SCE Begins Rollout of Chargers for Electric Buses
Top consumer smart energy news hand-selected and brought to you by the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative.
Utility Southern California Edison has broken ground on a major charging investment for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, despite the ongoing coronavirus epidemic. The $356 million Charge Ready Transport program will see SCE laying the groundwork for at least 870 commercial charging stations over the next five years, expected to be capable of powering at least 8,490 vehicles.
Electric vehicles – their widespread adoption has seemed almost inevitable, but adoption has been slower than many anticipated. Now, utilities are laying the groundwork to expedite that adoption. On their own, EVs are driving the creation of a more sustainable future with new technology that is exciting car buyers. However, sales of EVs actually decreased by more than 25,000 in 2019 from the prior year, even though the number of EV models more than doubled. Why are EV sales not matching the hype that is accompanying them?
The Michigan Public Service Commission last week approved DTE Electric plans that will stabilize electric rates through 2022 and expand its wind and solar-based holdings. The stabilization is particularly notable, as it follows a three-month moratorium on service interruptions and a $30-40 million bill reduction for electric customers in June and July. Despite the hits to the utility by the pandemic, its latest plan calls for current electric rates to be maintained through 2022. According to the company, it’s a move meant to help customers recover first.
A couple walks into a local big box store, looking for a new water heater to replace their existing unit. Within the large appliances section, they are confronted with multiple options. Should they choose a traditional electric resistance model or a more capable but more expensive heat pump? How do they translate their “wish list” of features and capabilities into a brand and model to buy?
The largest battery storage resource in the country was connected to the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) grid in June, adding 62.5 MW of storage to the operator’s system, CAISO announced on Monday. The resource is the first phase of LS Power Group’s Gateway energy storage project in San Diego County. The entire 250 MW project is expected to come online in August, at which point it will reportedly be the largest battery storage system operating in the world.
Intent on hastening the widespread use of electric buses, Hawaiian Electric proposed an eBus Make-Ready Infrastructure Pilot project to the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission. “Electric buses will allow everyone to enjoy the clean and quiet perks of an electric vehicle, even those who choose not to own a car,” said Aki Marceau, Director of Electrification of Transportation at Hawaiian Electric. “Electrifying our bus fleets will also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions for ground transportation, which contributes to over 50 percent of emissions statewide.”
With states, corporations and utilities pledging action on climate change through renewable energy targets and goals, it’s a bit surprising to learn from J.D. Power’s first every sustainability index that most U.S. electric utility customers currently have very low levels of awareness for the climate sustainability initiatives of their local utilities. The J.D. Power Sustainability Index 2020 was released on Wednesday.
Due to the industry’s effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic, customer trust in utilities – including a number of public power utilities – has reached an historic high, according to a recent survey. The Cogent Syndicated Brand Trust Index posted a record high score of 696 (on a 1,000-point scale), with 44 utilities being named the 2020 Most Trusted Brands, having scored highest on the Brand Trust Index among the 140 utilities that were surveyed.