How to get your building ready for electric vehicles: EV readiness fact sheet from ENERGY STAR

by Brianna Crandall — September 30, 2019 — Americans are rapidly adopting plug-in electric vehicles (EVs), according to the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ENERGY STAR energy efficiency program. In fact, the Edison Electric Institute and the Institute for Electric Innovation estimate that nearly 19 million EVs will be on US roads by 2030, representing a 10% market share.

With effective EV charging implementation, commercial building owners and facilities managers (FMs) can add value to properties, increase the convenience and affordability of driving EVs for tenants, employees and visitors, and show leadership in adopting advanced, sustainable technologies, says ENERGY STAR.

To help building owners and managers prepare their buildings for electric vehicles, ENERGY STAR has launched a two-page fact sheet detailing recommendations for EV-ready commercial buildings, potential savings from choosing ENERGY STAR-certified EV chargers, considerations for EV readiness for new construction, and additional EV-ready resources for commercial building owners and managers.

The ENERGY STAR recommendations for EV-ready commercial buildings listed in the white paper are:

  1. Evaluate the need for EV charging. Conduct a survey of building tenants to assess the current need for charging. Plan for the future — assume that demand will increase and that charging system expansion will be needed.
  2. Determine power availability and the number of EV chargers needed. Talk with your building engineer and the local electric utility to determine power availability for charging installations at the facility. Take steps to oversize either the conduit or the main electric supply cables to allow for future expansion, since the number of chargers needed will grow.
  3. Work through additional project steps. Contact EV charger providers; ask for energy efficient, ENERGY STAR-certified models and discuss your project needs. Work with a certified electrical contractor to carry out the installation of EV charging at your facility according to local and National Electric Code (NEC) requirements. If possible, sub-meter your EV chargers for easier kWh accounting within ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. Consider whether you want chargers that you can control and monitor remotely.
  4. Market your EV charging commitment. Advertise charging station availability to current tenants as well as to prospective new tenants as a key amenity of the building.

For the rest of the ENERGY STAR recommendations and resources, download the “Get Your Building Ready for Electric Vehicles Fact Sheet” from the ENERGY STAR website.