This group is the default community for every Energy Central registered member. We discuss and share a variety of topics related to the global power industry. 


Imminent Unexpected Electric Loads - Second Edition

John Benson's picture
Senior Consultant Microgrid Labs

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: Microgrid Labs, Inc. Advisor: 2014 to Present Developed product plans, conceptual and preliminary designs for projects, performed industry surveys and developed...

  • Member since 2013
  • 883 items added with 596,071 views
  • Feb 8, 2018


Unexpected loads, especially very large loads, can wreak havoc on facility and utility distribution systems. Several very large classes of facilities will start to encounter unexpected loads in the next few years, and most of the facility and utility distribution engineers do not know these are coming. This is a significant update of a post made in December of last year.

The classes of facilities include those with a large number of employees, those with a large number of customers, those with both and those with large fleets of automobiles. The good news is that there are solutions for these impacts.

The increased loads will come from the rapid electrification of automobiles and other vehicles, and the attendant chargers that will be required to support these. Many of the above facilities already have a few chargers, but both the number of chargers and their power consumption will increase dramatically over the next five to ten years (and beyond).

In the sections below we will examine the projected growth of the number and power required for chargers, and the facilities impacted. The last section briefly covers potential mitigation of these impacts.

2.Growth of Electric Vehicle Charging Loads

There are two primary metrics that will provide inputs driving growth of charging loads for all types of facilities. These are the growth of electric vehicles as a percentage of vehicles in the U.S. and the growth of per-charger-position peak load. Additional charger metrics, when combined with other application details will help us evaluate how the charging loads will grow for each type of facility and geographically.

Hereafter we will use the term: electric vehicles and the acronym EV to refer to pure battery-electric vehicles. Hybrids (including plug-in) will be referred to as hybrid vehicles or hybrids. Range-extended EVs, that is, EVs that have a built-in combustion-engine/generator that can be used to extend its range (like the BMW i3 with the range-extender option), will be called range-extended EVs or EVs with range extenders.

2.1.Growth in the Number of EVs

Predicting growth in the U.S. inventory of electric vehicles is difficult at best. In order to cite a credible sources for this we will use government data as referenced below, plus two other sources.[1] The chart below shows sales of electric light-duty vehicles for each year from 2015 until 2050 in the U.S. The existing inventory of all light-duty vehicles is approximately 240 Million today, and this projected to grow to about 265 Million by 2030.

Furthermore electric vehicles are expanding rapidly because their design is intrinsically better. Consider the following:

  • EVs have an energy efficiency of 90% to 95%. Internal combustion engine (hereafter ICE) powered vehicles have an energy efficiency of 17% to 21%.
  • EVs have a fuel cost that is typically 10% of ICE-powered vehicles.
  • EVs have approximately 1% of the moving parts as compared to ICE-powered vehicles, and this results in much better reliability.
  • EVs use regenerative breaking to recoup most of the kinetic energy dissipated when bringing a moving vehicle to a stop verses 100% of this energy being wasted by friction-only braking used by ICE-powered vehicles. Hybrid vehicles also use regenerative breaking, but typically less than EVs.
  • The component with the highest cost in an EV is the battery. The cost of these are currently about $273 per kWh. These are projected to decrease to $73 per kWh by 2030 per Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
  • All or virtually all major auto manufacturers either already offer EVs or have announced EVs.

In addition to the above, electric vehicles are more-closely related by composition to high-technology products than traditional automotive products. It is reasonable to assume that the product displacement curve will be more like smart-phones displacing cell phones than normal automotive cycles. The smart-phone displacement seriously started ten years ago (2007) when Apple invented the iPhone. How many flip phones do you see today?

2.2.EV Charger Load

The load per EV Charger (a.k.a. Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment or EVSE) is also growing rapidly as are other factors that will increase the peak-load from these. Below is a table showing current charger technologies with their loads.

Technology Name

Typical Supply Voltage

Peak Power

Typical Range per Hour Charge-time

J17723 Level 1

120 Vac

2 kW

4.5 miles

J17723 Level 2

240 Vac

4 kW to 20 kW

12 to 70 miles

J17723 Level 3 DC Fast-Charge

200 to 600 Vdc

50 kW to 100 kW

150 to 250 miles

Tesla Supercharger


120 kW

300 miles

Combined Charging System

AC or DC

200 kW (DC), 350 kW (DC Future)

Greater than
300 miles


Up to 500 Vdc

62.5 kW

100 to 150 Miles

2.3.Commuting Electric Vehicles

One major class of facilities with a disproportionate demand for chargers will be those facilities with a large number of offices (identified in a later section), and most of these offices are occupied by employees that are commuting by light-duty vehicle. Will the percentage of EVs used by commuters increase in proportion to the general population of EVs among all cars, at a rate lower than this population, or higher than this population? The author would argue for the latter due to the following considerations:

  • For some States with High-Occupant Vehicle (HOV) / Express Lanes (like California), EVs are currently allowed to use these without a toll, making the commute-drive more rapid, less expensive and less stressful.
  • Some States (like California) are starting to substantially increase gasoline and diesel fuel taxes. Note that 17 states are also have or will add an annual "road-fee" for EVs in lieu of gas taxes ranging from $50 to $300 per year. A fee of $100 per year will start in California in 2020. The new California gas tax is $0.30/Gallon, or about $225 per year (15,000 miles/year, 20 miles/gallon).
  • Electric utilities in California are starting to offer special tariffs to residential customers with EVs or plug-in hybrids. PG&E is offering this tariff under Electric Schedule EV. This tariff offers extremely low electric rates for off-peak usage (11:00 PM to 7:00 AM during normal weekdays). This will provide a strong financial incentive for nighttime recharging EVs.
  • Since EVs are non-polluting, their use in metropolitan areas will continue to be encouraged by governments during commute hours, resulting policies like the above bullets being continued.
  • EVs appear to be taking the lead in autonomous vehicle technology, and this is definitely a positive for commuters, allowing them to perform other activities during the drive.
  • Free or low-cost charging at work will greatly lower the price of commuting for EVs.

2.4.States with a High EV Adoption Rate

The EV adoption rate varies greatly from state-to-state. The top-ten states plus the remainder in the U.S. are shown in the table below (total EV Sales from 2011 through 2016).[2] Deployments in California, by far, exceed those in other states. Thus the impact of chargers in California will proportionally exceed that in other states, and this will happen sooner.







New York








New Jersey






Other States


3.Facilities Impacted

The impacts on facilities, the quantity of chargers and the requirements for those chargers will vary by facility type. Other questions that need to be answered include:

  • How sensitive is a given facility-type to electric service interruptions?
  • What are the opportunities for demand response to mitigate unanticipated loads?
  • What is overall electric use patterns including growth?

As we pointed out earlier, current facilities only have a few low-power EV chargers, and this does not impact those facilities. Furthermore, many facilities in the U.S. may not see impacts for many years, but those facilities in areas with high EV adoption rates, especially those facilities act as hosts to a large number of EVs (first subsection 3.1 below) will begin to see the impacts to their electric distribution systems described in section 1 in a few years. As numbers of EVs and the power ratings of chargers increase, other facilities will be affected.

3.1.Electric Vehicle Hosts

The facilities with the highest load from additional EV Chargers is likely to be described in this subsection. By "hosts" we mean facilities where a major part of the business involves housing a large number of vehicles and potentially electric vehicles.

3.1.1.Parking Lots & Garages

According to the U.S. Census Bureau there are about 12,000 "Parking Lots and Garages" (North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) 81293) in the U.S. It assumed that these are all commercial facilities, as opposed to open parking lots like many municipalities offer (these will be mentioned under subsection 3.8). There is no information available from the government (that I can find) on how many cars each of these can accommodate or typically do accommodate. Nevertheless, some of these already have EV chargers and these will increase. The good news is that these are probably low-power chargers, and there will not be a rush to high-power chargers anytime soon. The bad news is that parking garages and lots currently have a very limited power needs (especially in California) and thus are more likely to be overwhelmed by a large fleet of chargers.

3.1.2.Rental Car Agencies

Although several major rental car agencies have offered a few EVs for several years, and small specialty agencies also offer a wide range of EVs (mainly in Southern California and the San Francisco Bay Area), these are still a tiny proportion of the overall rental fleet. However, as the percentage of EVs increase, so will the percentage of these in rental fleets. Agencies will demand that these EVs be turned around rapidly, which will require early implementation of DC Fast Chargers. Also, rental car lots currently have limited power needs, and their electric distribution systems will probably be quickly challenged by these chargers.

As far as the number of agencies, the ones at major airports are the largest, and these will be the first to increase EVs in their fleets. In the San Francosco Bay Area where I live there are three major airports (SFO, OAK and SJC) and each has six to eight nearby major agencies, resulting in a total of around 20. Adding a few smaller specialty agencies, gives around 25. Thus I would guess that there are about 100 initial targets (agencies that are likely to experience electric distribution overloads in the next few years) in California. Although other major metropolitan areas will be two to five years behind California, they will eventually begin to see the same issues.

3.1.3.Municipal Fleets

Municipal fleets contain vehicles that service municipal requirements. These may include the following applications, for which EVs are already offered:

  • Garbage Trucks: BYD offers a side-loader class 8 EV garbage truck and has delivered at least one unit to the City of Palo Alto, CA. Class 8 EV garbage trucks are also offered by Motiv. These are configured using industry-standard components (Loadmaster rear loader body and a Crane Carrier chassis) and have been delivered in quantity to Chicago and Sacramento.
  • Busses: Several manufacturers have delivered electric busses, including BYD, GreenPower Motor Company, New Flyer of America and Proterra. These include normal passenger busses and school busses.
  • Light Vehicles (for police departments and other city services): Several police departments are using standard EVs in their fleet. Probably the most aggressive program is by the Los Angeles Police Department. The LAPD has purchased 100 BMW i3 and two Tesla Model S EVs.

Although some of the municipal services are contracted out to private companies or regional agencies, the vehicles must be kept reasonably close to the cities they service. As the percentage of EVs increase they will face the same capacity issues as other hosts would, and the lots hosting these frequently will initially have a limited electric distribution system.

The municipalities in California will be among the first to implement the above EVs in their fleet, but other large metropolitan areas will follow in a few years.

3.1.4.Warehouse-like Facilities

Five sectors have many warehouses or warehouse-like facilities. The combined size of these sectors in terms of receipts was approximately $13 Trillion in 2012. These industries include Wholesale Trade (North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) sector 42), Retail Trade (NAICS sectors 44 and 45), Transportation and Warehousing (NAICS sectors 48 and 49). For these, the energy consumption varies based on the factors below rather than their industry:

  • Weather
  • Lighting distribution, intensity and efficiency
  • Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) operating parameters and efficiency
  • Building insulation
  • Any extra loads such as product refrigerators, freezers, information technology, automation-related and transportation-related equipment

A facility's energy consumption is generally rated by the energy use intensity (EUI), which is measured in BTU/square-foot-year.[3] Below are EUI Source values for some typical facilities used by these sectors.

  • Unrefrigerated warehouse or distribution center: 60,000 BTU/square-foot-year
  • Refrigerated warehouse: 253,000 BTU/square-foot-year
  • Mall: 238,000 BTU/square-foot-year
  • Supermarket: 480,000 BTU/square-foot-year
  • Retail Store: 114,000 BTU/square-foot-year

One challenge for these facilities is the impending proliferation of electric heavy trucks. These trucks will need to be charged at warehouses, distribution (logistic) centers and/or retail stores. This will probably require a new generation of very-high power chargers (see Tesla Megacharger below).

The following firms are producing or have announced electric heavy trucks:

  • Short-haul (urban) heavy eTrucks have been deployed (in Europe) by Daimler. They recently announced that they would be introducing about ten smaller electric trucks in New York City, with three going to UPS. These trucks will be Mitsubishi Fuso eCanter medium box vans (Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation is part of Daimler Trucks). These trucks can each carry up to 3-1/2 tons. Daimler has indicated that they will produce 500 of these trucks next year, and ramp to full production by 2020. They have also indicated that they will produce more heavy electric trucks.[4]
  • Morgan-Olsen has delivered medium-duty box trucks with Motiv Power Systems all-electric drive trains.
  • Chanje (pronounced “change”) has a strong team and investors (mostly Chinese), and apparently has built a prototype of a medium duty panel van.
  • In Sep 2017 Cummins released a prototype 18,000-pound tractor cab, built by Roush, with a 140kWh battery. It is capable of hauling a 22-ton trailer and has a range of 100 miles. Cummins also announced diesel range-extender that could extend the range of the battery to 300 miles. They hope to sell the power-train to heavy vehicle manufacturers.
  • Tesla Inc. unveiled an electric class-8 semi-truck on November 17, 2017 (image below). There will be two version: one with a 500-mile range and one with a 300-mile range. Deliveries are expected in in 2019.

According to Elon Musk during the introduction: "Using four separate electric motors, the Semi will go from 0 to 60 mph in 5 seconds, compared with 15 seconds in a diesel cab, Musk said. Pulling a full load at 80,000 pounds, it would be 0 to 60 in 20 seconds. Going up a 5-degree-grade hill, the Tesla Semi should maintain a speed of 65 mph, while a conventional diesel truck slows to 45 mph, he said. … Musk said Tesla would guarantee that the Semi wouldn't break down in the first million miles of operation. Tesla estimates a two-year payback for the added cost of the truck over a traditional diesel rig, and it said operating costs - including power, lease payments, and insurance - would be 20-percent lower for the Semi than a diesel truck."[5]

According to reports, these trucks will use the Tesla Megacharger. "Tesla’s ultra-high-powered Megacharger will be capable of replenishing 400 miles of range in as little as 30 minutes of charging. However, unlike a Supercharger that has a power output of roughly 120 kW, Tesla’s Megacharger will see more than ten times the power levels."[6]

For additional information on the challenges being faced by these sectors, see the earlier white paper "Disruption in U.S. Product Distribution Sectors".

3.2.Large Office Facilities

The sectors below include many important businesses, but keeping our focus on facilities and energy use, these are all hosted by a very similar class of facilities with similar energy use patterns. We will call these large office facilities.

One thing all of the businesses below have in common is that they are, to varying degrees, close to their customers. Thus there will be high-densities of these businesses near population centers.

The subsections below contain large sectors and subsectors that have been identified as belonging to this larger group. Any specialized requirements for a given sector or subsector that may impact the power system requirements are identified. Also note that the subsections below are not comprehensive, and there will be many large office facilities that are not included in these industries.

3.2.1.Software, Web and Computer Systems and Services

This business includes a subsector: (NAICS 518), an industry group (NAICS 5112) and an industry (NAICS 54151). Collectively they are officially called: "Software Publishers, Internet Service Providers, Web Search Portals, Data Processing Services, Computer Systems Design and Related Services." NAICS 54151 is covered below under Sector 54 (Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services), the rest of this business is covered in this subsection.

NAICS 518, "Data Processing, Hosting, and Related Services" had $43 Billion per year revenue (2012), and employs about half a million people. It grew at over 12% a year between 2007 and 2012.[7] 196 Firms have over 5,000 employees each, and these firms have 3,430 facilities with a total of 205,338 employees. This is an average of about 60 employees per facility. It is estimated that 700 facilities have 300 or more employees, which is large by the standards of this subsector. [8] Note that about 15% of the U.S. facilities and 16% of the U.S. employees are in California.

NAICS 5112, "Software Publishers" had $59 Billion per year revenue (2012), and employs about 450,000 people. It grew at over 5% per year from 2007 through 2012. 68 firms have over 5,000 employees each, and these firms have 1,336 facilities with a total of 200,044 employees or about 150 employees per facility. It is estimated that 350 facilities have over 300 employees, which is large by the standards of this subsector. Note that about 18% of the U.S. facilities and 25% of the U.S. employees are in California.

Most facilities are offices, and the energy intensity for these is (148,000 BTU/square-foot-year).3 But the sector also has many data centers which have a very high energy intensity (1.8 Million BTU/square-foot-year). What is not known is the percentage of square feet that data centers occupy in this sector, but the author would guess it is low, compared to office space. Thus it is estimated that the average energy use would be around 175,000 BTU/square-foot-year.

3.2.2.Finance and Insurance

This sector (NAICS 52) is one of the largest ones in the U.S. It has annual revenues of $3.7 Trillion and employs over 6 million people (2012). Growth in this facility has been 2.7% per year (2002 to 2012). Some of the firms in this sector will have large headquarters and processing facilities.6

The following are the subsectors in sector 52 that are likely to have a large number of employees and customers.

  • Credit Intermediation and Related Activities (most activities related to banking and similar businesses), NAICS 522, $1.1 Trillion.
  • Securities, Commodity Contracts, and Other Financial Investments and Related Activities, NAICS 523, $514 Billion
  • Insurance Carriers and Related Activities, NAICS 524, $1.9 Trillion

Overall, a large percentage of facilities in this sector will be too small to host a large number of chargers. Only major headquarters and processing centers might be large enough. In 2013 1,655 firms had more than 500 employees. These firms had 182,528 facilities, each with an average of 23 employees. It is estimated that 5,000 facilities will be large or demanding enough to require a large number of EV chargers. 7

Facilities in this sector are likely to have a similar energy use profile as detailed in the prior subsection, with EUI of around 175,000 BTU/square-foot-year.

3.2.3.Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services

This is sector 54 and has a single subsector (541). Receipts in 2012 were about $1.5 Trillion. The following industry groups are likely to have large office facilities:

  • Legal Services, NAICS 5411, about $250 Billion in receipts: There are 28 firms that have more than 5,000 employees and these have a total of 719 establishments with a total of 15,648 employees. This group is an average of about 22 employees per establishment. It is estimated that 50 establishments have 150 or more employees, which would be large for this industry group. Referenced source is for this and all industry groups below.7
  • Accounting, Tax Preparation, Bookkeeping, and Payroll Services, NAICS 5412 $130 Billion in receipts: There are 183 firms that have more than 5,000 employees and these have a total of 10,447 establishments with a total of 432,713 employees. This is an average of about 40 employees per establishment. It is estimated that 800 establishments have 300 or more employees, which would large for this industry group.
  • Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services, NAICS 5413, payroll of $113 Billion: There are 205 firms that have more than 5,000 employees and these have a total of 4,291 establishments with a total of 380,937 employees. This is an average of about 90 employees per establishment. It is estimated that 500 establishments have 300 or more employees, which would large for this industry group.
  • Computer Systems Design and Related Services, NAICS 5415, payroll of $144 Billion: There are 256 firms that have more than 5,000 employees and these have a total of 5.171 establishments with a total of 591,131 employees. This is an average of about 45 employees per establishment. It is estimated that 800 establishments have 300 or more employees, which would large for this industry group.
  • Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services, NAICS 5416, $208 Billion receipts: There are 254 firms that have more than 5,000 employees and these have a total of 13,245 establishments with a total of 271,557 employees. This is an average of about 20 employees per establishment. It is estimated that 800 establishments have 200 or more employees, which would large for this industry group.
  • Scientific Research and Development Services, NAICS 5417, payroll of $66 Billion: There are 280 firms that have more than 5,000 employees and these have a total of 1,285 establishments with a total of 259,385 employees. This is an average of about 200 employees per establishment. It is estimated that 500 establishments have 300 or more employees, which would large for this industry group.
  • Advertising, Public Relations, and Related Services, NAICS 5418, payroll of $30 Billion: There are 86 firms that have more than 5,000 employees and these have a total of 1,375 establishments with a total of 132,732 employees. This is an average of about 100 employees per establishment. It is estimated that 200 establishments have 300 or more employees, which would large for this industry group.

Among the above industry groups, we have estimated that 3,650 establishments (facilities) would be considered large, and thus may require a substantial expansion in the number of EV chargers over the next ten years.

Like with those facilities in subsection 3.2.2 (Finance and Insurance), all of the above industry groups except one will have facilities that are primarily composed of offices with a small number of data centers, and have an EUI of about 175,000 BTU/square-foot-year. The one exception is Scientific Research and Development Services, NAICS 5417, which is likely to have a fair number of laboratories. Energy Star's Energy Manager lists consumption of laboratories as 123,000 BTU/square-foot-year (compared to 148,000 BTU/square-foot-year for offices). Thus these facilities are likely to consume about the same electricity as do other facilities in this sector.

3.2.4.Educational Services

This is a sector (61) with on a single subsector (611) with the same name. It’s fairly large (see below), and includes all types of schools from elementary to universities and trade schools. The primary facility-type likely to initially host many EV chargers will be large colleges and universities. These have large campuses with many students and staff.

The National Center for Education Statistics lists 611 colleges and universities with more than 5,000 enrolment.[9]

Energy Star lists "College/University" Source EUI as 262,000 BTU/square-foot-year.3

3.2.5.Health Care and Social Assistance

This is a large sector (NAICS 62) that will partially be handled under Large Office Facilities, and partially under the next subsection 3.3, Hospitals. The total yearly revenue for this sector is about $1.7 Trillion. The “offices” part of this sector is contained in industry group described below. The following industry group (second below) is not primarily offices, but is included here for consistency. Health Care Services

This subsector (NAICS 621, $826 Billion revenue per year in 2012) is largely composed of doctor’s offices, diagnostic testing facilities and other outpatient care facilities. Growth in this group has been dramatic, averaging 5.4% per year from 2002 until 2012. The largest healthcare campuses may (or may not) contain one or more hospitals. Where a campus has one or more hospitals, it will be covered in the next section 3.3.6

In 2013, 2,108 firms with more than 500 employees were found. These have 64,380 facilities, each with an average of 34 employees. It will be assumed that about 4,000 facilities have more than 300 employees, and thus would be considered large by the standards of this subsector.7

Energy Star listed "Urgent Care/Clinic/Other Outpatient" Source EUI as 183,000 BTU/square-foot-year.3 and Residential Care Facilities

This subsector (NAICS 623) ranges from specialized apartment houses to critical-care facilities and hospices. It is a large and rapidly-growing sector, with the advancing age of the baby-boomers (like the author). Annual income for this industry group is about $203 Billion in 2012, it employs over three-million people and has been growing at almost 5% per year from 2002 to 2012.6

Many senior care facilities are quite large, and could require a large number of EV chargers for residents, employees and guests. In 2013 there were 1,465 firms that employed more than 500, and these firms had 29,919 facilities, each with an average of 56 employees. It is estimated that 2,000 facilities would have more than 400 employees and thus would be considered very large by the standards of this subsector.7

Energy Star listed "Residential Care Facility" Source EUI as 243,000 BTU/square-foot-year.3

The author feels that energy security requirements for these facilities should be fairly high due to the frailty of the residents. Thus the impact of overloads caused by chargers could be severe.


Hospitals (NAICS 622, $860 Billion/year in 2012) have specialized requirements and can be treated separately from other facilities. Growth of this subsector has been exceptional at almost 7% per year, average from 2002 to 2012.6

In 2013 this subsector there were 2,029 firms with more than 500 employees. These firms had 2,021 facilities, each of which had an average of 170 employees. It is estimated that 600 facilities will have over 300 employees.7 Considering that there will be at least an equal number of patients and visitors, it is expected that each of these facilities will ultimately need a large number of EV chargers.

Energy Star listed Hospital Source EUI as 390,000 BTU/square-foot-year.3

Based on several federally sponsored studies, there is clearly much potential for energy efficiency improvements among large hospitals. One study identified the potential for at least 50% improvement. [10]

Requirements for energy security will be very high at hospitals. They also will probably have emergency generation. However, the generation will generally not protect against local overloads caused by unanticipated EV charger loads. Thus each addition of chargers will require careful consideration of the maximum load that these could place on the hospitals distribution system, and possible mitigating work.

3.4.Computer and Electronic Product Manufacturing

This subsector (NAICS 334) is officially named as per the title of this subsection and had revenues of about $65 Billion per year in 2012, which was the first year that this subsector was monitored by the Census Bureau.6 Thus no growth figures are available, but it would not surprise me to see shrinkage due to the combined effects of Moore's Law and off-shoring.

Employment is about 857,000 and this subsector has 13,250 establishments. There are 126 firms with more than 5,000 employed, and these firms have 766 facilities and 340,800 employees, or 445 average employees per facility. It is estimated that 500 facilities will have more than 300 employees, which will be considered large by the standards of this subsector. Note that about 22% of the U.S. facilities and 21% of the U.S. employees are in California.7

3.5.Multi-Family Buildings (Apartment Lessors)

This industry, NAICS 53111, has $81 Billion per year revenue in 2012. Growth of this industry has been 4% per year, average, from 2002 to 2012.6 The distribution of apartment buildings (more than 20 apartments) are shown in the table below (top 13 states).


Apartment Buildings

New York




New Jersey






District of Columbia




New Hampshire


Rhode Island












Energy Star listed Multifamily Housing Source EUI as 128,000 BTU/square-foot-year.3

At some point all apartments will require chargers for both residents and visitors. Demand for these will be driven by the number of EVs in the overall inventory (see section 2.4). In addition metropolitan areas will have both a high percentage of apartments (vs. single-family homes) plus a higher percentage of EVs (vs. fossil-fueled vehicles -- see the bullets under section 2.3).

3.6.Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation

This sector (NAICS 71) has annual revenues around $201 Billion (2012). Growth has been 3.5% per year average (2002 to 2012).7

37.4% of the facilities in this sector are in high energy-cost states. Many of the industry groups in which we are interested need (to varying degrees) to be close to their customers and thus population centers.

The following industry groups in this sector have large-to very large facilities with a large number of customers:

  • Spectator Sports (7112, about $34 Billion/year, 2012): This industry-group is apparently where stadiums and arenas reside. These are certainly very large facilities that can use large amounts of energy. Note that this industry group includes racetracks (711212).
  • Museums, Historical Sites, and Similar Institutions (7121, $14 Billion/year, 2012): Museums can be quite large and energy-intensive.
  • Amusement Parks: (7131, $14 Billion per year, 2007). These are more widely distributed than the next group, and need to be close to their customers, and thus there will be a high percentage in metropolitan areas.
  • Gambling Industries (7132, $32 Billion/year, 2007): Note that this group includes casinos, but not casino-hotels which are covered below under accommodations (7211). These are somewhat localized, primarily in Las Vegas, Atlantic City. The former attracts a large percentage of customers from California, and the latter from the Northeast.
  • Other Amusement and Recreation Industries (7139, $59 Billion per year, 2007): This is a rather diverse group that includes golf courses, country clubs, ski facilities, Marinas, fitness/recreational sports centers, ice rinks and bowling facilities.

In 2013 there were 796 firms with more than 500 employees in this sector. These firms owned 7,126 facilities, each with an average of 112 employees, it is estimated that 1,000 of these facilities have more than 400 employees, and thus would be large by the standards of this sector.7

Energy Star listed Recreational Facilities Source EUI as 98,000 BTU/square-foot-year.3 All facilities listed in Energy Star's "Entertainment/Public Assembly" Category had low to very low EUI. Consider that many of the above facilities have limited hours in which they are in-use, and also many are outdoor facilities.

3.7.Accommodation and Food Services

This Sector (NAICS 72) is large at $610 Billion/year.6 The facilities of interest (see below) also tend to be distributed with a high concentration close to population centers, and also in resort areas.

Accommodation: This subsector (NAICS 721) is mainly hotels, hotel/casinos and similar facilities. Annual revenue is $195 Billion (2012). Growth has been 4% per year, average, from 2002 to 2012.6

In 2013 there were 611 firms with more than 500 employees. These had a total of 9,484 facilities, each with an average of 124 employees. It is estimated that 1.500 of these facilities each have more than 400 employees, making them large by the standards of this subsector.7

On average, America’s 47,000 hotels spend $2,196 per available room each year on energy. This represents about 6% of all operating costs.[11] On average there are 47,000 hotels and an average of 133 rooms per hotel for a total of 6.2 Million rooms, on which the hotels spend $14 billion on energy. This is 7.2% of revenues.

Many hotels already have a few chargers, and it is likely that these facilities will continue to add chargers, and even offer more high-power chargers as their cliental (and employees) require them.


Note that the federal government sources that keep many of the statistics used in this paper generally keep few statistics that are relevant to this analysis for federal or other government agencies.

Most government facilities need to be close to their constituency, although federal facilities also are concentrated in, and around DC (and each state’s facilities around their state-capital). Other facilities of interest that are not necessarily near population centers are noted in subsections below.

Many government agencies (especially in California) will be very early implementers for EVs and charging infrastructure.

The following government facilities are of interest.

3.8.1.Federal, State and Local Office Buildings and Office Campuses

Functionally these are no different than the commercial industry-groups reviewed in section 3.2, so there will be no separate discussion of energy use here. From a size standpoint, it would take more time to tabulate the number and size of these facilities than would be justified. It should suffice to say that, combined these are probably one of the largest facility-segments identified. Also the number of large facilities with many employees and clients will be very large.

3.8.2.Government Capitals and Civic Centers

These can be viewed as large campuses with many different functions, including:

  • Meeting facilities (senate chambers, city council chambers, and similar)
  • Offices
  • Dispatch centers
  • Official residences

These will have moderately-strong requirements for energy-security. They will also place a premium on the use of renewables, energy-efficiency, and energy-economy.

The number of large and very-large concentrations of facilities in this category is rather small and consists of:

  • U.S. National Capital in Washington DC
  • 50 state capitals
  • At least the 50 largest citys' civic centers (the 50th largest city, Wichita, KS, has a population of slightly fewer than 400,000).[12] Also, seven of these cities are in California.

3.8.3.Other Government Facilities

The following facilities are likely to have reasonably early adapters of chargers included, if other factors prompt this.

  • Municipal Parking Lots: many of these already have chargers, and these are likely to expand.
  • US Postal Service: The USPS is currently evaluating vehicles for their next generation delivery vehicles. Two of the five vehicles being considered are plug-in electric vehicles (including plug-in hybrids and range-extended-EVs).
  • National, state and regional parks and monuments: The larger of these facilities contain large parking lots, which should eventually have chargers added (see comments to section 3.1.1). Many parks also have many camping spaces, and some of these already have electrical hookups. Some of these should be upgraded to include chargers.
  • Airports: Most medium-to-large airports already have a few EV chargers, and some have many (see image below from Portland Airport). These are mainly in customer parking lots and employee parking lots. The number of these will be expanding, but there will not be a wholesale rush to high-power chargers.

4.Mitigating Impacts of Unanticipated Loads

Regardless of the function of a facility, there is always a need to attract the best employees. Providing free or low-cost EV charging is one employee-benefit that can be provided for little or no-cost by using some creative technology and investment. The following are methods that might be used by a facility to reduce the impacts of added EV chargers and high powered chargers:

Demand-shifting: In many metropolitan areas, a major component of electric energy costs are demand charges. These are generally related to the peak demand of a facility during each month. These vary seasonally, and are the highest during the peak-season (summer for most of the U.S.). For summer-peaking areas the demand charges are the highest in the afternoon and lower in the morning. By charging EVs completely in the morning when possible, this load’s impact on peak demand charges will be mitigated.

V2G enhanced demand shifting: Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G, a.k.a. EV-Grid Integration) allows electricity to flow to and from the EV in order to optimize overall electricity utilization and economics. This requires some technology-development in both the EVs and the chargers, but this is currently underway. Furthermore, since many EVs and chargers can accept software updates, it is reasonable to expect that limited V2G functionality can be added to both as standards develop.

V2G-enhanced demand shifting will also require an agreement between the EV-owners and the facility owner to allow limited use of the EVs’ electric storage to help offset the cost of charging. This might involve completely charging the EV during the morning in exchange for withdrawing a limited amount if its capacity (say 20% or 30%) in the afternoon to help offset the charging cost.

Demand-shifting-with-BESS: When utilities have three-tier demand charges in the peak demand season (typically in the summer) the lowest demand charges are typically in the late-night to early morning hours. By installing battery energy storage systems (BESS), energy can be captured from the grid during this period for use in EV charging (or any other facility load). BESS may be placed close to the chargers to mitigate facility distribution-network loading.

PV energy offsets: Photovoltaic (PV) panels can be used to offset the energy used for EV charging. Although any behind-the meter PV panels can provide this energy, PV parking lot covers can provide a unique synergy by offsetting the chargers demand near the chargers, potentially reducing stress on the facility electric distribution system. These also provide another benefit for employees – a shaded car for a cooler drive home when it is hot.

PV-optimized charging: The next step after “PV energy offsets” described in the prior paragraph is to add BESS, and an energy control system. Combined, the PV panels, BESS and an advanced facility energy control system provide the best economics for EV chargers (and potentially other facility loads). This can also facilitate the use of other dispatchable generation to augment or replace PV panels.


[1] Jeffrey Rissman, Head of Modeling & Energy Policy Expert at Energy Innovation and leads modeling efforts for Energy Policy Solutions, Forbes, "The Future of Electric Vehicles in The U.S…",

[2] Zachary Shahan, Clean Technica, "US Electric Car Sales By State", May 4th, 2017

[3] U.S. Energy Star Energy Manager Energy Use Intensity by Property Type, March 2016,

[5] Jeff Plungis, Consumer Reports, "6 Things to Know About the Electric Tesla Semi Truck", November 27, 2017,

[6] Gene, Teslarati, "Close-up look at the Tesla Semi “Megacharger” charging port", Nov 17, 2017,

[7] United States Census Bureau, Economic Census: Industry Snapshots, 2012,

[8] U.S. Census Bureau, 2013 SUSB Annual Datasets by Establishment Industry, U.S. & states, NAICS, detailed employment sizes (U.S., 6-digit and states, NAICS sectors),

[10] Eric Bonnema, Daniel Studer, Andrew Parker, Shanti Pless, and Paul Torcellini, NREL TP-550-47867 Large Hospital 50% Energy Savings Technical Support Document, September, 2010.

[11] Environmental Protection Agency, Energy STAR, “Hotels: An Overview of Energy Use

and Energy Efficiency Opportunities”,

[12] Wikipedia, List of United States cities by population.

william harris payne's picture
william harris payne on Feb 13, 2018

Google 'stop these things', 'energiewende 2017' 'pnm irp 2017' July 27, 2017. wind/solar scam/fraud?

John Benson's picture
Thank John for the Post!
Energy Central contributors share their experience and insights for the benefit of other Members (like you). Please show them your appreciation by leaving a comment, 'liking' this post, or following this Member.
More posts from this member

Get Published - Build a Following

The Energy Central Power Industry Network is based on one core idea - power industry professionals helping each other and advancing the industry by sharing and learning from each other.

If you have an experience or insight to share or have learned something from a conference or seminar, your peers and colleagues on Energy Central want to hear about it. It's also easy to share a link to an article you've liked or an industry resource that you think would be helpful.

                 Learn more about posting on Energy Central »