(Columbus)—Clean Fuels Ohio announced today that charging site hosts may be able to charge customers by kilowatt hour at Ohio charging stations under state regulations. This follows a recent docket change by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio if it is approved.
Site hosts currently have a variety of options to choose from when developing their business model for charging EV owners for charging their vehicle. However, a growing number of site hosts have expressed an interest in charging by kilowatt hour. Under this model, charges would be assessed to the customer based only on the amount of electricity used. There is a great deal of uncertainty if this method is allowed under state jurisdiction.
“Allowing site hosts to charge by kilowatt hour allows them to be more responsive to the needs of their customers,” said Brendan Kelly, Drive Electric Ohio Director. “Currently there are a number of existing options for how to charge, but more and more customers have asked if they could be charged based only upon the actual electricity consumed, which we feel is a very reasonable request.”
The uncertainty regarding how site hosts can charge stems from a conflict in the current code. As of now, state law allows charging by kilowatt hour as long as the terms are disclosed in plain view for customers to see. However, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, who oversees Ohio power companies has not ruled that this method of charging is allowed. The recent docket change is likely a result of a meeting between Clean Fuels Ohio and the Public Utilities Commission Chairman.
“It is not unusual for conflict to exist between state law and other regulatory bodies,” commented Jason Phillips, Policy Director for Clean Fuels Ohio. “The PUCO is often very deliberate regarding these types of rulings because they want to make sure there are no unintended consequences that will ultimately hurt consumers. I think it is probable that the docket change means the PUCO will formally clarify that selling by kilowatt hour is fine and site hosts will be given more options for their customers.”
It is not clear what the timeline will be for this ruling, though it is expected to be done sometime in the next few months.