantial I’d imagine more people would push for it in their community.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Longer term I expect EVs to be used as a dispatchable load. Utilities would be allowed to start and stop charging as grid supply:demand rises and falls. That would have value to the grid and earn participants a lower rate.

      More wind coming online and TOU billing should take the charge rate down.
      $0.04/kWh? Hard to see prices getting that low on a regular basis. Perhaps a few times a year in the spring when wind is up and demand lower than usual.

      • Ivor O’Connor

        That’s an excellent idea. One of those ideas future generations will look back and think it was obvious and wonder how it could not have been.

        Considering Texas and perhaps some other places give away their electricity free at night I’m hoping costs in other location’s will be very low.

      • raysea

        I live in Santa Barbara county in California. My ultra off peak rate is $0.04.

        • Bob_Wallace

          Penny a mile.


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