Local Schools Plug In to Help Improve Air Quality in Their Communities
The five schools that make up the El Monte Union High School District are all less than 20 miles away from the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. On a good day, students and staff have a crisp, clear view of the local mountains. Too often, though, the mountains appear hazy, rather than clear as they should be, because of the smog.
Shawn Cun, energy manager at the El Monte district, believes it is important to find solutions that will improve air quality if the district is going to be a good steward of the community. Cun knew that electric vehicles help reduce air pollution and were becoming more popular. That’s one of the reasons El Monte Union partnered with Southern California Edison to install 39 electric vehicle charging stations spread out among its five schools — El Monte High, Rosemead High, Arroyo High, Mountain View High and South El Monte High.
The charging stations were installed through SCE’s Charge Ready pilot program. Through the program, SCE provided the electrical infrastructure for the charging stations as well as rebates to help the district pay for them.
“The installation of the charging stations has created a lot of excitement from our students, teachers and school staff. They are already in high demand,” said Cun. “On top of being able to provide our students, teachers and staff the opportunity to charge their EVs, having the charging stations also exposes EVs to more individuals in our community, including many who might not have had that exposure before.”
For now, the charging stations are for students, teachers and staff, but Cun hopes to be able to make them available for public use in the future.
While El Monte Union is the first school district to install EV charging stations through Charge Ready, they aren’t the only ones taking advantage of the program. The Los Angeles Unified School District, California State University, Fullerton, University of California, Irvine and the California State University Office of the Chancellor are all in various stages of installing EV charging stations.
“Putting charging stations at these schools is good for the students and teachers at these schools as well as the community,” said Katie Sloan, SCE principal manager of Product Development & Division Management, who oversees the program. “The lack of clean, healthy air can be a real problem in many communities and electrifying transportation is a great way to reduce air pollution.”
Through the Charge Ready program, more than 1,000 EV charging stations will be available to drivers across SCE’s service area. EV drivers will be able to plug in and charge at public parking lots, workplaces, hospitals, destination centers, and apartment and condominium complexes.
SCE is also helping make EVs more affordable through its Clean Fuel Rewards Program. The program offers SCE customers a $450 incentive that applies to new, used and leased vehicles. Unlike most EV rebate programs, second and third owners of a vehicle are also eligible for the payment.
These programs are just two ways SCE is working to support a cleaner energy future. SCE’s recently released proposal, “The Clean Power and Electrification Pathway,” lays out a clear path to reducing California’s greenhouse gas emissions and improving air quality, especially in vulnerable communities such as those along the I-710 corridors and around the ports.