IREC and our partners are committed to providing you with up-to-date, reliable, and vetted information that meets your needs. From 2022 to March 2024, our Question of the Week initiative provided weekly answers to clean energy questions from leading industry organizations under a U.S. Department of Energy “EMPOWERED” grant. While we are no longer adding additional questions and answers to this page, this library of questions contains a wealth of information for your reference. The answer to each question contains links to additional resources you can explore to learn more!

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Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment

Interconnecting EV chargers to the grid involves steps that a customer or developer must follow to secure utility service and safely begin operation— similar to connecting other types of load, such as new residential or commercial buildings.

The process and complexity of connecting charging equipment to the grid can vary based on the type of charging infrastructure. The different types of chargers serve a variety of purposes, including charging at a home or workplace where a car will be parked for longer durations (Level 1 or Level 2), charging in a commercial area or parking lot when parked for shorter periods (Level 2 or DC Fast Charger), or high speed charging during long distance trips (DCFC).

Due to potential delays at any step of the process, charger interconnection timelines can vary widely from one project to the next. This creates uncertainty for project developers and slows down the transition to electrified transportation.

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In this paper produced by IREC, Paving the Way: Emerging Best Practices for Electric Vehicle Charger Interconnection, we highlight the interconnection process, identify the challenges to EVSE interconnection, and  discuss the strategies that states and utilities can use to streamline the process to adding EV charging infrastructure.

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If you are a building owner, you have almost certainly been asked about installing a charger for electric vehicles (EVs). These quiet, reliable, and efficient vehicles are growing in number and popularity. The interactive resource linked below is designed to introduce building owners of multi-unit dwellings (MUDs) to the basic requirements associated with installing electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE). You can get started today by learning more about the costs and benefits of installing an electric vehicle charging station at your property.

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This resource for building owners covers the basic requirements associated with installing electric vehicle chargers.

Dive further with the Toolkit for Vehicle Charging at Multi-Unit Dwellings from Forth Mobility.

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Given the increased frequency of natural disasters, many have wondered about temporary ways to power their home while waiting for utility grid power to be restored. Some manufacturers have equipped their new electric vehicles with the capability to do just that. 

There are several ways in which the industry is referring to these capabilities. Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) is the broader term used to describe the storage of energy within an EV and its ability to supply power for particular end uses. Those end uses include buildings (V2B), homes (V2H), load (V2L), and the grid (V2G). Vehicle to grid (V2G) is not yet in use throughout the U.S., but the technology, equipment, and related codes and standards recognize the possibility. 

Learn More:

View this short course that summarizes the key points of V2H, V2G, and V2X.. Are you interested in the comprehensive technical details? Read the report produced by IREC in January 2022: Paving the Way: Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) Standards for Electric Vehicles.

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To adapt zoning regulations for EV chargers effectively, and streamline processes while reducing staff workload, municipalities can turn to the recently published guidance document by SEAC, RMI, and IREC. The document addresses the increasing demand for millions of EV chargers and emphasizes the need for transparent and predictable requirements for charger installation and approval processes. By providing local code officials with clear guidelines and recommendations on common planning and zoning challenges such as permitted accessory use, parking, accessibility, design, and aesthetics, the document enables smoother and more efficient decision-making. It also offers sample code text on zoning and parking, ensuring standardized approaches. Furthermore, by incorporating equitable access to on-street public charging for households without off-street parking, and defining key terms like EV-Capable, EV-Ready, and EVSE Installed, municipalities can ensure inclusivity and clarity.  Embracing this guidance will empower municipalities to proactively plan for EV charger deployment, reduce the involvement of multiple parties, and streamline the approval process, ultimately easing the workload on municipal staff members.

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Download this guidance document today: Planning and Zoning for Electric Vehicle Charger Deployment.

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In many parts of the United States, navigating building permits required for distributed energy resources such as solar, storage, and electric vehicles (EVs) can be a daunting process.  Under a three-year project funded by the Department of Energy, the New Buildings Institute (NBI, an EMPOWERED partner) has led the development of a series of guidelines to streamline the permitting and inspection processes for distributed energy resources like electric vehicle supply equipment and battery energy storage systems.

If your jurisdiction is seeing an increase of EV charger installations, you can benefit greatly from these guidelines, which provide an overview of code requirements for the installation of electric vehicle supply equipment in single family, multifamily, and office buildings. By providing specific and replicable lists of permitting and inspection requirements, local jurisdictions can streamline the permitting and inspection process, reducing informational barriers while helping ensure that the design and installation of these distributed energy resources are consistent, code compliant, and safe.

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Download the Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment Permitting & Inspection Guidelines here.

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The permitting process for EVSE can be lengthy and fraught with delays, often due to unfamiliarity with the technology, extended zoning reviews, or ill-defined permitting requirements. There are some clear steps that towns and cities can take to help streamline the EVSE permitting and inspection process. Some of these steps might include:

  1. Avoid lengthy zoning reviews and classify EV charging stations as an accessory use to the principal use of the site.
  2. Amend local ordinances to count parking spaces for EV charging toward minimum parking requirements.
  3. Offer training and education to building officials and inspectors to increase their familiarity with EVSE technology and installation requirements. This will help ensure that inspections are conducted efficiently and that installers consistently enforce installations for code compliance.
  4. Combine permit application requirements along with helpful guidance into a single checklist document and make this available online. 
  5. Process permit application approvals and conduct field inspections in a timely manner. An online permit approval process may aid in reducing permit approval timelines.

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These are just a few steps that jurisdictions can take to streamline the EVSE permitting and inspection process, reduce barriers to EV adoption, and encourage the development of EV charging infrastructure.une in and watch this recorded webinar on The Possibilities of EV Charging to learn more about this subject and understand funding options available to install charging stations at your property. The webinar includes examples and case studies of successful EV charging infrastructure,Standard EVSE checklists are available on New Building Institute’s (NBI) website.

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Updating municipal codes to accelerate EV readiness can help remove barriers and encourage the adoption of electric vehicles. By updating codes to allow for the installation of EV charging infrastructure, for example, cities can make it easier for residents and businesses to own and use electric vehicles. Similarly, by updating building codes to require new construction to include provisions for EV charging, cities can ensure that new developments are “EV ready,” which can make it easier for future electric vehicle owners to charge their vehicles at home or at work. Updating codes can also help to ensure that electric vehicle infrastructure is built to a high standard and is compatible with the needs of electric vehicle owners.

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Learn more about how cities can advance EV adoption by lowering barriers through this report from Forth: Pulling the Right Levers: How Cities Can Advance EV Adoption by Lowering Barriers.

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To meet transportation electrification goals and the increasing demand for EV charging options, states, utilities, and local governments will need to adopt policies that can streamline the process for connecting EV charging infrastructure to the grid. Delays at different stages of the process currently create uncertainty for project developers and slow down the transition to electrified transportation. The main factors that contribute to these delays include 1) interconnection process delays, 2) difficulties obtaining easements (which grant utilities the right to install, access, and service electrical equipment on a property), and 3) slow permitting processes.

States and local governments across the country are implementing best practices to help streamline the interconnection process. A few of these include 1) utilities ensuring that any staff working on EV infrastructure projects have charger-specific knowledge, 2) state legislatures requiring utilities to implement programs that allow for more cost- and time-efficient charger interconnections like “make-ready” programs, and 3) AHJs ensuring that information about the permitting process, including a list of any materials required to be submitted along with a permit request, is online and easy to find.

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These best practices and more can be read about in this IREC report, Paving the Way: Emerging Best Practices for Electric Vehicle Charger Interconnection, which can be used as guidance for jurisdictions looking to enable the rapid deployment of EV chargers.

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While the electric vehicle (EV) market is still at a relatively early stage of development, EVs are fast gaining popularity and market share. Car manufacturers have plans in place for fleet rollout over the coming years, and federal governments the world over are putting in place policies to make the EV adoption path more attainable. The electric vehicle story is most certainly going to accelerate, and like any disruptive technology there is no shortage of exciting challenges that everyone involved in the ecosystem will get to solve. It will take everyone from policymakers, to utilities, to building owners, to code and safety officials, to the consumers themselves to ensure a successful transition. 

Making the decision to provide access to EV charging infrastructure at your commercial building is one of those challenges that requires a sound strategy for positive deployment. First, you should recognize that installing EV chargers can bring a number of benefits, including attracting and retaining EV driving tenants; supporting residents in purchasing or leasing EVs through greater awareness and access to charging infrastructure; increasing your property values; and more. Before installing commercial EV charging stations, it’s imperative that you consider several factors, including charger type, station location, and your long-term business goals.

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If you want to learn more about these factors and other topics like funding options and case studies of successful EV charging infrastructure, check out this 60-minute IREC webinar on The Possibilities of EV Charging.

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Are you interested in installing electric vehicle charging equipment at your building? If you are a building owner, you have almost certainly been asked about installing a charger for electric vehicles (EVs). These quiet, reliable, and efficient vehicles are growing in number and popularity. The interactive resource linked below is designed to introduce building owners of multi-unit dwellings (MUDs) to the basic requirements associated with installing electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE). You can get started today by learning more about the costs and benefits of installing an electric vehicle charging station at your site.

Learn More

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Given the increased frequency of natural disasters, many have wondered about temporary ways to power their home while waiting for utility grid power to be restored. Some car manufacturers describe this capability. A little background: Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) is the broader term used to describe the storage of energy within an EV and its ability to supply power for particular end uses, including buildings (V2B), homes (V2H), load (V2L), and the grid (V2G). Vehicle to grid (V2G) is not yet in use throughout the U.S., but the technology, equipment, and related codes and standards recognize the possibility.

Learn More

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With more than 25 million electric vehicles expected to be on U.S. roads by 2020, questions about charging are common. EV charging is completely safe when the installation is in conformance with the relevant installation codes, U.S. product safety standards, and manufacturer’s installation instructions.

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  • Check out this short course if you’re interested in learning the facts about the codes and standards that govern the safe installation of electric vehicle supply equipment. 
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Looking for further information about high performance buildings, energy storage, solar, and more? Visit the Clean Energy Clearinghouse for an expanded list of expert resources and CEUs:

The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) in partnership with the International Code Council, International Association of Electrical Inspectors, National Association of State Fire Marshals, Slipstream, FSEC Energy Research Center, Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory assembled these resources to provide you with up to date, reliable, vetted information and training related to existing and emerging technologies.