Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

Updated: April 17, 2023 Viewpoint

Viewpoint: Supporting the transition to electric vehicles

For over a decade, Unitil has visualized our role in a renewable energy future as serving as the enabling platform for our customers and to play a key role in unlocking the full potential of emerging technologies. We can transform the way people meet their evolving energy needs and help create a clean and sustainable future for us all.

A smiling headshot of Cindy L. Carroll
Cindy L. Carroll

One of the most significant areas of opportunity to achieve this goal lies on the roads. The transportation sector is one of the leading causes of carbon emissions in New England, but all indications are that’s about to change rapidly. More than half of passenger cars sold in the U.S. will be electric vehicles by 2030, according to a report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The transition to EVs is happening, and we have a responsibility to ensure this transition occurs in a way keeping electricity reliable and affordable.

We can design rates to save customers money by charging their car overnight. Historically, utilities have offered rates with one per-kilowatthour price no matter the time of day. Today, we now offer an option to sign up for an EV Time-of-Use rate, offering different prices. This will help balance a regional demand for electricity expected to nearly double as part of this energy transition.

While being able to fuel your car by charging up at home is a game-changing innovation, we recognize one of the chief sources of anxiety working against EV adoption is the availability of charging stations. Range anxiety is the fear if customers are too far from home, they won’t have a place to charge. To support businesses looking to bring more charging options to communities, we’ve created the EV Make Ready program to provide turnkey service for EV chargers. We will provide infrastructure like running a new service line, upgrading an existing service line, or putting in a transformer at no cost for businesses in Massachusetts. We’ve created a revised rate structure lowering the demand charge at such facilities, to lower the barrier for early adopters. In addition, we’re launching a program for residential customers to offset the cost of installing a smart charger at home, to make it seamless to charge their cars during off-peak periods.

While no one can predict exactly where EV technology will be in five or 10 years, the opportunities are likely to increase. We are ready to help lead the way into this next era of electric vehicle adoption as we all explore what this new technology offers together.

Cindy L. Carroll is vice president of customer energy solutions at utility company Unitil, providing gas and electric service in North Worcester County.

Sign up for Enews

WBJ Web Partners


Order a PDF