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Electric Vehicles

Austin Energy Launches Electric Vehicle Power Partner Program

Austin Energy customers with an electric vehicle charger at home can now earn rewards for using less energy during periods of high energy demand, the Texas public power utility said on June 27.

Once enrolled in the utility’s Power Partner EV program, customers earn a $50 bill credit plus $25 each year of remaining in the program.

“Power Partners help the community manage energy use on days when the need is highest,” the utility said.

During Power Partner events, Austin Energy will make minor, remote adjustments to an enrolled Level 2 EV charger or qualifying vehicle. If an enrolled EV is charging during a Power Partner event, the charging process will be paused or slowed until the event is over.

A customer’s battery state of charge will not be reduced during these events, nor will any other function of their vehicle be controlled. Participants can override event adjustments and resume normal charging at any point without penalty.

Austin Energy said that Power Partner events typically occur from June through September when energy usage peaks in Texas.

Events last up to four hours between 2-7 p.m. A maximum of 15 Power Partner events will occur per month (primarily during the summer season). During extreme weather circumstances, Austin Energy may conduct events outside of these windows.

“Power Partners play an important part in enhancing grid stability and helping the City of Austin meet clean energy goals. Participation helps decrease stress on the electric system while further lowering carbon emissions,” it said.

Changes Coming to Austin Energy’s Plug-In Everywhere Program

Meanwhile, Austin Energy’s Plug-In Everywhere program will change beginning July 1, 2024.

Level 2 Charging Stations will charge $0.09 per kWh, which comes out to about a penny per minute. Previously it was a $25 six-month subscription.

When the pilot subscription plan started in 2011, there were fewer than 100 EVs in Austin, and just over 100 Austin Energy Level 2 Charging Stations. The cost of using an Austin Energy EV charger was set at a $25 six-month subscription and hasn’t changed since.

Today, there are more than 42,000 EVs in Austin. Austin Energy has over 1,600 Level 2 Charging Stations which will charge $0.09 per kWh and 30 DC Fast Charging Stations that can be accessed for $0.21 per minute. Updating the pricing plan will allow Austin Energy to continue to support lower costs overall.

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