The City of Concord Electric Systems is soliciting public input regarding Demand-Response (DR) Standards and Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Standards as part of new requirements contained in the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021, which amended Title I of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA). 

What is PURPA?

PURPA is a federal law enacted in 1978 to promote conservation of energy, efficient use of electric facilities and resources, and equitable rates for electric utility customers. 

Title I of PURPA outlines several standards that certain electric utilities, including Concord Electric Systems, must consider and determine whether it is appropriate to implement those standards.

What Standards Are Being Considered?

The amendment to PURPA requires Concord Electric Systems to consider the following:

  • Demand Response (DR) Practices. Concord Electric Systems must consider promoting the use of DR and demand flexibility practices by commerical, residential, and industrial customers to reduce electricity consumption during periods of unusually high demand. We must also consider establishing rate mechanisms to timely recover the costs of promoting DR and demand flexibility.

  • Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Programs. Concord Electric Systems must consider promoting greater electrification of the transportation sector, including establishing rates that - 

    • Promote affordable and equitable electric vehicle charging options for residential, commericial, and public EV charging infrastructure; 

    • Improve the customer experience associated with EV charging, including by reducing charging times for light-, medium-, and heavy-duty vehicles; accelerate third-party investment in EV charging for light-, medium-, and heavy-duty vehicles;

    • Appropriately recover the marginal costs of delivering electricity to electric vehicles and electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

Community Input

The amendment to PURPA requires Concord Electric Systems to seek public input and hold a public hearing on DR and EV standards before November 15, 2023.

The City held a virtual public hearing and an online input survey from July 10 - August 4. The public comment period is now closed. 

The community's input will help City Council determine whether it is appropriate to implement the DR and/or EV standards to carry out the purposes for which PURPA was enacted. City Council may decline to implement DR and/or EV standards, in which case the reasons for declining to implement the standards will be available to the public. 

Current DR and EV Charging programs

Concord Electric Systems is a not-for-profit public power provider. That means we are locally owned and operated and accountable to the residents we serve, not to external shareholders. Our mission is to deliver consistent and reliable electric service in a timely and cost efficient manner. We are committed to providing exceptional service to our community. 

DR and EV charging programs provide financial and environmental incentives to both our customers, and to Concord Electric Systems as a whole, when customers can reduce or shift energy used during times of high demand. EVs are vehicles powered by electricity, generally provided by a battery, that will charge by being connected to City of Concord Electric Systems’ electrical grid.

We are continuously working to meet the evolving needs of our community. Learn more about some of our DR and EV programs and services below. 

Time-of-Use Rates: City of Concord  Electric Systems’ Time-of-Use (TOU) Rates reward general/industrial customers with a lower electric rate for shifting energy-intensive tasks, such as heating/cooling,  away from peak hours. This rate plan encourages general/industrial customers to shift their electricity use to periods of low demand, or during off-peak hours, by paying less per kilowatt-hour (kWh) than our standard energy usage charge. Click here for more information.

Residential Energy Star Rate: Available only to customers dwelling in residences, condominiums, mobile homes, or individually-metered apartments that provide independent and permanent facilities complete for living, sleeping, eating, cooking, and sanitation, and which are certified to meet the standards of the Energy Star program of the United States Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency.

Electric Heat Pump Rebate: In an effort to continually reduce peak electricity consumption, Concord Electric Systems is now offering a High Efficiency Electric Heat Pump Rebate Program. City efforts to reduce peak system electricity consumption helps to keep overall system generation costs low, thereby helping reduce individual customer electricity costs. The goal of the program is to incentivize the selection of electric heat pump systems that have an Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) verified Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER) that is greater (more efficient) than that which is required by building codes/standards.

The city will offer a $400 rebate to residential customers or developers/builders that install a new qualifying electric heat pump, or replace an existing heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system with a new qualifying electric heat pump, in either a new or existing residence located within the city’s electric grid.

Electric Vehicles: The City of Concord and the Electric Systems Department are working to create a city-wide network of EV charging stations, enabling more consumers throughout the city to adopt this technology. The City of Concord currently owns and operates five publicly available electric vehicle charging stations, which offer affordable rates to the public and recover the marginal cost of delivery and supply of electricity.

Peaking Partners: This program will ask our customers to adjust the cooling system thermostat to at least 3 degrees higher than normal, turn off lights, delay the use of major appliances or equipment, and conserve electricity in any other way. This situation will normally occur on hot summer weekdays between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.  This is a voluntary program for our customers.

2023 PURPA Resolution

CLICK HERE to view the resolution adopted during the September 2023 City Council Meeting.