For the third consecutive year, electric vehicle drivers in San Diego and southern Orange counties will have the opportunity to reap a financial reward in the form of a credit on their San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) bill— for driving clean, contributing to better air quality, and aiding in the fight against climate change.
The region’s approximately 35,000 EV drivers, whether they drive an all-electric vehicle or a plug-in hybrid, can apply for SDG&E’s Electric Vehicle Climate Credit now through May 31, 2019. The credit is made available as part of a statewide program administered by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to fight climate change. Utility rates are not used in funding the EV Climate Credit.
“In addition to the environmental benefits, the performance of electric vehicles and the savings that come from fueling a car with electricity versus gasoline are driving a growing number of people to make the switch to plug-in electric vehicles,” said Mike Schneider, SDG&E’s vice president of clean transportation and asset management. “EV drivers can take advantage of prices as low as 9 cents per kilowatt hour to charge up their car overnight. That price translates into the equivalent of paying 75 cents per gallon for gasoline for many drivers.”
Under SDG&E’s EV-TOU 5 plan, EV drivers can charge their car overnight for 9 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) when they pay a basic monthly service fee of $16. The 9 cents per kWh rate is available midnight to 6 a.m. on weekdays, and midnight to 2 p.m. on weekends and holidays. To see how much you can save in fuel costs, check out this gas cost vs. electric cost calculator.
Pollution from the transportation sector is the single largest source of harmful air emissions in this region. Every time a driver switches to an electric vehicle, they are charging with some of the cleanest energy in America. Currently, around 45 percent of the electricity delivered by SDG&E to homes and businesses comes from renewable sources, such as solar and wind, compared to the national average of about 10 percent.
The EV Climate Credit varies each year depending on the number of applicants for the credit and the amount of revenues generated from the sale of low carbon fuel credits allotted to SDG&E under California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard Program. In 2018, SDG&E distributed a $500 credit to each of the approximately 15,000 EV drivers who applied for it. In 2017, a credit of about $200 went to approximately 7,000 EV drivers.
Since 2017 (the first year that SDG&E began offering the EV Climate Credit), the number of EV drivers in the region has grown by about 51 percent (from 23,136 in January 2017 to 34,908 in January 2019). Given the increasing number of EV drivers and growing awareness of the EV Climate Credit program, it is not possible at this time to estimate the precise amount of the credit.
EV drivers can sign up for the credit at sdge.com/evcc through May 31, 2019. They will need their SDG&E account number and DMV registration card to sign up. A bill credit will be applied this summer, starting in June. The credit is available to SDG&E customers who drive plug-in electric vehicles that are registered to residents, and not commercial fleets.