Corn Belt Energy Electric Vehicle (EV) Project
Corn Belt Energy's 1-EV Pilot Program
One concern that comes up quite a bit in relation to electric vehicles (EV) is the strain on the electric grid. Recently a member asked us via Twitter if we were even capable of powering multiple electric vehicles within the same neighborhood. The short answer is that it is not an issue at this time. Corn Belt Energy is constantly planning for future changes in load and demand, and because electric vehicle adoption is only expected to rise in the coming years, we continue to explore opportunities to study electric vehicles and their impact on our system.
On June 1st of 2019, we launched a 12-month pilot program titled "Rate 1-EV". We reached out to our members who were known to us as EV owners and offered them a chance to participate. At launch, we had 21 participating members.
Rate 1-EV participants are asked to shift their EV charging to "off-peak" hours. For the purposes of this program, we determined the "peak" hours would be 2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. All kilowatt-hours used during the peak hours are billed at a rate which is significantly higher than our standard rate. The benefit to the participants is that the remainder of their electric usage, after 7:00 p.m. and before 2:00 p.m. daily, is significantly discounted. We also classify weekends and NERC (North American Electric Reliability Corporation) holidays, as off-peak so members are free to charge at their leisure on those days. Participants also agreed to an increased facilities charge to participate in this special program.
We expected participants would save with this program by simply shifting their charging habits. As a bonus, participants also have the ability to shift other usage within their home away from the peak hours and further increase their potential savings.
After the first six months of this program, we now have 34 participating members. Some are saving more than others, but all are saving (based on what their kWh usage would have been billed on their previous rate). And the program has allowed us to shift the heavy draw of these EV chargers into hours that are less likely to strain the grid.
As the local EV community grows, we are now better prepared to offer solutions that will benefit both the co-op and our membership.
If you are interested in being a part of our 1-EV Pilot Program, we are still accepting participants. The program will run through May 31st of 2020. Some program exclusions do apply. For more information, please contact Jeremy Myers at (309)664-9221 or via email
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