On Monday 14 th August , A delegation of IEVOA committee members met the CER , including commissioner Garrett Blaney.
The IEVOA delegation , consisted of Frank Barr, Michael Sherlock, Dave McCabe, Cian Delaney and Joe McCarthy.
The primary purpose of the meeting was to discuss the forthcoming decision by the CER on the future ownership of the EV charging network.
The IEVOA delegation repeatedly impressed on the CER, that it had grave concerns about simply transferring ownership to the ESB in a unregulated manner.
In addition The IEVOA put forward that kWh ( units ) pricing was the fairest way, with penalties for overstays and hogging, pointing out the issues that time based pricing causes for older EVs etc. In addition, the IEVOA pointed out that originally , the retail electricity suppliers (Energia, Airtricity , etc ) were intended to have a role, selling charge point access, but that this concept seems to have disappeared.
The CER laid out concerns that EU rules effectively prevented them from continuing the present situation, and also made it difficult to place the chargers in the Regulated Asset Base (RAB), ie where funding would be continued to be drawn from the electricity users. EU rules basically state that EV charging should be commercial.
A further discussion was had on the issues around home charging and the introduction of smart meters, with the CER opining that smart meters may aid EV charging at home by soaking up currently unused night time green energy generation.
The CER did not provide any indication of the nature of their forthcoming decision, but their negative view on the RAB issue, strongly suggests that full unregulated transfer to the ESB is possible.
The IEVOA further suggested that a delay on the decision, might be better then taking the wrong decision as the nature of public charging may well change as range grows.
The CER stated that it was not their intention that any decision would damage or curtail the adoption of EVs and the commissioner was of the opinion that government needs policy in the area of EV charging and this was lacking. He pointed out that in many European countries, local authorities were involved in the provision of chargers, whereas this was not a feature in Ireland. The CER also stated that any decision would go to Government for comment. (It was not clear if Government approval was necessary or whether this was a formality )
He also outlined the history of the charger project, which was unusual in the European context as it was funded by the electricity users and was primarily a research/pilot project and was designed to evaluate the effect of EV charging on the distribution network.
The meeting concluded with the CER stating that we had raised points worth considering.