Massachusetts just approved nearly $400 million for EV charging projects. Don’t want to read the 273 page public order to find out how to get your piece? You’re in luck – we did it for you. Here’s what you need to know.
Making Sense of Utility Incentives
Incentives are complex because each utility and in some cases each state has its own funding, rules and requirements. This is not a summary for public policy aficionados. This is a practical guide for someone looking to install EV chargers for free or nearly free–which is possible, in some cases.
To make sense of the complexity, we break incentives down from the point of view of the type of customer applying. For example, a multi-unit dwelling, an office park, or a fleet. If you’d like to speak with an expert about your specific scenario, you’re welcome to contact us .
Across all types, know that environmental justice (EJ) communities are a big focus of utilities. Any area the state has deemed as an EJ community are eligible for much higher rebates and incentives. (Use this link to see if your project falls in an environmental justice zone)
Also know that incentives take time. If you want EV charging now – call us. You can probably get it done in 4-6 weeks, maybe less. If you go through one of the programs referenced here, you are looking at a minimum of 6 months with absolutely no control over the timing. One day there’ll be an expression: “no such thing as free charging.”
Who Are We?
AmpUp is a leading EV charging provider with a top 10 network in the country. We partner with utilities and our software enables the data collection required for rebates; it also enables hosts to manage access, payment, and troubleshoot chargers (amongst many other things). Over a quarter of the commercial chargers in the area covered in this blog post run on AmpUp.
How Much Funding Is Available?
With nearly $400 million in total funding made available, this utility incentive program is one of the richest in the United States. Overall incentive amounts and customer types can be summarized as follows:
Eversource MA (NSTAR) Electric Phase II EV Program
Four-year budget of $188 million including $109.1 million for the public and workplace segment, and $52.7 million for the residential segment.
National Grid MA Phase III EV Program
Four-year budget of $206 million including $94.7 million for the public and workplace segment, $64.1 million for the residential segment, and $30 million for EV fleet charging.
Unitil MA EV Program
Five-year budget of $998,000 consisting of $538,000 for the public segment and $300,000 for the residential segment.
Note: AmpUp is waiting for additional information from the utilities on specific program, application, and process changes. We expect to have more information in the coming weeks. Subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to know of any updates.
Public, Commercial, & Workplace EV Charging Incentives
Over $200 million is allocated for customers who make their EV chargers publicly available or install at a commercial location like their workplace. The utilities will cover up to 100% of the make-ready costs for Level 2 and DCFC chargers. Make-ready means the cost of electrical infrastructure and installation. Infrastructure costs are often the most expensive for an EV charging project, meaning if you qualify you can install EV chargers at almost no cost–20% or less of the actual costs of the project.
There are also additional incentives for those installing their chargers in an environmental justice (EJ) community, including up to $400,000 for a public DCFC charge station site.
Residential EV Charging Incentives
Roughly $115 million is slated for residential properties, including multi-unit dwellings such as apartments complexes and condos. Similar to the public and workplace program, 100% of the infrastructure and installation costs are covered. The cost of the charge stations can also be covered depending on the number of units and location of the property.
Fleet EV Charging Incentives
The fleet segment has over $30 million in funding allocated, including 100% of the infrastructure and installation costs covered by National Grid, and additional costs covered if the fleet is located in an EJ community. National Grid is also offering fleet assessment services for up to 150 private and non-profit fleet customers. Fleet operators making the transition to electric vehicles should consider the funding available to them to reduce operating costs and meet their sustainability goals.
What Happened Last Time?
Previous EV charging funding rebates from the Massachusetts utilities supported hundreds of customers which resulted in thousands of charge stations installed across the state. Much of the funding in prior phases or rounds supported make-ready costs as well as charging hardware. The most popular customer types of the last funding round included municipalities, offices, colleges, and hotels.
In prior rounds of funding, AmpUp customers took advantage of similar funding which led to significant EV station adoption. We worked closely with hardware and local installation partners to complete notable deployments at the New Balance World Headquarters, Yankee Candle, Hilton Garden Inn, Wheaton College, Anna Jaques Hospital, and several municipalities such as Westford, Melrose, and Franklin.
This new round of funding builds on earlier programs administered by National Grid and Eversource, and will support various aspects of the EV charging ecosystem.
What Should I Do Now?
The utility programs are very close to free money. With this money, EV charging projects can deliver excellent returns, potentially increasing the cash flows (thus value) of the properties where installed. This comes from either generating revenue directly from EV charging (which AmpUp software enables) or from the amenity of charging reducing vacancies, increasing rents, or both.
If you believe you qualify for incentives, and want to take advantage of them, time is not on your side. Priority is given to applications already received, which can use up much of the new funding. You’ll want to be in line as early as possible, with a fundable proposal. There will also be a rush (you’re not the only one reading this article) which can grind the approval bureaucracy to a halt, delaying projects (possibly even past the deadline for getting funded).
In other words, get going quickly. If you want an expert’s help, we can provide it or you can find a local, qualified EV installer to help you out.
As an approved vendor for these utility programs, AmpUp is ready to support your EV charging project.
Sources: D.P.U. 21-90, D.P.U. 21-91, D.P.U. 21-92 (https://fileservice.eea.comacloud.net/FileService.Api/file/FileRoom/16827695)