PA House Committee Holds Hearing On EV Charging Infrastructure

On March 6, 2024, the House Consumer Protection, Technology and Utilities Committee conducted an informational hearing on the subject of the EV Charging Infrastructure in the state. Chaired by Rep. Rob Matzie (D-Beaver), the meeting was called to provide a forum for discussion of what legislation may be needed (or not) to address the needs of the growing number of EVs projected to be on the road in coming years. The PPA was approached by Chairman Matzie to have a retail member company represented in the hearing.

In the past, legislation has been introduced (supported by the EV industry) that would require electric utilities to submit to the PUC plans outlining their projects for expanding their charging networks in the state. This legislation would allow utilities to build and operate EV chargers, and use ratepayer money to subsidize the costs. PPA has strongly opposed these types of bills.

Eric McCrum, the Sustainability Manager of Sheetz Inc, presented the industry’s concerns in the hearing regarding this issue. He stated that allowing public utilities to enter the retail recharging business, subsidized by ratepayers, would result in unfair competition to convenience stores and other private sector entities considering entering that market. When asked what Sheetz’s plans were regarding further expansion of EV chargers in their stores, McCrum indicated that they were waiting for a signal as to whether or not utilities would be allowed in the retail EV charging market as a critical factor in determining if and how to move forward. A link to view the testimony can be found here.

PPA has been coordinating a group of companies (Joint Fuel Retailers) to participate in responding to the PUC’s EV rate design policy statement. Click here to view the public comment submitted in January. The groups previous comments were also submitted to the House Committee hearing as a part of Sheetz’s written testimony.