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Bill creating rebate for in-home electric vehicle chargers heads to House floor

Sophia Schmidt
Delaware Public Media

A bill to provide financial assistance for installing in-home electric vehicle (EV) chargers for low-income Delawareans is released from the House Natural Resource and Energy Committee.

Delaware’s recently adopted Advanced Clean Car II program seeks to bring more electric vehicles into the state. But one major public concern with it is the financial barrier low-income houses face when transitioning to EVs.

State Rep. Sophie Phillips' (D-Bear) legislation would cover up to 90% of the purchase and installation costs for home electric vehicle chargers for applicants who are at or below 300% of the federal poverty level.

“The point of this is to create more accessibility. It went through the Energy Stakeholders Group this past Friday with no questions, comments, anything — so it sailed through that. We know that 80% of charging happens at home according to the Department of Energy, so this is helpful for people who have a house," Philips said.

For other applicants, the program may offer assistance covering up to 50% of the costs.

Delaware Sustainable Energy Utility Director Drew Slater says the rebate incentivizes residents, regardless of income, to install home chargers as the state pushes for more electrification.

“It definitely can be a hidden cost when you buy an electric vehicle. You’re not anticipating to have to do these upgrades in your home. Depending on the age of the home, it could also cost more. I would say the average is somewhere between $1000 and $1500," he said.

Slater explains the program funding would come from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative — a carbon cap-and-invest model — and there would be no additional burden on the state’s budget.

The bill was unanimously voted out of committee by members present and now heads to the full House for consideration.

Before residing in Dover, Delaware, Sarah Petrowich moved around the country with her family, spending eight years in Fairbanks, Alaska, 10 years in Carbondale, Illinois and four years in Indianapolis, Indiana. She graduated from the University of Missouri in 2023 with a dual degree in Journalism and Political Science.
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