Ontario aiming for uniform EV charging permitting


Ontario aiming for uniform EV charging permittingOntario aiming for uniform EV charging permitting

Image courtesy 123rf

The Ontario, Canada government is introducing a streamlined process for introducing public EV charging stations, intending to make it easier to build and connect them, starting May 27, in addition to simplifying a 50-year-old process for environmental assessments, starting February 22.

Currently, each of Ontario’s 58 local electricity utilities have different procedures for connecting new public EV charging stations, with different timelines, information requirements,and responsibilities for customers, the Ontario government said.

As of December 2023, there are more than 150,000 EVs registered in Ontario, including both battery-electric vehicles (BEV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV). By 2030, there are expected to be more than one million EVs on the road in Ontario.

In response to Minister Smith’s Letter of Direction, which called on the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) to take steps to facilitate the efficient integration of EVs into the provincial electricity system, the OEB issued provincewide, streamlined procedures that all local utilities must follow for installing and connecting new EV charging infrastructure.

This new procedure includes the implementation of standardised forms, timelines, and information requirements which will make it easier for EV charging providers to deploy chargers in all regions of the province.

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“As the number of EV owners in Ontario continues to grow, our government is making it easier to put shovels in the ground to build the critical infrastructure needed for drivers to charge their vehicles where and when they need to,” said Todd Smith, minister of Energy.

“This is just another step we are taking to reduce red tape, increase EV adoption and use our clean electricity supply to support the electrification of Ontario’s transportation sector.”

This initiative is part of the government’s larger plan to support the adoption of electric vehicles and make EV charging infrastructure more accessible, which includes:

  • The EV ChargeON programme – a $91 million investment to support the installation of public EV chargers outside of Ontario’s large urban centers, including at community hubs, Ontario’s highway rest areas, carpool parking lots, and Ontario Parks.
  • The Ultra-Low Overnight price plan, which allows customers who use more electricity at night, including those charging their EV, to save up to $90 per year by shifting demand to the ultra-low overnight rate period when provincewide electricity demand is lower.

Environmental assessment (EA) process

One of the changes to the EA process is moving to a project list approach, which will list the types of infrastructure projects that still require the highest level of environmental assessment such as large landfills and electricity generation facilities.

The project list approach is a shift from the previous focus on project proponents to what the project is and its potential for environmental effects. Using a project list approach is meant to bring Ontario in line with other similar jurisdictions, including the federal government, Quebec and British Columbia.

The Ontario government noted that the comprehensive EA process for the East-West Tie Transmission Project that runs from Wawa to Lakehead in Northern Ontario took more than five years to complete.

With these changes, it said, a similar project could follow a streamlined process and be completed within two years, while still undergoing a mandatory consultation process and continued environmental oversight. Some of the time savings are a result of the streamlined processes not requiring a Terms of Reference, lasting up to two years, for the project as the streamlined process already sets out the requirements.

The government is also considering a minor change to the Environmental Assessment Act that would make it clearer for municipalities, provincial ministries and agencies that expropriation is one of the ways property can be acquired for a project before the EA process is completed.

Originally published by Sean Wolfe on, and edited with permission from, Power Grid.


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