Don't leave money on the table...... Check your utility company

Don't leave money on the table...... Check your utility company

Hi... I took delivery of an inventory model, standard 85 one month ago. Luckily i had a friend who is an electrician who helped with my install for a nema 15-40 outlet... I found out that my utility company had a program that promoted EVs and offered free charging from 10pm- 6am, as well as a $1650 credit towards an install of a charging station. If I had known earlier, I would have arranged the install with NIPSCO my utility company.

anyway, just a heads up, check to see if there are any incentives in your county/state as well as utility company prior to taking delivery of your car.


TikiMan | September 26, 2013

Wow! You must live in a really forward thinking city!

olanmills | September 26, 2013

Does your power company offer lower rates at night than during the day? What are the main energy sources?

I live in the greater Seattle metro area. Our power rates don't change based on the time of day. Most of our power is hydro.

In other states with different power sources and usage patterns, they want/need to encourage people to use power at night. For example, coal power stations produce enough energy to satisfy daytime demand, but at night, they can't throttle it down and the energy just gets wasted, so they encourage people to use energy at night with lower rates, etc.

James- | September 28, 2013

I made a mistake by not immediately switching to scheduled off peak charging - ended up paying as much for electricity as I would have for gasoline. But next month I should see a 70% reduction in cost re electricity vs gas.

Doogerman | September 28, 2013

Thanks doccha. Well aware of the $7,500 tax credit for the car, but didn't even think about a tax credit for the charging station. Googled Connecticut Electric Vehicle incentives and discovered a $1,000 tax credit which I'm eligible for with the installation of my HPWC.

redacted | September 28, 2013

There is a federal up to $1000 tax credit (conditions apply) for charging stations. Pretty cool if your utility gives you money for the station AND gives you free electricity. I think I'll move.

bonaire | September 28, 2013

Careful with the charging station cost tax credit. Federally, it is 30% of the install cost up to $1000. And last year, it was not refundable. If you owed money on your tax return, it would deduct this 30% from what you owed in april. If you were due a refund, it wouldn't make the refund bigger as you might expect.

ausdma | September 28, 2013


Do you know what conditions might be relevant for the federal tax credit? I read through it and it looks like it should work. I'll eventually ask our accountant to look at it but she charges by the word and for each breath.

Our local Austin utility also offers a 50% rebate up to $1500. I sent them an email asking if it would apply to a service upgrade to the house which is what would be required for us if get a 100 amp circuit for the HPWC.

shop | September 28, 2013

Good idea to check. Utilities often have special electric rate structures for people with EVs too.

Anthony | September 28, 2013

Be kind to fellow Tesla drivers and do the nod! Enjoy

doccha | September 28, 2013

the area i live in is primary coal power driven..... so i assume thats why they will allow free charging after 10pm.

Ugliest1 | September 28, 2013

Where I live (BC Canada) the provincial government offers 80% back up to $4,500 for multi-unit residential buildings to install charging stations, if installed by March 2014. The drawback that I have found to getting free money is, there are specific "authorized" suppliers, there are significant reporting requirements for applying for the money, there are not-necessarily-reasonable deadline dates for various aspects of getting government approval for the funding and for the actual install, and there will be as-yet-unspecified reporting requirements for operational use, which I suspect will continue loooooonnnng after the install.

In short, my gut feel it's not worth the time investment. The estimates I've gotten so far, ballpark costs for installing a charger are about $2,500 for wiring and around $1,800-$2,500 for the charger itself, depending on output and vendor (30A, 50A, 90A etc). If you install a meter, it would add more cost.

elguapo | September 28, 2013

PEPCO in DC, MD, VA offers no incentives or special EV plans - it has been very disappointing. Even their TOU plan is not compelling. Only good thing is base electricity costs here in MD are generally low. Still, wish they were more pro EV.

PatT | September 28, 2013

@ bonaire

Actually the tax credit is against your tax liability. Whether you are getting a refund or writing them a check is not relevant. When you complete your 1040 the tax credit WILL reduce your tax liability but not less than zero.

bonaire | September 29, 2013

@PatT - I did research on this in April 2013 and the IRS form does have features on it to disallow refundability. Also, in Turbotax, the EVSE credit does not compute out as additional refund like buying an EV or Solar PV does (I did both last year). If you owe the IRS on your filing of the 1040, it allows that to be reduced as a credit should. I do understand the tax credit nature but we are talking refundability, not liability. I think everyone has enough liability for both the EV and the EVSE credits. Most people owe some due to computation of their capital gains and all that.

The question really is: Has anyone gotten their refund increased, for 2012 filing, by the 30% EVSE installation credit last year using TurboTax or their CPA?

When I did my 2012 taxes, I attempted to take an EVSE credit. I could only do it if I removed what was causing me to get a refund and once I "owed", upon filing, it allowed that credit to be computed in.

jeffsstuff | September 29, 2013

I'm not an accountant, but here's something else to consider about the federal credit… It's possible that even if you can't use all of it to offset taxes owed this year, you might be able to carry that credit forward and apply it toward taxes due next year and the following. My suggestion would be to consult a tax specialist.

Brian H | September 29, 2013

No carry-forward on the federal credit.

PatT | October 1, 2013

@ Bonaire -- I took the credit on a Roadster in 2010; on a Leaf in 2011 and expect to take one for my MS that I purchased in March of this year. Each time my tax bill was reduced by $7500. In two of those years, I owed the IRS and wrote them a check. Last year I got a refund -- though I applied it to this year's estimated tax.

When you file your 1040 be sure to use form 8936. Your $7500 credit is calculated on line 15 of that form and is entered on line 53 of the 1040 where it is combined with your other credits on line 54. You subtract the total credits from your tax on line 46, but not less than zero. In other words, your tax liability is reduced if you owed tax on line 46. Later on you apply other taxes and previous payments to determine if you owe them or they owe you.

If you don't owe enough tax on line 46 to use the full credit you can accelerate income into the current year. One way to do that is to move regular IRA money into a ROTH. Of course there are lots of other ways too. Most of those "other" ways require that you do certain things before 12/31. However I believe that the IRA re-characterization can be done up until 4/15.

But, as Brian H pointed out (correctly as usual), you can not carry that credit forward.

A2Mark | October 1, 2013

There is a program in Michigan where DTE Energy will contribute up to $2500 towards a home charger:

I recently took delivery on a Model S and did quality for this program. However I think the program is nearing its end and I may have been one of the last to qualify.