Thousands of electric vehicle (EV) drivers in San Diego and southern Orange counties are receiving a $500 credit on their San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) bill, as a reward for adopting clean transportation to help reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
Approximately 15,000 EV drivers in SDG&E’s service territory applied for the Electric Vehicle Climate Credit by the May 31 deadline and qualified to receive the bill credit. SDG&E started applying the credit to customers’ bills in mid-June and expects to complete the process by early August, using up all the 2018 program funds.
The bill credit is funded by the Low Carbon Fuel Standard Program implemented by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to fight climate change and encourage EV adoption.
Plug-in vehicles, whether they are fully electric or hybrid, produce low or zero emissions, and therefore help reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Funding for the EV Climate Credit came from the sale of low-carbon fuel credits SDG&E earned for providing clean electricity as a fuel for transportation. About 45 percent of the energy SDG&E delivers today to homes and businesses comes from renewable sources, such as solar and wind.
This is the second year that the EV Climate Credit has been provided to SDG&E customers. SDG&E led a multi-faceted campaign via social media, email and traditional mass media to encourage EV drivers to apply for the credit. More than 29,000 electric vehicles are registered with the DMV in the region.
The bill credit amount has varied each year depending on the CARB regulations, number of EV drivers and the amount of revenues available to fund it. In 2017, SDG&E distributed about $1.4 million in credit, or about $200 each, to about 7,000 EV drivers who signed up for the program. This year, the EV Climate Credit came out to more than double last year’s amount in large part because of the amount of revenue available to fund it.