Unleash the Power of AC Charging at Home

Is installing AC charging at home for your electric vehicle worth it?

As the EVs integrate across Australia, it becomes increasingly important that our infrastructure develops to support widespread adoption. With so many public charging facilities available, almost every EV owner considers at one stage, “Should I install an AC charger at home?” or even, “is it worth it?”

We thought we would weigh up the costs and benefits, as well as the pros and cons, of installing Alternating Current (AC) charging at home. We will also delve into how solar power generation and ownership can impact the costs and further enhance the benefits of home charging.

Convenience and accessibility

Sometimes you don’t want to have to stop for an hour-long break to charge your EV, and that’s if you’re able to access a DC fast charger. Installing AC charging at home can save you hours waiting at the charging station, you can recharge overnight, knowing with full confidence you won’t have to stop to recharge at any point during your day. This convenience eliminates range anxiety and is hassle free.

Cost savings

Relying on home charging means you save on fuel expenses. By investing in an EV you’ve already slashed your fuel bill, but you can take it a step further by taking advantage of off-peak electricity rates to charge your vehicle. Electricity rates vary through the day and by charging your vehicle at night, usually between the hours of 10pm – 6am, (hours vary according to provider) you reduce the cost of charging your EV. 

Integration with solar power

If you haven’t read any of our articles on solar power before, you may not know that we are huge advocates of solar. Australia’s most abundant resource is most definitely sunshine, making Australian homes ideal for solar power. Combining a home solar system with AC charging allows you a clean and renewable energy source to power your home and your driving. Reducing your carbon footprint and potentially eliminating charging costs entirely is enticing enough, combined with advanced driving technology and we have a winning combination. 

AC charging at home solar power roof

Increased property value

Sales of electric vehicles in Australia have more than tripled in the first four months of 2023 alone. When we said the wave of EVs is moving across the country, we weren’t kidding. With sales of EVs only predicted to rise for the foreseeable future, installing an AC charger at home can increase the value of your home. EV adoption will continue to rise and potential buyers could see an AC charging system as a huge yes. Solar power and home AC charging can be seen as a forward thinking investment that can enhance the appeal to buyers. 

Installation costs

As we laid out, the long-term savings can be pretty significant for AC home charging. But you also have to consider the upfront installation costs, these can get pretty exxy. There’s a lot to consider here; how far is the system from the electrical panel? Do you need any electrical upgrades before installing? Is it a complex job? All of these things can play a factor in the upfront cost of an AC charger at home. Everyone knows a Sparky or knows someone who knows a reputable Sparky. An average cost to install an AC electricity charging system can be anywhere from $1,000-$3,000 – consult a certified electrician to get an honest opinion on the most cost effective and efficient way to install an AC charging system that’s right for your property. 

Energy consumption and bill impact

Charging at home will increase your electricity bill. It’s unavoidable. If you don’t take the above advice on using off-peak hours to charge your EV then you can expect to see an increase in your monthly power bill. Of course how much it increases depends on how you use your vehicle and the size of your battery. Some days you may simply forget to charge your vehicle overnight, it happens, and when it does you have to weigh up – will it be cheaper to charge at a public power station or during peak electricity hours at home?
We can’t say this enough – take advantage of off-peak hours. Set reminders on your phone every night or every second night if it helps. However, by taking advantage of lower rates and harnessing solar power, the overall impact on your bill can be managed or even offset.

Rental Properties

If you live in a rental property, installing an AC charger will probably be a lot more complicated. You would have to obtain permission from the property owner/management company, and you would of course try to negotiate sharing the cost of installation. The property owner may well be on board for installing an AC or solar system, future proofing the property. You would have to be comfortable with losing access to the system if you ever had to move. 

Like most things when we’re talking about EVs, if you’re willing to bear the upfront cost, the benefits far outweigh the costs. AC charging is a very compelling option for Australian EV owners, especially when paired with solar power. We installed two AC charging systems at the Australian Electric Motor Co. HQ that are powered from a solar system we installed on the roof. All of our vehicles run on completely clean electricity and we save massively on our power costs. One of our chargers is stationed out the front of our dealership, so if you’re ever in the Burleigh Heads area and want to stop in to see some motorcycles, have a chat and a charge, come and see us! Embrace the power of home charging, and join the electric revolution in Australia.

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