OEB Staff Bulletin on EV Charging

A guest Blog from Travis Allan, DeMarco Allan LLP

DSC_2386-270-low resOn July 7, 2016 the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) released a bulletin setting out OEB Staff’s view that ownership or operation of an Electric Vehicle (EV) charging station and the selling of EV charging services from such facilities do not constitute distribution or retailing of electricity. Staff also believes that electricity distributors are not precluded from owning and operating EV charging stations if the equipment provides for the management of load in keeping with Ontario’s goals for electricity conservation.

 Staff bulletins of this nature do not bind the OEB in future decisions, but they are important sources of information and guidance for electricity industry participants.

 If the OEB agrees with staff’s view, EV charging station owners and operators will not require distributor licenses to receive payment for EV charging services and regulated Ontario electricity distributors will be able to own and operate EV charging stations directly, rather than through an affiliate, subject to restrictions. These restrictions may support the uptake of “smart” charging, which allows distributors to control EV charging times and speeds.

 OEB staff is of the opinion that an EV charging station[1] is not an electricity distribution system because EV charging stations do not provide distribution capability for loads other than EVs. As a result, OEB staff believes a person who owns an EV charging station is not required to obtain a distributor license from the OEB.

 In a related conclusion, OEB staff believes the act of selling or offering to sell EV charging services does not constitute “retailing” and, therefore, does not require an OEB retailer license. OEB staff notes that persons selling or offering to sell EV charging services are providing a complete “vehicle refueling” service as compared to just commodity electricity and, unlike a standard electricity supply service, EV charging services can only be used to recharge an EV.

 OEB staff holds the view that licensed electricity distributors are not precluded from owning and operating EV charging stations so long as the equipment provides for the management of load in keeping with the Government’s goals for electricity conservation. Typically, distributors are restricted from carrying on any business other than distributing electricity and, as explained above, OEB staff does not believe that owning and operating EV charging stations constitutes a distribution system or retailing electricity. OEB staff believes, however, that exceptions to this rule under Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998 s.71(2) relating to the promotion of electricity conservation and the efficient use of electricity as well as load management apply.[2] Specifically, EV charging can help optimize the use of assets by making more demand response tools available to distributors and facilitating off-peak charging.  Having distributors involved in owing and operating EV charging stations, staff believes, may help facilitate load management and the efficient use of electricity.

 OEB staff’s qualification that the equipment should provide for the “management of load” is likely significant. While some “smart” EV charging equipment is able to help distributors manage when and how quickly users charge, not all EV charging equipment contains these features. Information about Canada’s first residential smart charging pilot conducted by CrossChasm in partnership with Toronto Hydro can be found here.

 For more information on electric vehicle policy, contact Travis Allan.

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Canada’s Charging Stations – Vancouver Edition

CPCanada Place
Canada Place opened in 1986 as Canada’s Pavilion for Expo ’86 and continues to welcome locals and people from around the world for inspirational Canadian experiences. It is also steps away from the Vancouver Convention Centre, which hosts a variety of events from the Grey Cup Festival, Family Fair, and The Wellness Show

999 Canada Place
Two level 2 stations
Free to charge, no card required. Parking fees apply.


 

aquarium-entrance

Vancouver Aquarium

A not-for-profit marine science centre that it dedicated to effecting the conservation of aquatic life through display, communication, public programming and education, research and direct action. Vancouver Aquarium does not capture from the wild and provides a home for rescued animals.

845 Avison Way
Two Level 2 stations
Free to charge, credit card required. Parking fees apply.


 

Grouse Mountain
Vancouver’s premier attraction with a variety of cultural, educational, and outdoor adventures. Ski, ride, dine, and shop atop the mountain with its breathtaking view.

Nancy Greene Way, North Vancouver
Two Level 2 stations
Free to charge, credit card or Chargepoint card required. Parking fees apply.

Canada’s Charging Stations – Toronto Edition

 

Brookfield PlaceBrookfield Place

Brookfield Place is a landmark deeply rooted in the commercial, cultural and social fabric of Toronto. Home to some of the world’s most prestigious financial and legal firms and the corporate headquarters of many Canadian corporations, the 2.6 million square foot complex fosters business and commerce of global significance.

181 Bay Street
Seven Level 2 Stations
Free to charge, no card required. Parking fees apply.


Direct Energy CentreThe Direct Energy Centre

The Direct Energy Centre is Canada’s largest facility for conventions, exhibitions and events. The Direct Energy Centre is known for its dedication to green initiatives and sustainability. Its Keeping It Green program allows events and organizers demonstrate social and environmental responsibility to attendees that support local renewable energy production.

100 Princes’ Boulevard
One Level 2 Stations
Free to charge, no card required. Parking fees apply.


 

Yorkdale MallYorkdale Mall

Yorkdale Mall is Canada’s premier shopping centre, located in the heart of the Greater Toronto Area. Its exclusive list of retailers – totalling  more than 240 – is highlighted by many first-in-Canada and flagship stores. Yorkdale Mall is also home to Ontario’s first Tesla store front.

3401 Dufferin Street
Four Level 2 Stations
$2.00/Hour


To find these, and other public chargers in Canada, visit our map at: caa.ca/evstations.