Manager’s Message – September 2021

Posted: September 1, 2021 at 6:00 am

As a member of Halifax EMC, you may be familiar with our Brighter Future vision of serving this community by providing safe and reliable access to energy that is affordable and increasingly sustainable. As we work toward this vision, it is critical that we appropriately stay ahead of trends to ensure we meet the emerging power needs of our member-consumers.

A significant emerging trend across the nation is consumer adoption of electric vehicles. In 2020, a survey provided exclusively to members of electric cooperatives across the nation showed that 1 in 6 co-op members are likely to consider an electric vehicle as their next car. Although that may not seem like a critical mass, to ensure continued reliability our engineers are planning for this increased electric demand and just as importantly, so we can provide solutions to our members making the switch.

Because we know interest in these vehicles is on an upward trajectory, we are making investments now to build public charging stations in our local community. Doing so will help make sure our region is not overlooked for tourism, commerce and economic development opportunities, and it facilitates driving electric for people here locally.

Currently, Halifax EMC has one DC fast charging station for public use in Enfield located on Highway 561 at I-95, Exit 160. The cooperative is also in the process of installing another DC fast charger in the Lake Gaston area.

If charging is managed appropriately, electric vehicles can significantly benefit the electric grid in ways that will not impact reliability and affordability of electricity. When charged at night, EVs add load to the grid when it is historically most underused. Power is the most expensive at peak demand hours, like late afternoon in the summer and early morning in the winter. Nighttime EV charging is an example of spreading load across more hours of the day to help flatten expensive peaks, and this is an area we will continue to explore.

These benefits to the grid are important, but EV drivers often realize other benefits, like cost savings, more convenience, less maintenance, better impact on the environment and, many would argue, a better driving experience.

You can learn more about the many significant benefits of driving electric, see information addressing common myths and misunderstandings of EVs and find financial incentives for driving electric here.