Elizabethton Electric Department introduces new rate for electric charging

Published 4:39 pm Tuesday, October 19, 2021

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Elizabethton utility officials are positioning the city to take advantage of anticipated “fast-charging” stations for electric vehicles.

The City Council last week approved a utility rate change to accommodate the addition of fast-charging stations.

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“This proposal focused on charging stations that provide around 50 kilowatts that are made for the newer electric vehicles that are able to go longer distances and require more of a charge,” said Brandon Shell, interim manager of the utility department. The city’s one existing charging station, located downtown, is not a “fast charger ”

“The one that we have downtown is around seven and a half KV’s (Kilovolts), and a charger like that would take all night to charge a car,” Shell said.

The new rates, which were the main focus of change, were unanimously approved and will ensure both the utility department and customers are charged fairly.

“The rate that was being charged to customers for vehicle charging was one where if they were to charge their vehicle at peak demand hours, it would cost us (Elizabethton Electric Department) around $1,600. This had to do with our wholesale demand as well as the peak demand, and it would have caused the department to tank.” Shell said.

“The TVA recognized this and what this rate change does is it does away with the wholesale on peak demand charge for utilities and allows the department to make around eight cents per kilowatt-hour when the charger is used.” Shell continued

“The cost of a charge on these new chargers with this rate would start off with a base rate of just over 22 cents per kilowatt-hour,” Shell said. “However, the owners of these charging stations will be in need of a profit as well, so an upcharge from that base rate is almost guaranteed. Those using the fast chargers in the future can expect to pay anywhere from 30 to 40 cents per kilowatt-hour because of this.”