VERMONT BIZ 03/09/20
More Than Doubles Availability in Vermont. Program Builds on State Grant Program and Combats Vermont’s Biggest Cause of Carbon Emissions: Transportation
Vermont Business Magazine Green Mountain Power (GMP) today announced it is launching a program to expand fast charging for electric vehicles (EVs) in Vermont to directly confront the state’s largest source of carbon emissions: transportation. GMP’s pilot program is designed to encourage development of fast charging in parts of the state without it and will dovetail with a Vermont state program incenting fast charger development along interstates and other busy roadways to support more Vermonters making the switch to EVs.
The GMP program is designed to more than pay for itself so it protects all customers from increased costs. Fast chargers can quickly charge an EV, enhancing convenience for drivers, and GMP’s program will support up to 20 new ones, more than doubling the 17 fast chargers currently available in Vermont.
“This move by GMP brings us that much closer to a fully networked Vermont, where EV drivers can find fast-charging stations easily, whether they’re driving to work or school, or to hike, hunt or ski,” said EV owner Dr. Michael Shank of Brandon, co-organizer of the Town of Brandon’s EV Festival and communications director for the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance. “The easier it is to charge your way around the state, the easier it is for drivers to make the EV switch, leaving the air cleaner for all Vermonters. Electric highways and green roadways are the future. GMP is bringing that future to Vermont today.”
Businesses, communities, and other organizations looking to install a fast charger for public use can apply to GMP’s pilot program, which will offer up to $40,000 towards the electrical interconnection of a fast charger at 20 locations around the state. Typically, charger station owners would pay nearly all the costs of the electrical upgrades and equipment for installation, which can add up to well over $100,000.
“We know more Vermonters will make the switch to EVs when they have greater access to fast charging, especially in rural areas. This is a win for EV drivers and for GMP customers because the program is designed to more than pay for itself, returning savings back to customers,” said Mari McClure, GMP’s president and CEO. “We are focused on offering cost-effective solutions to reduce carbon emissions while increasing affordability for all of our customers, and this pilot program does that.”
Use of fast chargers across GMP’s service area doubled last year, showing the growing need for expanding access. The State of Vermont also has more than $2 million in grant money available for fast charging expansion – mostly funded by the Volkswagen settlement – and those applying to the state program can also apply for extra savings through GMP’s pilot program.
“We are actively seeking applicants to deploy strategically located electric vehicle fast-charging stations. GMP’s investment, tied directly to the state’s efforts, will lead to additional interest and an increase in the number of fast chargers in Vermont. This kind of cost-effective approach to charging infrastructure is what will make the transition to electric vehicles practical for everyone,” said Ted Brady, deputy secretary of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development.
The fast-charging pilot program adds to GMP’s other successful EV incentives, including vehicle rebates and free home chargers, which last year encouraged more than 600 GMP customers to start driving EVs – reducing costs for all customers and offsetting about 28 million pounds of lifetime carbon.
“When a Vermonter wants to make a difference in the fight against climate change, one of the best things they can do is replace their fossil-fueled vehicle with an EV. Another high-impact action is to switch from fossil-fuel heating to efficient electric options, especially because Vermont’s grid is so clean,” said Jared Duval, executive director of Energy Action Network. “More than doubling fast charging can help to rapidly accelerate the reduction of carbon emissions in Vermont.”
GMP has filed the pilot program with state regulators, and can begin enrolling qualified customers March 20. You can learn more about the pilot and the application here: https://greenmountainpower.com/product/charge-fast/ or by calling GMP at 888-835-4672.
The deadline to apply for the State of Vermont grant program for fast charging is April 1, and more details are here: https://accd.vermont.gov/community-development/funding-incentives/electric-vehicle-supply-equipment-evse-grant-program. Details about GMP’s EV rebates are here: https://greenmountainpower.com/product/ev-rebate/. Drive Electric Vermont also has great information on Vermont’s charging network and about the benefits of EVs: https://www.driveelectricvt.com.
About Green Mountain Power
Green Mountain Power (GMP) serves approximately 265,000 residential and business customers in Vermont and is partnering with them to improve lives and transform communities. GMP is focused on a new way of doing business to meet the needs of customers with integrated energy services that help people use less energy and save money, while continuing to generate clean, cost-effective and reliable power in Vermont. GMP earned a spot on Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies in the World list three years in a row (2017, 2018, 2019). GMP is the first utility in the world to get a B Corp certification, meeting rigorous social, environmental, accountability and transparency standards and committing to use business as a force for good. J.D. Power’s 2018 and 2019 rankings put GMP among top utilities for customer satisfaction. In 2019, GMP was named “One of the Best Places To Work in Vermont” by Vermont Business Magazine and the Vermont Chamber of Commerce, and was the winner of the Deane C. Davis Outstanding Vermont Business of the Year Award.