A “greener” Indiana is on its way, with NIPSCO making great strides in the electric vehicle industry. Working with 350Green, a company who specializes in site selection, engineering, construction, and marketing for Plug-in Electric Vehicle charging infrastructure, NIPSCO is rolling out initiatives to making charging stations widely available, increasing the appeal of electric vehicles and ultimately impacting the environment in a positive manner. “We’re still in the early stages,” shared NIPSCO’s Director of Regulatory Strategic Analysis Kevin Kirkham, as he presented the steps that company has taken and hopes to take at a public forum held in conjunction with Ivy Tech and South Shore Clean Cities, Inc. on May 22, 2012.
“NIPSCO’s goal is to increase awareness and education regarding electric vehicles,” Kirkham went on to say, sharing how the company is working with partners to host forums in order to get the public involved, sharing their input for the program. “NIPSCO’s approach is to share the information that’s out there and let the public decide.”
NIPSCO is rolling out the IN-charge EV Program in two phases; Phase I is the “At Home” portion, Phase II is “Around Town”. Phase I is a three year pilot program, consisting of a financial incentive (up to $1,650) for residential customers towards the purchase of a Level 2 charging station, a free second meter that will be dedicated specifically to the charging station, and free charging from 10 pm to 6 am, until January 2015.
To be eligible for the “At Home” program, applicants must be an active residential electric customer with NIPSCO, own or lease an electric vehicle that is SAEJ-1772 compliant, and have a hardwired level 2 charging station. Interested parties can visit www.nipsco.com/INCharge to take a survey for enrollment. Once accepted, a meeting with the contractor will take place, to obtain estimates regarding the cost to install and to set a date for the procedure. The process currently is taking slightly over a month to complete; NIPSCO hopes to reduce the wait to 25 days.
The benefits to consumers and the region from this program are tremendous. The biggest is the environmental impact, with these zero-emission vehicles. Consumers can also save up to $4,000 a year on gas, recharge at home during off-peak hours, and experience lower operating costs when compared to gasoline vehicles.
Phase II is NIPSCO’s plan for “Around Town”. Building on the “At Home” phase, this portion’s focus is to reduce “range anxiety,” focusing on charging outside the home. The goal of Phase II is to provide incentives for workplaces, apartments, company fleets, municipalities, commercial/retail establishments, and major transportation corridors in an effort to encourage the installation of public charging stations. Public charging stations are already available at NIPSCO headquarters, the town hall in Dyer, and at Lighthouse Mall.
Over the next two months, NIPSCO will hold stakeholder meetings and file their proposed plan with the Indiana Public Utility Regularly Commission for approval. The goal is to have the “Around Town” program available by early 2013. Incentives will be offered to businesses that choose to partake, up to 50% off the total installation. NIPSCO is relying on public input on the allocation of incentives to businesses, another reason for hosting educational public forums. “We provide information on the incentives available and let the public take it from there,” stated Kirkham.
For more information on the IN-Charge Electric Vehicle program, click here.