On July 15, 2021, the CPUC issued Decision (D.) 21-07-028, which adopts guidance for the electric utilities’ near-term priority transportation electrification investments and addresses issues of equity as they related to transportation electrification. The Decision acknowledges the significant gap in existing and needed publicly accessible EV charging infrastructure identified in the California Energy Commission’s (CEC) AB 2127 Staff Report and adopts an Advice Letter process to provide a streamlined opportunity for electric utilities to request ratepayer funds to install EV charging infrastructure in sectors the Commission determined were near-term priorities. The five near-term priority areas include: 1) transportation electrification resiliency, 2) customers without access to home charging, 3) medium- and heavy-duty, 4) new construction, and 5) panel upgrades for low-income ratepayers in underserved communities.

To be eligible for the streamlined Advice Letter process, the electric utilities’ proposals must use the Near-Term Priorities Advice Letter Template comply with the following guidelines:

  • Proposed budget may not exceed $20 million per program and may not exceed a total of $80 million per utility.
  • Program implementation must occur within three years of Commission approval.
  • Utility ownership of customer-side infrastructure – which includes the make ready and the Electric Vehicle Service Equipment (EV charger) – is limited to sites located in underserved communities. In total, up to 50 percent of the customer-side infrastructure may be owned by the electric utility.
  • The programs must include the following Equity and Environmental Justice requirements:
    • a minimum of 50 percent expenditure of each program’s budget is in underserved communities,
    • demonstration that the utility coordinated with more than one community-based organization to develop the proposal,
    • demonstration that local, regional, and/or tribal governments support the proposal,
    • a marketing, education, and outreach campaign to encourage more equitable outreach and participation by underserved communities, and a demonstration for how the proposal will further the principals of economic equity to promote access to high quality jobs for residents of underserved communities.