March 3, 2023

Bill requiring EV charging capabilities in new home construction advances

A bill that would require new homes to be built with the capability to charge electric vehicles and would require contractors to offer solar arrays for new homes passed the House Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee on a 7-4 vote on Thursday.

SB 77, sponsored by Sen. William Soules, D-Las Cruces, originally would have required new homes to have photovoltaic systems capable of supplying at least a portion of the electricity needs for the home. 

That provision was removed by amendment in the Senate Tax, Business and Transportation Committee on Feb. 20 while at the same time the committee added the requirement for electric vehicle charging. 

While the requirement to build the house with solar arrays was removed, the amendment did require that contractors offer it for all new home construction.

Rep. Meredith Dixon, D-Albuquerque, asked about the lifespan of a house and the difference in costs between building the house with charging capability versus upgrading later on. She said that the house will likely still be standing when manufactures are only producing electric vehicles.

Soules said it is significantly less expensive to install the electric vehicle charging unit during construction than it would be to rewire and upgrade an existing house to allow for electric vehicle charging.

The House Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee adopted an amendment that changes the bill’s implementation date from July 1, 2023 to Jan. 1, 2024.

The legislation now heads to the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee.