The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has unanimously adopted Decision 19-09-006, authorizing Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) to create the Empower Electric Vehicle Charger Incentive and Education Program. The Empower program will encourage EV adoption by low and moderate income customers by offering households a $500 point-of-sale rebate for a Level 2 residential charging station, subsidized electrical panel upgrades and help with streamlined installation.
The program will be developed in coordination with community-based organizations to provide EV education and outreach to promote the program. A third party implementer will verify eligibility (400 percent or less of the Federal Poverty Level), provide chargers, and coordinate charger installation to make the process as simple and consumer-friendly as possible. Recognizing that some lower income participants may live in older homes needing additional upgrade work to safely install the new charging stations, the program has earmarked funding to cover the cost of panel upgrades where needed.
The program will encourage participants to sign up for a whole-home EV time-of-use rate that offers lower cost electricity during off-peak hours, but allows customers flexibility in selecting the optimal rate for their usage. PG&E is directed to offer all participants assistance in determining the optimal rate for their home load profile.
PG&E anticipates that after an approximately six month implementation period the program will be opened for applications from interested customers. The program will include three years of data collection and evaluation.