CHELCO is among the 14 PowerSouth distribution member systems offering a new $25 incentive to our members who own electric vehicles (EV) through the PowerSouth Managed Electric Vehicle Charging Research Pilot — a test program that monitors EV charging and its effects on utility infrastructure and costs.
The opportunity stems from the partnership between PowerSouth, CHELCO’s generation and transmission (G&T) electric cooperative, and Optiwatt, the largest telematics-based home energy analytics platform.
CHELCO members that own an electric vehicle can enroll to receive a one-time $10 incentive once they have been confirmed eligible for pilot participation and a $15 incentive per vehicle at the end of the pilot, in approximately July 2024, after completing the end-of-program survey. Enrollment will end once the program reaches a maximum of 250 vehicles and the program is over halfway subscribed after its launch in late July.
Participation will not affect vehicle charging in any way. This is a research pilot program with no effect on charging behavior. Members can continue charging their vehicle(s) as they normally would. If members choose to use Optiwatt's optional charging features, Optiwatt will prioritize their departure time and charge limit preference to ensure they always have the battery they need.
To enroll, participants must download the free Optiwatt app on the App Store or Google Play or use a web browser and follow the program instructions. The application will automatically enroll eligible participants in the program thereafter. You can disenroll from the program easily with one click in the “Charging” section of the mobile or desktop app. Alternatively, you may email email@example.com to disenroll at any time.
The program supports most electric vehicles on the road today, although plug-in hybrids are excluded. Upon enrollment, vehicles will be assigned to a research group to measure the impact of EV charging on grid load optimization. The pilot program began on July 31, 2023 with the City of Elba, as well as CHELCO, Clarke Washington, Coosa Valley, Covington, Dixie, Escambia River, Gulf Coast, Pioneer, South Alabama, Southern Pine, Tallapoosa River, West Florida and Wiregrass Electric Cooperatives participating.