Moratzka, McKenna, Conlin Look at Steps Being Taken on State Level to Buildout EV Charging Infrastructure


In a recent article, Andrew Moratzka, Lilly McKenna, and Riley Conlin outline for POWER magazine the steps being taken in California and Minnesota to expand consumer access to electric vehicle service equipment (EVSE), i.e., EV charging infrastructure.

The proposed expansion of a local investor-owned utility into the EV charging market forces state regulators to address and balance the interests of the affected parties in increasing EV adoption, promoting fair competition in the marketplace, and maintaining affordable rates for utility consumers.

In 2011, California prohibited utility investment in EVSE, with limited exceptions, but reversed course in 2014, creating a policy by which utility ownership of EVSE would be addressed on a case-by-case basis. In 2020, the state changed its policy to allow a utility to recover from all ratepayers front-of-meter costs it incurs for installing the electrical distribution infrastructure necessary to support separately metered charging stations. Utility ownership of behind-the-meter (BTM) costs has been authorized in California on a limited basis, but starting in 2025, utilities will no longer be allowed to own BTM EV infrastructure.

Minnesota utility Xcel Energy submitted a petition in August 2022 that would modify and make permanent its existing public charging pilot program and commercial and residential EV pilot programs, start an electric school bus pilot program, and obtain cost recovery for various advisory services. According to energy attorneys Moratzka, McKenna, and Conlin, Xcel is proposing to use a total of nearly $400 million of ratepayer dollars between 2022 and 2026 to fund the proposals in the petition.

The authors conclude: “There’s excitement for expanding access to EVSE in various jurisdictions. The examples above for California and Minnesota, which operate under two different regulatory regimes, are intended to highlight the issues being addressed. The resolution of issues relating to EVSE will be a fascinating area of law to monitor going forward.”

Read the full article here.

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