State utility regulators are struggling with how to track with submeters electricity used by plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicle drivers. The meters let them enjoy a separate and lower electric vehicle tariff during slack times on the grid. The effort comes as part of the state\u2019s drive to reduce greenhouse gases under its climate protection law, AB 32. A key strategy is to encourage a transition to electric vehicles that can be charged up with power produced by renewable resources, like wind and solar. A lower tariff for electricity used for vehicle charging could help encourage motorists to switch from gasoline-powered cars to electric vehicles. But without submeters, there is no way to measure the amount of electricity used for vehicle charging in buildings and bill it at a separate rate from other power usage. California Public Utilities Commission staff held a meeting aimed at advancing the process Jan. 8 amid disagreements between utilities and electric vehicle system providers. A group of companies want to install and operate charging stations in public buildings, multiple unit dwellings, and potentially even single family homes. Amid this complicated landscape of apartments, office buildings, single family homes, and commercial and industrial properties, according to agency energy regulatory analyst Adam Langton, the commission aims to develop a plan that does the following: -Minimizes the cost of submetering and billing for the electricity used to charge vehicles; -Allows vehicle charging to be billed under a separate tariff; -Allows multiple drivers and system providers to operate under a primary meter; and -Preserves the ability of utilities to shut off service when bills for power used to charge vehicles are not paid. Regulators are working with stakeholders to hash out a number of potential scenarios by this coming summer. Regulator\u2019s work comes as utilities project the number of plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles in Southern California alone is expected grow from about 8,300 today to as many as 217,000 by 2017, according to a report University of California, Los Angeles, released Jan. 7. * * * * * A group of federal agencies are riding to the rescue of the Navajo Generating Station, a coal-fired plant in Arizona at which the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power plans to end its ownership role as early as 2015 (Current, Oct. 12, 2012). Interior secretary Ken Salazar joined with Energy secretary Steven Chu and Environmental Protection Agency administrator Lisa Jackson in a Jan. 4 statement. They pledged to work to \u201censure that the critical roles that Navajo Generating Station currently plays are maintained into the future while we continue to take steps to lower emissions.\u201d LADWP owns 477 MW of the 2,250 MW coal plant. The muni\u2019s plan to pull out of the 1970s-era Navajo Generating Station comes as the plant faces potentially massive investments to meet new air pollution control requirements the federal Environmental Protection Agency is pursuing. Some of the new rules--put in place in 2012--require cuts in sulfur dioxide and particulate emissions. EPA promises to require cuts in nitrogen oxide emissions at the plant in a separate forthcoming regulation. The rules aim to prevent regional haze that obscures views, particularly at national parks like the Grand Canyon. The federal agencies are concerned that the plant remains viable--or that suitable replacement power is developed--because the Bureau of Reclamation uses about a quarter of its output to pump water from Lake Mead through the Central Arizona Project, which runs all the way from northern Arizona to Tucson in the southern part of the state. Cabinet members also stated they\u2019re concerned about the potential economic impacts of closing the plant on the Navajo Nation, Hopi, and other tribal groups. Navajo and Hopi, for instance, are employed running the plant and mining coal nearby to fuel it. Federal agencies are forming a working group to plan the future of the coal-fired plant.