Using ARRA funds from the DOE, Bibb County Courthouse welcomes Electric Vehicle owners to charge their vehicles for free

Bibb County, Georgia is probably not the first place you would think to charge your electric vehicle (EV). But that is no longer true. Using American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) allocated through the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority (GEFA) from the U.S. Department of Energy, Bibb County now has an EV charger at the County Courthouse.

The charger installation contracted with Energy & Environment and installed by WorryFree Power, an affiliate of Hannah Solar, is now available for charging. But this charger has an additional bonus. Even though there is now a national debate on how much businesses should charge to have EV drivers charge their cars, Bibb County’s charger is free. This county service will benefit residents and visitors alike. Costs to the county are expected to be minimal since the average EV costs about $1.00 a day to reach full charge and this location will be transient in nature.

John Noel, President of Energy & Environment is enthusiastic about the project, “Bibb County has made huge strides in energy efficiency reducing electric costs to taxpayers by 30% in many County buildings and our company has been instrumental in this work. This EV charger marks a new chapter. With those savings in place, Bibb County is now preparing for the future of transportation.” Mr. Noel added, “Because EVs now perform like any conventional car many don’t realize how many are on the road already. This is a benefit to the greater community for tourist development, economic competitiveness and the development of a green economy.”

Pete Marte, CEO of Hannah Solar and Worry Free Power, agrees, “There are so many benefits for EV drivers like fuel cost reduction and never having to have an oil change again but what’s really great is that there are benefits to the community too. Electric Vehicles have no emissions and no noise. So EV drivers make the air cleaner and reduce noise pollution, a benefit to everyone.”

Bibb County Chairman Sam Hart noted, “Bibb County continues to lead the way with its commitments to sustainability through the efforts of its dedicated and award winning Green Team. Along with our anti-idling policy, retro-fitting of mufflers for diesel engines, and purchase of hybrid and electric vehicles, this is just another step towards a clean energy economy and an economically sound future.”

Charging Forward, a report from Environment Georgia released at the charging station today, found that plug-in vehicles can reduce oil dependence in Georgia by 1,907,262 gallons/yr and reduce climate change pollution by 7,385 tons/yr if the vehicles are charge by the existing electrical grid.

“For decades, owning a car has meant consuming oil. Today, drivers finally have a choice,” said Jennette Gayer, Policy Advocate with Environment Georgia. “Thanks in part to the leadership we see in Bibb County and federally every major automobile manufacturer is offering a new plug-in vehicle powered primarily by electricity. For the first time, we can power our cars with clean energy.”

To make plug-in vehicles a choice for more consumers, Environment Georgia’s report calls for more work to be done to build the infrastructure of the charging stations that can service these vehicles, as well as more investment in the technologies that will drive down prices. Currently, Georgia ranks 20th in the country in total number of vehicle charging stations. Environment Georgia also called on state and federal leaders to help plug-in vehicles achieve the greatest possible pollution reductions by adopting policies that will ensure we get more of our electricity from clean, renewable energy sources like wind and solar power.