Op/Ed: A Customer Asks: Why Am I Paying for You To Buy And Charge Your Electric Vehicle Through My Electric Rates?

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BWP does not use local taxes or revenue from electric sales to fund electric vehicle rebates or to install BWP EV charging infrastructure. Instead, BWP has judiciously taken advantage of a state program run by the California Air Resources Board program called the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). LCFS allows BWP to earn credits based on Burbank electric vehicle registrations and through the electricity dispensed at BWP owned electric vehicle chargers. BWP then sells those credits to entities that need to buy LCFS credits to help them comply with their carbon intensity reduction goals.

BWP started selling LCFS credits in 2018 and has received a total of $6,975,486 from the program. As of May 2023, BWP has a balance of $3,601,813 in LCFS funding which is set aside to benefit current and future EV customers, install EV charging infrastructure, and educate the public on the benefits of electric transportation. LCFS are restricted funds and have been utilized by BWP to invest in municipal chargers on public property and fund BWP customer rebates for residents and businesses to purchase a used electric vehicle or install chargers on private properties.

There is abundant opportunity for private companies and the city to install new EV charging infrastructure at homes, offices, businesses, public parking facilities, and curbside. In these cases, BWP encourages property owners to work with private companies to purchase and install EV charging infrastructure.

In addition to LCFS funding, we are excited that CalTrans recently awarded the City of Burbank with $1 million to help offset the costs of installing an additional ten DC fast chargers within the City, which BWP will help install and maintain.

Drew Johnstone is the Sustainability Officer at Burbank Water and Power (BWP). BWP is a not-for-profit utility that provides safe, reliable, affordable, and sustainable electricity, which makes BWP a critical resource for the community’s transition to electric vehicles. Per Burbank City Council’s direction, BWP plays a key role in facilitating the adoption of transportation electrification through education and the development of programs and initiatives. If you have any thoughts or questions, do not hesitate to reach out to us at bwpconservation@burbankca.gov

You can learn more about BWP-owned electric vehicle charging stations and available incentives at https://ev.burbankwaterandpower.com, if you are on the fence considering buying an EV or installing a home charger, check out my other article addressing range anxiety and access to charging.