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Regulatory Update: North Carolina Utilities Commission Approves Duke Energy’s Customer-Operated EVSE Tariffs

It’s a busy time for electric transportation in North Carolina. We frequently share updates on new charging stations, manufacturing facilities, grant programs and vehicle options, but over the coming weeks, we’ll be writing about a topic less in the public eye but every bit as important: the recent flurry of regulatory activity. Specifically, we’ll be focusing on:

We start with the Commission’s Order Approving Customer Operated EVSE Tariffs with Conditions, issued August 8, 2023.

TLDR: Duke Energy has been granted the ability to offer customer solutions for “charging as a service.” Rather than having site hosts own and operate charging equipment, this tariff program will give customers — residential and non-residential — the opportunity to essentially rent this equipment for a monthly fee from Duke Energy; Duke Energy will own, operate and maintain it. Capital costs are a burden and obstacle for EV drivers and potential site hosts hoping to deploy charging. New mechanisms for offering stations will increase charging access across the state. Notably, this program is funded only by participants and not by Duke Energy’s customer base at large.

The Deeper Dive: After the Commission’s approval with conditions, Duke Energy Carolinas LLC and Duke Energy Progress LLC (collectively, “Duke Energy”) filed compliance tariffs that provide more insight into what customers can expect.

  • Any customer on Duke Energy’s distribution system is eligible.
  • The program includes both residential and non-residential offerings.
  • Residential customers will have the opportunity to elect either networked or non-networked equipment for Level 2 charging, up to 7.7 kilowatts (kW).
  • Non-residential customers can elect networked or non-networked Level 2 equipment with charging rates from 6.0 to 9.6 kW.
  • Non-residential customers will also have the opportunity to elect dual-port DC fast charging equipment, with power ranges from 24 kW to 150 kW.
  • The program can be stacked with the Charger Prep Credit program, which reduces the costs for electrical upgrades needed to support charging — that is, panel, service and wiring needs.
  • The contract period for the tariffs will be from three to seven years.
    • Three years for Level 2 residential charging.
    • Four years for Level 2 non-residential charging.
    • Seven years for DC fast charging.
  • In addition to the equipment rental rates, there are rates for mounting options — pedestals, wood poles, concrete bollards and cable management.
  • The Commission concluded that it has the discretion to authorize public utilities to engage in EV charging activities.
  • It also concluded that “there is good cause to conduct a review of the EVSE data collected by Duke, gauge the impact of the EVSE on development of the private market for EV charging, and consider other aspects of the EVSE tariffs in three years.”
  • Duke Energy will file a semiannual EVSE report, with the first one scheduled for March 1, 2024.

If you’re interested in offering charging at your company, organization, local government or campus facilities but aren’t sure what your options are, our parent company, Advanced Energy, can help.