ELECTRIFY YOUR RIDE: Charging with RMLD’s Time-of-Use Rate

READING, MA — Below is the final installment in the RMLD’s “Electrify Your Ride” series:

While it’s not the only option, many plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) owners opt to charge their vehicle at home for convenience. Most PEVs come with a connector that allows you to plug your vehicle into a standard 120-volt household outlet, known as AC level 1 charging. Owners also have the option of installing a 240-volt AC level 2 charging station at their home to achieve a faster charge. Click here for our previous article, How and Where to Charge Your PEV. Charging your PEV at home will increase your electricity use, but offers a benefit in that the cost per kWh provided by the RMLD is typically lower than most network chargers. As the number of PEVs in our area continues to grow, widespread vehicle charging also has the potential to affect RMLD’s peak electricity use, known as peak demand. Peak demand occurs when many homes and businesses use large amounts of electricity at the same time. If you’re familiar with RMLD’s Shred the Peak program, you know that peak electricity is expensive, affecting power supply costs and customer bills. To that end, controlling peak demand is a key consideration for RMLD as PEV adoption grows in our area.

The good news is, RMLD offers an alternative rate called Time-of-Use (TOU) which benefits customers who shift the majority of their electricity use to off-peak hours, all while helping RMLD control the overall high cost of peak demand. This rate encourages customers who own a PEV to charge their vehicle during off-peak hours to help save money on their electric bill and keep peaks down. Conveniently, most PEVs allow owners to control charging from the car (or its app), so owners can plug the car in and set it to start charging at a certain time. Current research also states that most PEV owners are already charging their cars overnight, so little behavior change is required at this time.

Here’s how it works: rather than one rate that applies to all hours of the day, Time-of-Use has a higher rate during on-peak hours when electricity is in high demand, and a lower rate during off-peak hours when electricity is less in demand. The time-of-use rate helps customers save money on their electric bill if less than 25% of their usage occurs during on-peak hours. The actual amount saved will depend on the distribution of on-peak versus off-peak hours.

On-peak hours are Monday through Friday from 12:00 pm to 7:00 pm, excluding holidays. Off-peak hours include weekends, holidays, and all other hours not considered on-peak. The TOU rate requires a different type of meter, so the customer charge is slightly higher, and customers are asked to stay on the rate for a minimum of one year.

The TOU rate is available for residential, commercial and industrial RMLD customers. To learn more and find out if TOU may be a fit for you, please contact our Customer Service Department at 781-942-6598.

RMLD residential customers who are ready to electrify their ride have until October 31, 2018 to take advantage of our PEV pilot rebate program, which offers a $1,500 rebate for the lease or purchase of a new or used BEV, and a $1,000 rebate for the lease or purchase of a new PHEV+. RMLD also offers residential customers a rebate of 100% of equipment costs up to $500 for the home installation of a networked (or “smart”) AC level 2 charging station. For more information on these rebates, click here.

This is the final article in RMLD’s Electrify Your Ride series. We hope the information provided has been of value to those who are considering the purchase of a PEV or who simply want to learn more about this emerging technology. Click here to view the complete series of articles, and thank you for reading!

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