by Deana Dennis of NEMA
As part of NEMA’s state affairs outreach, we’re pleased to report a winfor the electric vehicle (EV) industry. On November 14, during its 124th annual meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) adopted a policy resolution focused on expanding the electric and alternative-fuel vehicle (AFV) market.
Prior to the meeting, NEMA state government relations staff worked closely with state commissioners and NARUC leadership to include suggestions and language that were favorable to the electroindustry. These suggestions were based on the state policy piece developed by the Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Section’s government relations committee and approved by the full section during NEMA’s Illuminations Weekendon November 8.
The resolution recognizes the role that electricity can play as a transportation fuel by removing regulatory barriers. Specifically, the resolution recommends that:
- state and federal regulators collaborate with other policymakers to remove barriers to EV/AFV deployment and ensure consistent, fuel-neutral policies to help realize the full economic, environmental, and societal benefits of EV/AFVs;
- EVSE manufacturers forge ahead with new technologies to make charging safe, easy, convenient, and affordable for consumers;
- NARUC support utility programs that allow for continued development of EV/AFVs, including addressing any potential grid infrastructure upgrades that may be needed to maintain the integrity of the utility delivery system and design of innovative rate programs to maximize customer savings;
- third-party providers of electricity as a transportation fuel should not be considered public utilities and therefore not regulated as such;
- NARUC support an open and competitive EV/AFV marketplace, where all users are able to participate in the owning, leasing, operating, and maintenance of charging equipment; and
- state legislatures and governors consider consistent, fuel-neutral transportation policies.
A copy of the policy resolution can be found on the NARUC website.
This policy resolution marks a strong and positive foot in the right direction. While NARUC policy resolutions are non-binding—they do not preempt individual state commissions or statutes—this resolution will be a useful piece in our state advocacy efforts in coming months and years.