AUTHOR:Robert Walton@TeamWetDog PUBLISHED March 16, 2018

Dive Brief:

After nearly a year of study, Pennsylvania regulators have proposed new rules governing third party electric vehicle charging that are meant to bring certainty and clarity to the burgeoning industry.
The draft policy clarifies that third-party electric vehicle charging is not considered resale/redistribution, and directs electric distribution companies to add EV charging tariff provisions.
Last May, the Public Utilities Commission launched an investigation into issues surrounding third-party operation of electric vehicle charging stations. The resulting new rules will be published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and followed by a 45-day comment period.

Regulatory certainty is essential to any industry, and Pennsylvania regulators are proposing to clear up a major issue. Under the proposed rules, which advanced Thursday on a 5-0 vote, third-party charging would not be considered resale or redistribution under Section 1313 of the Public Utility Code, which could have restricted charging station operators’ ability to earn a profit.

The rule requires that entities reselling power cannot charge more than what the utility “would bill its own residential consumers for the same quantity of service.” That was among the issues the PUC wanted to address last June when it issued a letter launching the inquiry.

“Elimination of any regulatory uncertainty is an important first step in supporting the build-out of electric vehicle infrastructure,” Chairman Gladys Brown said in the PUC’s motion. “The existing panoply of different tariffs indeed results in a lack of clarity and consistency throughout the state regarding resale/redistribution of electricity for EV charging.”

Brown said the solution is to make tariff provisions for EV charging ubiquitous among electric distribution companies.

Pennsylvania last year had an estimated 725 charging stations and 3,600 electric vehicles on its roads. The PUC’s motion notes that vehicles and charging stations continue to grow, and planning and notification of their location are essential.