Pilot Program Aims to Change Charging Habits of EV Drivers

April 16, 2015, 7:50 AM HST · Updated April 16, 7:52 AM
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OpConnect EV charging. Courtesy image.

OpConnect EV charging. Courtesy image.

By Maui Now Staff

OpConnect Hawaiʻi and Hawaiʻi Energy just launched a pilot program to encourage residents with photovoltaic systems to charge their electric vehicles during off-peak hours–from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.–in an effort to shift electricity loads.

Hawaiʻi Energy, the ratepayer-funded energy conservation and efficiency program serving Hawaiʻi Island, Lānaʻi, Maui, Molokaʻi and Oʻahu, wants to find what price PV customers would pay to charge their EVs during the day, when renewable energy is most abundant.

This would shift EV charging electric loads to off-peak demand hours rather than peak hours–5 p.m. to 9 p.m.–when the majority of residents are home and usually begin charging.

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In order to qualify for the pilot, participants need to be verified Net Energy Metering customers–they must have an approved photovoltaic system connected at their residence.

To receive the 60 percent discount, participants are required to follow these steps:
1. Sign up to become a free OpConnect member online, obtain a membership number and add funds for future charges.
2. Participants will receive an email to verify their electric utility account.
3. Once verified, participants enter their member number when charging their EV. The discount will be automatically applied at the end of the charging session.

Send questions via email.

Find a map of OpConnect charging stations located throughout Hawaiʻi Island, Maui and Oʻahu.

The 60 percent discount is available until May 31 or while funding lasts.

“OpConnect members are early adopters of new technologies that will help them reduce their environmental footprint, while also saving them money, whether that is from driving electric vehicles or incorporating solar energy into their homes,” said Dexter Turner, CEO of OpConnect Hawaiʻi. “We are
excited to work with Hawaiʻi Energy in bringing the two clean technologies together in one project.”

“We look forward to the pilot results that can provide valuable insights about what incentives are needed to change the charging habits of EV drivers,” said Joe Simpkins, program operations manager at Hawaiʻi Energy. “With effective behavioral change, this could be a successful load-shifting strategy to
reduce peak demand on the electrical grid.”

OpConnect is the largest provider of electric vehicle charging stations in Hawaiʻi, with more than 200 charging spots available at sites on Oʻahu, Maui, Kauaʻi and Hawaiʻi Island.

For more information about OpConnect, go online.

To view the OpConnect EVSE Network video, go online.

For more information, about Hawaiʻi Energy, go online.

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