MERRILLVILLE, Ind. (AP) - A proposal that would provide incentives for
electric vehicle owners to install home charging stations and find sites for
public charging stations that use renewable energy sources is under review
by Indiana utility regulators.
Northern Indiana Public Service Co. developed the plan as part of a
settlement between the company and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
over Clean Air Act violations.
"We want to craft and design a program that not only creates stimulus for
economic development but a program that’s ultimately going to improve the
local environment,” NIPSCO spokesman Nick Meyer told The Times of Munster.
The company’s plan would provide vouchers of up to $1,650 to 250 residential
customers for installing 240-volt charging stations at their homes and any
customer who installs a separate meter at their home for vehicle charging
could power their cars for free for three years between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.
The Merrillville-based utility also plans a study to identify spots for 10
public charging stations it would open and a grant program to help public or
private entities install vehicle charging stations or attract green
technology businesses to the area.
Meyer said NIPSCO, which has about 460,000 electricity customers across much
of Indiana’s northern one-third, anticipated spending about $3 million on
The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission has scheduled a public meeting on
NIPSCO’s plan Nov. 30 in Indianapolis.
John Gartner, research director of Boulder, Colo.-based Pike Research, said
NIPSCO’s proposal is “progressive” and unique from what other utilities
around the country are doing.
Steve Francis, Indiana chapter chairman of the Sierra Club, praised the
“The more that
we have utilities actually involved in providing these kinds of innovations
from a customer or business perspective, the more we will be known for
innovative thinking and technology,” Francis said. “And that’s what’s going
to be key driving the jobs picture in the industry going forward.