MRO Magazine

Fees for new EV charging stations set by Huron County

By Cory Bilyea   

Environment Industry Operations Energy Utilities

HURON COUNTY – Derry Wallis, climate change and energy specialist for the County of Huron, presented several options for county council to choose from regarding how much it will cost electric vehicle drivers to use one of the 22 new electric vehicle charging stations scattered throughout the county.

“Once the EV chargers are operational, EV drivers will be able to charge their vehicles through the ChargePoint system,” Wallis said in her report. “This system will allow county staff to monitor usage and set charging fees for EV drivers.”

Wallis explained that the ChargePoint system would receive 10 per cent of the revenue as part of the charging fee. For example, “if we charge $1.50 per hour, ChargePoint will collect $1.50 from the EV driver, and transfer $1.35 to Huron County,” Wallis wrote in her report.

The three options put before council for consideration were to charge no fee, $2.10 per hour, or $5 per hour for the Level 2 electric vehicle charging ports.

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The costs and hours of use for each charger were estimated based on the best available data from other municipalities since Huron County’s chargers were not operational at the time of the report.

Based on an estimated 1,860 hours of use and incorporating the electrical and operational cost for the cloud plan, charging no fee would cost the county taxpayers $5,271. Charging $2.10 per hour would cost $1,756. This option would also align with most prices set in the area and was her recommendation.

Charging $5 per hour would generate a yearly revenue to the county of $3,099.

Wallis said, “This value incorporates the electrical and operational cost for the cloud plan and accounts for the 10 per cent of revenue that is collected by ChargePoint. This is the higher end of the fee being charged by private businesses in the area.”

Wallis explained that the possible cost could fluctuate based on the annual usage data gathered for an entire year.

“As the technology and public uptake of EVs is still growing, it is difficult to predict an accurate representation for the usage of our charging ports in the short-term,” she said.

“Once the county has a sufficient amount of data from our EV chargers, staff will be able to provide more accurate estimations of EV charger usage, electrical costs and greenhouse gas emission reductions in advance of the 2024 budget review process.”

Past Warden Bernie MacLellan began the conversation by saying, “I understand that we would like to promote electric vehicles for the environment, but I don’t think we should be doing it on the back of the rest of the taxpayers. I do have a concern that we’re not at least breaking even.”

Several councillors weighed in on the matter, expressing their belief that cost recovery, future revenue, and not burdening taxpayers who don’t have electric or hybrid vehicles were the crucial issues.

Therefore, the hourly rate to use one of the 22 new EV charging stations in Huron County will cost $5 per hour for the first year and will be reviewed annually, with the option to adjust the price available to county council.

The revenue generated from the EV chargers will be allocated to reserve funds for future EV charger maintenance, replacement, or other energy efficiency upgrades. In addition, the income can be used to cover the initial capital cost of $124,737.41 and the yearly depreciation of $12,473.74, the report said.

Implementing the chargers will help Huron County transition to a low-carbon future and create a resilient community. In addition, creating more opportunities for corporate and community use of EV chargers will accelerate the adoption and use of electric vehicles in the county, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving air quality. The reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from the EV chargers will be calculated after one operational year.

The county chose four locations to install chargers that will promote community, and staff use at Huronview, Huronlea, the Museum, and the Planning and Economic Development office building next to the Historic Gaol.

The Town of Goderich has selected three locations, and the Municipality of Huron East has selected two locations in Brussels and Seaforth.
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Cory Bilyea, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, WINGHAM ADVANCE TIMES

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