Nearly 50 cooperative staff members from NIPCO and Corn Belt Power gathered to learn more about the programs and benefits of affiliation with the CHARGE™ network program. The Joint Informational Meeting was conducted in Des Moines on April 12. It provided a forum to learn more about the electric vehicle (EV) charging program and to ask questions related to affiliation with the cooperative-led network.
Representatives from CHARGE provided information on marketing assets and programs and how affiliates may access them. Dairyland Power Cooperative's Communications & Marketing Specialist Dana Bolwerk and Innovation & Efficient Electrification Manager Jeff Springer act as contacts for cooperative affiliates and the CHARGE program. Their presentations covered valuable information regarding available marketing resources and an overview of EV residential and commercial charger options, including best practices for developing a visible network of cooperative-powered public-facing chargers throughout the upper Midwest.
John Diem provided an overview of ZEF Energy chargers and the systems that support them. ZEF Energy is a charging system vendor for the CHARGE network. ZEF Energy products have the ability to integrate well with cooperative load management programs and billing systems.
CHARGE was created in 2020 by 31 electric cooperatives to help educate and raise awareness of electric vehicles among member consumers and those who sell and support EVs. "CHARGE affiliates discuss best practices with each other," explains Jeff Springer. "There is no cookie-cutter solution for an EV program. Conducting regular meetings such as this one helps co-ops understand what works at other cooperatives and to create a program that best fits their members' needs." NIPCO and Corn Belt Power hope to continue informational meetings on an annual basis or as need necessitates. For more information about CHARGE, visit charge.coop.