Low-Carbon Fuel Standard
In 2016, PG&E, SCE, and SDG&E began providing rebates to EV drivers through the state’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). EV drivers generate LCFS credits by using low carbon fuel (electricity), and the utilities receive credits on behalf of their customers. (for more information see LCFS) When the utilities sell the credits, they use the revenues to distribute rebates and on-bill credits to their residential customers that drive an EV, effectively lowering a driver’s cost to purchase or operate the EV. Rebates amounts have varied across each IOU program, and year to year based on the number of LCFS credits generated in each utility service territory and the price the utilities can charge for the LCFS credits they are selling.
Since 2018, the CPUC has been working with CARB to establish a new point-of-purchase rebate program funded by LCFS credits attributed to all the state’s utilities—IOUs and publicly owned utilities (POUs). In August 2019, the CPUC authorized SCE to serve as the interim administrator for the statewide utility-run program, the Clean Fuel Reward (Resolution E-5015). This program is funded by all the state’s participating utilities, with the IOUs contributing 67 percent of their LCFS credit revenue associated with EVs. The Clean Fuel Reward program takes the place of the IOUs other on-bill credit and rebate programs and is expected to launch to customers purchasing an EV in the Fall of 2020.
In December 2020, the CPUC issued a decision developed in consultation with CARB that outlines how the IOUs can spend LCFS credit revenues that exceed their contributions to the Clean Fuel Reward program. The decision on these remaining funds—also called the “holdback” funds—focuses funding for TE programs addressing equity and resiliency. The decision requires the IOUs to spend 35 percent of their holdback funds on equity projects in 2021, 45 percent in 2022, 55 percent in 2023, and 75 percent in 2024 and thereafter. The decision includes certain requirements depending on the program area the IOUs choose to pursue to ensure the projects are not duplicative of other TE efforts, address barriers to TE, and demonstrate collaboration with environmental justice groups and community-based organizations. For the holdback funds not spent on these equity program areas, the IOUs are directed to spend up to 20 percent of annual holdback revenue to implement programs to address EV resiliency (e.g., EV charging facilities at evacuation/emergency response centers, pilots for technologies that allow EVs to power electric equipment at home or businesses).
Electric Utilities’ Programs:
Natural Gas Utilities Programs:
- PG&E: Renewable Natural Gas Fuel Credit
- SoCalGas: under development
- SDG&E: under development