How to charge an electric vehicle is one thing, where and when to charge it is also on the table.

Today, the when.

Here’s the story that raises the issue for us: Appalachian Power will offer first Virginia electric car time of day charging rate. The company will offer residential owners of plug-in electric cars a special time-of-day rate with a discount for charging their vehicles when demand for power is lower.

“A residential customer with a typical electric car consumption of 2,700 kilowatt-hours (kWh) annually will save about $86.50 for home-charging the vehicle during off-peak hours – generally, nighttime hours – under the new rate as compared to the current standard residential rate,” says the company.

Enlightened self-interest by the power company, really, and that is fine. Here’s why. As current petroleum-based energy usage is displaced with cleanly made electricity for vehicles our environment benefits from fewer emissions. Time-of-use charging that trims electric demand during peak loads defers high-cost and often dirtier power.

Any of this power pricing in North or South Carolina? Yes, though it is not necessarily aimed at electric vehicles yet.

Berkeley Electric Coop has a Time of Day rate. “Our Time-of-Day rate (TOD) is a voluntary program that rewards members with a lower electric rate for shifting energy intensive tasks – such as laundry, cooking and heating/cooling – away from peak hours.”

Berkeley Coop website

What are the rates and times?

Summer Peak months are April- October

  • Peak Time is 3:00 pm- 7:00 pm
  • Peak Rate is 29.70 ¢/KWh
  • Off-Peak Rate is 7.41 ¢/kWh

Winter Peak months are November – March

  • Winter Peak Time is 6:00 am – 9:00 am
  • Peak Rate is 37.04 ¢/KWh
  • Off-Peak Rate is 7.41 ¢/kWh

In North Carolina the Fayetteville electric utility offers Time-of-Use rates. The utility offers advice on ways to make the most of that rate, too.

Time-of-Use rates are basic supply and demand. Power companies often have to spend more to fill customer needs during peak hours. They also have a basic supply of power, or base load, that is always there even during low-demand times. Time-of-Use Rates help get customers to use power during low demand times instead of high-demand times.

Or next blog is about the where to charge electric vehicles.