Pennsylvania PUC Explores Third-Party EV Charging Stations Options

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) has approved a motion by Chairman Gladys M. Brown to review issues related to the operation of third-party electric vehicle (EV) charging stations.

The motion, which was approved 5-0 by the commissioners, highlights the continued growth of new technologies in Pennsylvania, including the increasing use of EVs – along with the accompanying expansion in the number of EV charging stations located across the state – while also noting that the tariffs for Pennsylvania’s electric distribution companies (EDCs) address the operation of third-party charging stations in different ways.

“I believe the future of this emergent market can benefit from review of electric distribution companies’ existing resale/redistribution tariff provisions,” says Brown in a statement proposing a PUC study of the issues surrounding EV charging stations. “It may be beneficial to provide more clarity regarding exactly what restrictions, if any, that each utility has and whether regulatory consistency across the state could help foster increased investment in this maturing industry.”

The chairman’s motion underscored differing rules and provisions regarding the resale of utility service by third-party-owned EV charging stations currently in place across the state, which may be subject to differing interpretations.

As part of the review, the PUC is seeking comment on the following:

  • What restrictions, if any, each EDC’s existing tariff establishes on the resale/redistribution of utility service for third-party EV charging;
  • Benefits and detriments of specific tariff provisions permitting unrestricted resale/redistribution of utility service when done for the purpose of third-party EV charging;
  • Appropriateness, or lack thereof, of encouraging EDCs across the state to move toward a tariff design, such as Duquesne Light Co.’s, which includes provisions for third-party EV charging resale/redistribution;
  • What other resale/redistribution tariff provision designs may aid in establishing clear rules for third-party EV charging stations; and
  • What other regulatory options may aid in establishing clear resale/redistribution rules for third-party EV charging stations.

Among several other efforts, the Pennsylvania PUC aims to balance the needs of consumers and utilities and foster new technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner.

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