The conflict between Net Zero Energy Buildings, and the need for EV Charging

There are two climate change related efforts which put conflicting constraints on building electrical service and energy accounting.  On the one hand we want “Net Zero Energy Buildings” where, between a combination of energy efficiency and local renewable energy (rooftop solar), the building generates all the electricity it consumes.  On the other hand we want people driving electric cars.  Since charging electric cars requires electricity, it then becomes that much harder to reach Net Zero Energy goals.

Groan.

One could just, to meet Net Zero Energy Goals, put up more solar panels to match the electricity consumed in electric car charging.  Simple, problem solved, right?  Wrong.  It makes the Net Zero Energy goal more expensive to reach, and therefore company management is more likely to veto the project.  And we want more buildings to produce the energy they consume, right?

Let me make a little observation:  Electricity used to recharge electric cars is not electricity used in running the building.

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Hence, lumping EV Charging Electricity with Building Energy is an improper accounting of the energy.  The Net Zero Energy goal, properly accounted for, simply wouldn’t count energy consumed for EV charging against the building energy.

Therefore, when a business installs EV Charging infrastructure (which it should) for its employees, the charging stations should be on their own electricity meter.  That way the business can separately account for building energy consumption, and EV charging energy consumption, and properly measure its Net Zero Energy goal.

About David Herron

David Herron is a writer and software engineer living in Silicon Valley. He primarily writes about electric vehicles, clean energy systems, climate change, peak oil and related issues. When not writing he indulges in software projects and is sometimes employed as a software engineer. David has written for sites like PlugInCars and TorqueNews, and worked for companies like Sun Microsystems and Yahoo.

About David Herron

David Herron is a writer and software engineer living in Silicon Valley. He primarily writes about electric vehicles, clean energy systems, climate change, peak oil and related issues. When not writing he indulges in software projects and is sometimes employed as a software engineer. David has written for sites like PlugInCars and TorqueNews, and worked for companies like Sun Microsystems and Yahoo.

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  1. Pingback: How we can get lots more charging stations – power sharing | The Long Tail Pipe

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