Public EV charging may get private boost

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In this photo made on Thursday, May 6, 2021, the reflection of the front of a 2021 Ford Mustang Mach E is seen in the window as it is charging at a Ford dealer in Wexford, Pa. Starting Jan. 1, 2023, many Americans will qualify for a tax credit of up to $7,500 for buying an electric vehicle. The credit, part of changes enacted by the Inflation Reduction Act, is designed to spur EV sales and reduce greenhouse emissions. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic) Keith Srakocic/AP

Public EV charging may get private boost

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(The Center Square) – Building out public electric vehicle charging can cost state and local governments less than they think, according to a proposal moving through the legislature.

House Bill 1474, introduced by Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Royersford, would allow businesses to tap into private funding he says will encourage them to invest in the development of the statewide electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Doing so will install EV charging at shopping centers, apartment buildings, and “countless other places” for employees and customers.

And, it won’t ask everyone else to share the load, Ciresi told The Center Square. Instead, property owners who build the stations can pay back the cost through their own tax bills.

On Sept. 26, the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee passed the bill on a party line vote. If enacted, it would expand Pennsylvania’s Property-Assessed Clean Energy program, C-PACE, to include EV charging infrastructure projects.

“As more and more Pennsylvanians purchase electric vehicles, we need to make sure our state’s infrastructure is ready,” Ciresi said. “This bill will help expand charging access for local EV drivers as well as tourists, and I’m thankful for the committee’s support.”

C-PACE allows property owners to obtain low-cost, long-term financing for energy efficient equipment, renewable energy, water conservation, resiliency, and indoor air quality projects.

It is a voluntary program administered by Sustainable Energy Fund, in partnership with Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance.

Commercial and agricultural property owners living in participating localities may develop a clean energy project and secure private financing. The loan payment is added to their property tax bill and collected as an assessment by county and municipal authorities.

Local governments can request “C-PACE in a Box” which includes a sample resolution, a summary of guidelines, templates, and other key documents needed to establish a program. To date, 26 of the state’s 67 counties have C-PACE programs.

In August, Gov. Josh Shapiro announced Pennsylvania will spend $34 million – part of a five-year, $172 million federal grant – on electric vehicle charging stations to include 54 projects in 35 counties. As of 2022, there were nearly 43,000 electric vehicles, or EVs, registered in the state – an increase of 82% from 2021.

A request for a statement from committee Republicans was not received in time for publication.

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