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Why Smappee’s Updated Data Retention Policy is Excellent News

Why Smappee’s Updated Data Retention Policy is Excellent News

A parking lot indicating a Smappee commercial solution

Smappee has recently updated its data retention policy, reflecting its choice to retain data for longer time periods. Let’s see why this is a fantastic change for energy monitoring and management. And particularly so for Australia’s apartment blocks, businesses, and fleet EV charging applications.

How has Smappee data retention changed?

Smappee already retained data for decent lengths of time. Now, it will keep a more extensive archive for each user. For the Smappee Genius and Smappee Connect / Wi-Fi Connect, the changes in new data retention periods are as follows.

Data intervals:Data retention with old policy:Data retention with new policy:
5 Minute1 month6 months
Hourly3 months1 year
Daily1 year5 years
Monthly3 yearsUnlimited
YearlyUnlimitedUnlimited

Why is this change a great improvement?

This is a big step up in data retention, and it makes it easier to record and assess daily load profiles across all seasons. If you’re a facility manager, this can give you a clearer picture when you’re assessing available capacity for EV charging at the premises. You can use load profiles to:

  • Deliver the best possible charging service
  • Make the best possible use of solar panels and batteries
  • Plan better for future infrastructure, and
  • Minimise the impact on the electric grid.

More historical data simply means better decision making – whether you’re managing EV charging in strata properties, or for your business EV fleet.

A laptop showing energy consumption data using the Smappee platform, located at the Stone & Wood Brewing Co.
Stone & Wood Brewing Co in Byron Bay can easily access their energy and EV charging data to make savvy management decisions.

How Smappee Infinity helps

If you’re looking to make smart decisions about EV charging, the modular Smappee Infinity system puts you in charge when it comes to power monitoring and smart control. Here’s how.

For new EV infrastructure

Are you evaluating a building’s or premises’ capacity for EV charging infrastructure? It will really help to first build up an accurate assessment of the past 1-3 months of energy patterns. With Smappee Infinity, you can better understand how much capacity is left over after typical energy consumption is taken into account. You can also see whether an upgrade to the supply for the building would actually be required.

It typically costs less than $3,500 to have a Smappee Infinity system installed at the main switch board of your premises. Doing so could help you make smarter decisions about charging infrastructure, so this can be a relatively small (yet wise) investment.  

For existing EV infrastructure

Of course, if you’re using Smappee for a commercial or public setup then you’ll be using Smappee Infinity to monitor and manage EV charging. Real-time and historical data can be accessed from either your online dashboard or the smartphone app.

Depending on your setup, you can use your Smappee data over time to maintain overload protection and dynamic load balancing of the EV chargers. Smoother charging and better power management at your premises is good news for everyone.

Unsure about your next step for commercial EV charging?

You may be planning to install EV chargers for the first time, or wondering about the best way to go about upgrading. Vista Power Technologies can assist. We can help you build or develop the ideal EV charging system for your premises right across Australia. To get started, just get in touch with our team.


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8 Smappee-Compatible EV CPO Services in Australia  

8 Smappee-Compatible EV CPO Services in Australia  


It can feel like there are almost as many CPO services as there are EV chargers – so how do you choose the right option? You’ll no doubt want an easy way to manage EV billing and charging for your public site, business, strata apartment block or anywhere else you might have Smappee charging stations installed.

Keep reading for our roundup of the best Smappee-compatible CPO services available in Australia right now.

What is an EV CPO service?

A Charge Point Operator service, or CPO platform, is software that enables you to remotely manage and monetise multiple charging stations. Think of it as your EV back office system, where you can see information like status, power consumption and costs. Some platforms can help you to manage public EV charging, some help to manage EV fleet charging, and some can be used to manage multi-user accounts like those at strata properties.

A CPO service can also be referred to as an EV charging station management solution (CSMS) or charging management platform.

What criteria should a EV CPO service meet?

If your site is in Australia, it’s important to look for a CPO service that:

  • Is available and supported in Australia.
  • Supports the remote management of your specific electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE). For example, you may be looking for a CPO platform that’s compatible with the Smappee EV Wall or Smappee EV Base.
  • Suits your charging, billing and analytics purposes. Apartment blocks can have different needs to fleet charging.
  • Is compatible with the Open Charge Point Protocol 1.6 (OCPP 1.6) for integration.
  • Is intuitive to use on your smartphone or browser, and
  • Is approved for grants in your area, if you’re applying for any.

So based on the criteria above, here are eight leading options. Pricing guides were correct at the time of writing, but be sure to check directly with the provider for up-to-date pricing.

7 top CPO platforms in Australia you can use with Smappee

1. Chargefox

Suitable for: Public EV charging, shopping centres, retailers, councils, commercial fleets, apartment buildings.

Chargefox is Australia’s largest EV charging network, managing over 10,000 EV charge sessions a month. Not only do they have an intuitive app for drivers, but they also have software for charge point operators that enables real-time monitoring and remote management of charging stations. You can set dynamic pricing for on-peak and off-peak hours, and manage RFID cards across commercial fleets.

Chargefox is already being used to manage chargers at major shopping centres around the country and is set to be used for WA’s new 7,000km EV charging network. We’ve set up many solutions already using Smappee and Chargefox, so we know it’s a solid choice in Australia.

Pricing guide:

Chargefox offers a tiered pricing model, starting at $330 per annum per charge port for public subscription and $165.00 per annum per charge port for private subscription. Visit the website for a quote.

2. Noodoe EV OS

Suitable for: Public EV charging, commercial fleets, public fleets, resellers, hospitality, residential charging, retailers.

The Noodoe EV operating system is used across 14 countries, and the company has an office in Queensland as well as the US and Taiwan. Noodoe has a clean and modern interface for charge point operators, where you can see real-time snapshots of your charging stations and automate payment processing and smart scheduling.

Noodoe is structured with add-on microservices that you can use to meet your needs. For example:

  • Retailers could offer free charging voucher codes to attract EV drivers to local sales.
  • Building managers can customise their billing system to be prepaid or postpaid.
  • Hotels can create integrated membership systems with different rates for different users, or offer charging codes to guests or VIPs.
  • CPOs can enable Load Management to ideally balance multiple chargers without needing electrical upgrades.

Another great feature is Noodoe’s smart alert and self-recovery system, which helps provide peace of mind about your charging points.

Pricing guide:

Pricing begins at $149.99 per annum per charge port, plus a percentage of each public transaction. You can visit the website to book a demo and request a quote.

3. Charge N Go

Suitable for: Public EV chargers, shopping centres, retailers, councils, commercial fleets, apartment buildings.

Charge N Go EVNet provides a solution for private, shared and commercial charger management. Its modular structure means it can be customised to suit your application, whether you’re managing charging stations at a shopping centre or within a strata property. This platform is feature-rich with automated billing and payments, load management, API integration and flexible user management. You can also gain insights into your charging management through usage, costing and charging session analysis.

The Charge N Go platform has been used for clients including Knight Frank, apartment blocks and condominiums, and the Lumi rideshare service.

Pricing guide:

Charge N Go’s platform fee is $275.00 platform fee per annum per connector for Public EV charging. For apartments and business use, enquire about the community package at $225 per annum per connector. There’s a management fee of $0.10 per kWh, and an optional 4G data package is also available.

4. GreenFlux

Suitable for: Public EV chargers, shopping centres, retailers, commercial fleets.

Headquartered in the Netherlands, GreenFlux has been around for over a decade and is used across five continents. GreenFlux’s CPO software is a solid option for smart EV charging, so you can have multiple cars charging simultaneously without overloading the grid. You can also use GreenFlux to easily handle reimbursement billing for employees, wholesale billing to other CPOs, and retail billing complete with invoices for customers.

With APIs and a white label option for their Charge Assist app, GreenFlux is flexible enough to suit a range of different EV charging needs.

Pricing guide:

GreenFlux pricing depends on the solution you require – visit the GreenFlux website for a demo and tailored pricing.

5. Charge Hub

Suitable for: Public charging, electric bus fleets, electric forklift fleets, solar carports, apartment buildings.

Charge Hub is a locally supported CPO software option, with a base in Brisbane and coverage across Australia and New Zealand. Charge Hub promises up-time availability of 99.9%, together with dynamic load management and options for fixed or dynamic tariffs.

Charge Hub gives you options for payment management, so you can choose pay-as-you-go or invoice driver accounts collectively at the end of the month. You can also set different prices for different groups of users, which is useful if you want to offer free charging for staff while charging the general public at the same station. It’s easy to see data such as time spent charging, per kWh used and idle time.

Pricing guide:

Charge Hub has tiered pricing, starting at $280+GST per annum per charge port for public access and $180+GST per annum per charge port for semi-public access. Visit the website to arrange a quote.

6. Chargebay

Suitable for: Public EV charging, commercial fleets, public fleets, apartments, retailers.

Chargebay offers a comprehensive EV billing and management platform. You can set flexible pricing modes across different customer groups based on a flat rate per charge, charging or waiting time, location, or by other criteria. Or, you might prefer to simply maintain reporting and access control for a fleet at a lower rate without the bells and whistles. Chargebay supports dynamic load balancing to help you get the best out of your existing EV charging setup (and rooftop solar systems, if applicable), and reporting makes it easy to keep an eye on what’s happening with your charging points.  

Chargebay also offers 24/7 customer support, with physical locations in WA and Victoria.

Pricing guide:

Chargebay offers tiered pricing plans based on one year and two year subscriptions, with the ability to choose from Reporting and Access Control only or Paid Charging Sessions depending on how you plan to manage and monetise your chargers. Visit the website to request a quote.

7. WeVolt

Suitable for: Individuals and businesses wanting to monetise their charging stations with a simple solution, including strata buildings.

WeVolt is a homegrown startup originating in Perth, Western Australia. WeVolt launched in August 2023 so it’s still early days, but the platform allows individuals and businesses to manage and receive real-time payments from their EV charging stations. You can use the fresh-looking app, or log into the browser-based platform to see electricity usage and payment details. WeVolt seems well suited for those wanting a simple solution without complex management features, though the company is able to set up custom solutions for large networks.

Pricing guide:

WeVolt has a tiered pricing plan for those with single chargers, multiple chargers and at the enterprise level. The best way is to get in touch for pricing via the website.

8. CasaCharge

Suitable for: Home EV charging, apartment charging, public charging and fleet charging.

CasaCharge is another Australian CPO solution compatible with Smappee EV chargers, which promises lower operating costs with its billing and load management service. It’s simple to log in and view usage statistics, sessions in progress and manage RFID cards. Phone and email support is local to Sydney, so you’re never on your own.

Pricing guide:

Visit the CasaCharge website to request a quote and get further details on pricing.

If you provide a Smappee-compatible CPO service in Australia that’s not yet listed, please get in touch so we can add your service!

Which CPO services are approved for the NSW EV Destination Charging Grant and WA Charge Up Grant?

WA and NSW currently have grant schemes in place to co-fund the cost of EV charging infrastructure in these states. In order to be eligible for either, you’ll need to choose approved charging EV chargers and EV charger software. You can check the individual lists below.

Approved list for the NSW EV Destination Charging Grant >

Approved list for the WA Charge Up Workplace Grant >

Vista Power Technologies is an approved provider for both the WA and NSW grants, and can help with both private and public subscriptions. If you’re looking for the right EV charging solution for your site, we can help you. Contact us today to get started.


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EV Charger Installation Costs in Australia: Homeowner’s Guide

EV Charger Installation Costs in Australia: Homeowner’s Guide


How much does it cost to install an EV charging station in Australia? If you’re one of the many people looking to buy an electric vehicle, you’ll of course be looking for the best solution to charge your car at home – and how much to budget for this.

The costs to add a charging station at your home will include two key categories. These are:

  1. The cost of the charging station hardware itself, and
  2. The cost of installation by a licensed electrician.

So let’s take a closer look at both of these factors.

Cost factor 1: The EV charging hardware

Prices for home EV chargers can vary quite a lot depending on features (or lack of), but the better quality systems begin at around $1,500-2,000. There are two useful features to look for when choosing a home charger.

The first is dynamic load balancing, which can protect your home from blown fuses and overloading. The second is smart charging, which lets you optimise for off-peak rates and solar charging. Smart charging involves a little extra setup, however it can have several benefits. As one example the Smappee EV Wall can support charging that’s up to 6x cheaper, and you can set charging times to suit your preferences.

Quality matters

It’s also really important to choose a quality brand, because these products will be more durable, reliable and intuitive to use. Usability is definitely worth thinking about when you’re using the system every day. We choose to supply the Smappee brand because its EV line is developed in Europe, ticks all the boxes above and has a user-friendly smartphone app for easy management.

  • smappee EV Wall with Type-2 Socket or 8m Cable
    Smappee EV Wall Home – Smart EV Charger
    Product on sale
    $1,720.00$2,475.00 Incl. GST

Cost factor 2: The installation costs

Home EV charging station installation costs can run anywhere from around $700 for simple systems, into potentially thousands for complex installations. The first thing to consider is whether your electrical supply supports:

  • Single-phase charging of up to 7kW, which runs off standard 240-volt power. This is known as Level 2 charging, and many of the major EV manufacturers recommend this as a minimum level. Or,
  • Three-phase charging, which can charge at a rate of up to 22kW. Depending on your choice of EV, you can potentially charge up to three times faster if your home has three-phase power. However, take note that the AC charging limit is usually set by the car rather than the charger. Many EVs are set to a maximum of 11kW AC charging only.

Installation costs can vary depending on your current power system and if you plan to upgrade (where possible).

How can I tell if I have single or three-phase power?

The easiest way to tell if you have single or three-phase power is to look at the main circuit breaker of your switchboard. Single-phase households will have a single-pole breaker. Meanwhile, three-phase households will have a three-pole breaker. Most residential homes in Australia will have single-phase power.

Installation costs will also depend on how close the switchboard is to the installation point.

Some install cost examples

Where the switchboard and charging station are on either side of a wall, you might expect installation costs of around $600 for single-phase power and $800 for three-phase power.

If yours is a single-storey home with accessible roof space and installation up to 15 metres from the switchboard, you may be looking at installation costs of around $750-990 for single-phase power and $950-1300 for three-phase power.

And if yours is a double-storey home where the cable needs to be run from one side of the house to the other (known as up and over), this tends to add around $400-800 to the installation cost.

Of course, the numbers above are ballpark figures. Costs will vary based on your location and local trades.

Your installer will work with you to find the best location for your property and budget.

Other considerations for installation costs

You may also need to factor more into your installation budget in the following cases:

  • If monitoring equipment and/or extra communications cabling needs to be installed for smart charging features
  • If any trenching is required
  • If your switchboard doesn’t have enough spaces
  • If the EV charger requires a type-B RCD installed. It’s worth noting that many chargers include type-B or 6mA earth leakage protection. Or,
  • If you plan to upgrade to three-phase power.

To sum up

Although there can be some initial setup costs for home EV charging, you could soon be enjoying very low running costs for every kilometre you drive. The savings over time speak for themselves!

Get a quote for EV charger installation costs

Want to get pricing for your own home? Vista Power Technologies is the ideal first point of contact for EV charging at home. Our Melbourne team can ask the right questions and tailor a setup and quote to suit your needs without obligation. Contact us to today for pricing and advice, right across Australia.


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Chargefox Works Great with Smappee Public EV Charging Stations

Smappee EV Base Public Charging Stations

Chargefox Works Great with Smappee Public EV Charging Stations


Are you looking for a way to offer public EV charging stations from your business or council site in Australia?

Chargefox and Smappee could be your answer. Here’s all you need to know to get started, including information on relevant grants and FAQs.

First up, what is Chargefox?

Chargefox is Australia’s largest EV charging network, with over 1400 charging stations across the country (and counting). Drivers can use the Chargefox app to find paid and free charging stations nearby, and easily manage charging sessions from their phone.

Electric vehicle drivers can find their closest charging point using Chargefox.

Download the Chargefox app

play-store
app-store

If you’re a site owner, Chargefox also makes public EV charging and billing management really simple.

The other important element to consider is the EV charger itself, and that’s where the Smappee EV line of products comes in.

What is the Smappee EV line?

Smappee EV charging stations are available in either a wall or pedestal-mounted style. They look great, are built to last and have the features for stress-free hosting, including dynamic load balancing and overload protection.

Drivers can simply pull up to the charging station and use the Chargefox app to start their session.

Dynamic load balancing helps to automatically optimise energy flow between charge points, renewable energy sources like solar panels or batteries, and the power grid.

Determining charging level

There are Smappee EV charging systems to suit both Level 2 (from a 240-volt power source) and Level 3 (direct current) charging on commercial sites. Level 3 charging can charge EV batteries at a rapid rate, providing around 100-200km of range in around 30 minutes. Naturally, faster charging speeds can act as a drawcard for customers and visitors.

Here at VPT we’ve been busy installing charging stations around the country that are intuitive for both drivers and site owners.

We recently supplied these Smappee EV Base stations for Stone and Wood Brewery in Byron Bay. As you can see the stations are low profile, and simple to use with the Chargefox app. Read the details

“We chose to source the smappee devices as they are a very aesthetic design and are purported to be some of the most trustworthy devices on the market. Just as we try and source the highest quality ingredients for our beer, same goes with EV chargers! These beauts are a real addition to our car park – we cant wait to see our punters plugged in while having a meal and a schooner. Thanks to Vista and the NSW government grant’s department for supporting us to make this happen!”

Jahdon Quinlan – Sustainability Leader – Stone and Wood

Making the Most of Public EV Charging Grants

For businesses, public EV charging can be a great way of generating revenue, attracting customers and rewarding staff. For councils, it’s a way to support residents as well as clean energy initiatives. And depending on your location – you may not even need to cover full costs yourself!

Now’s a great time to take advantage of various charging grants available around the country, including the: 

Stay tuned for new grants too, as additional schemes are being announced all the time as EV ownership grows in Australia.

We recently helped Port Macquarie Hastings Council install several Smappee charging stations. The council received funding from a NSW Destination Charging grant.

“The Smappee EV charger was a cost-competitive dual-port pedestal unit made of corrosion-resistant aluminium, ideal for our coastal location. They are aesthetically pleasing and should ensure long-term safety for public use”

Gavin Hughes – Sustainability Coordinator – Port Macquarie Hastings Council

FAQs About Commercial EV Charging

We know the process of setting up public charging stations can be somewhat mystifying. Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked queries.

What does an EV charging setup cost?

This of course will depend on where your site is, electrical requirements and any grants you have access to. It can be relatively simple to retrofit a Smappee solution at your site.

Vista Power Technologies can help councils, retailers, developers, shopping centres and other entities set up reliable charging stations. We’d be happy to provide a tailored, obligation-free quote based on your needs.

Can I offer free charging with a Smappee charging station?

Absolutely – offering free charging can be a great way to attract visitors and customers to your site.

Will I need to provide all the different EV charging plugs?

The Smappee Base and Smappee Wall stations can be ordered either with an 8m lead with Type 2 plug, or the Type 2 socket.

Type 2 sockets are universal and compatible with all current EVs in the market. Many EV drivers carry a portable charging cable in their vehicle that will connect to the Type 2 socket.

You’re not alone if you find the different socket and cable types confusing, but our team can help you select the best option for your site.

Can Teslas charge with Smappee and Chargefox?

Yes – you can read all about charging with Teslas over on the Chargefox website.

Get a quote for public EV charging on your site

It can be tricky to know where to start when it comes to installing a public charging station, but we’re here to help at Vista Power Technologies. Contact us to get started – wherever your site or sites are in Australia.


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Maximise Savings for Uber & Fleet Drivers with EVs & Smart Chargers

ev charger smappee charging on a backyard

Maximise Savings for Uber & Fleet Drivers with EVs & Smart Chargers


Commercial drivers, such as Uber or taxi drivers, can significantly benefit from switching to an electric vehicle (EV) and using smart chargers. These drivers typically cover more kilometers than the average driver, amplifying the potential savings on fuel costs. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of switching to an EV, using a smart charger like the Smappee EV Wall available at vpt.com.au, and incorporating solar energy into the charging process.

The Benefits of Switching to an Electric Vehicle for Uber

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, commercial drivers can drive over 50,000 km per year, which is nearly four times the average driver’s distance. By switching to an electric vehicle, the driver can save between 60% and 100% per year on fuel costs.

Summary Table

SituationYearly SpendSavings Compared to Gasoline
Gasoline Vehicle$7,500$0
Electric Vehicle (Normal Charging)$2,038.40$5,461.60
Electric Vehicle (Smart Charging)$728$6,772
Electric Vehicle (Solar Energy)$0$7,500
EV Smart charger savings

Gasoline to Normal EV Charger for an Uber driver

Assuming a normal uber driver covers 50,000 km per year with an average fuel efficiency of 10L/100km and a fuel cost of $1.50/L, a commercial driver would spend approximately $7,500 per year on gasoline.

Electric vehicles can significantly reduce these fuel costs. According to Energy Australia, the average electricity rate in Australia is around 28 cents per kWh. If a commercial driver charges their EV for eight hours per day, five days a week using a regular charger, they would have a weekly charging cost of around $39.20 or $2,038.40 per year.

Yearly spend: $2,038.40

Savings compared to gasoline: $5,461.60

Upgrading to a Smart Charger

Smart chargers, like the Smappee EV Wall, can further reduce charging costs by optimizing charging times to take advantage of lower electricity rates. By using a smart charger and charging during off-peak hours (11 pm to 7 am) at a reduced rate of 10 cents per kWh, the weekly charging cost drops to approximately $14, or $728 per year.

Yearly spend: $728

Savings compared to normal EV charging: $1,310.40

Savings compared to gasoline: $6,772

  • smappee EV Wall with Type-2 Socket or 8m Cable
    Smappee EV Wall Home – Smart EV Charger
    Product on sale
    $1,720.00$2,475.00 Incl. GST
  • EV Wall Business with Type-2 Socket or 5m Cable
    Smappee EV Wall Business – EV Charging Station
    Price On Application

Adding Solar Energy to your dirving business

Incorporating solar energy into the charging process can further reduce charging costs. Assuming a 6 kW solar panel system costing $21,000 can generate around 24 kWh per day or 168 kWh per week, the investment in solar panels can pay off over time.

Let’s assume that after charging the EV, there is an extra 48 kWh of solar energy per week (the difference between the 168 kWh generated weekly and the 120 kWh used for charging the EV).

48 kWh/week * 52 weeks = 2,496 kWh/year

If the excess energy can be sold back to the grid or used for other purposes at a rate of 28 cents per kWh (the average electricity rate in Australia), then the extra savings would be:

2,496 kWh/year * $0.27/kWh = $699.68/year

Lets take 611 as a more conservative number as explained below

Charging an EV for eight hours per day, five days a week using solar energy would save approximately $25.76 per week or $1,339.52 per year. This means that we are generating even more energy than we need to charge our EV, taking our charging expenses to 0, and generating an extra $611 per year.

Yearly spend: $0

Savings compared to smart charging: $728

Savings compared to gasoline: $7,500

Extra Savings Generated : $611

In conclusion, commercial drivers who invest in an electric vehicle and an EV wall smart charger, like the Smappee EV Wall available at vpt.com.au, can enjoy substantial savings on their operational costs. By leveraging the NT grant, smart charging, and solar energy, these drivers can minimize their charging expenses, making the transition to electric vehicles an economically sound decision.

Should I Invest in a Solar Panel System if I am an Uber Driver?

If you are an uber driver and you are evaluating the investment over 5, 10, and 20 years:

EV charging Savings

  • 5 years: $3,640 saved on charging costs, $17,360.0 remaining to recover the initial solar panel investment
  • 10 years: $7,280 saved on charging costs, $13,720 remaining to recover the initial solar panel investment
  • 20 years: $1,456 saved on charging costs, $6,440 remaining to recover the initial solar panel investment

Overall Savings

  • 5 years: $6,697.60 saved on charging costs and extra energy generated, $14,302.40 remaining to recover the initial solar panel investment
  • 10 years: $13,395.20 saved on charging costs and extra energy generated, $7,604.80 remaining to recover the initial solar panel investment
  • 20 years: $26,790.40 saved on charging costs and extra energy generated, fully recovered the initial solar panel investment and an additional $5,790.40 saved

By combining a smart charger with a solar panel system, a commercial driver can significantly reduce their charging costs and save even more money.

Summary Table

TimeframeEV Charging SavingsOverall Savings (Including Extra Energy)Remaining Amount to Recover Initial Solar Panel Investment
5 years$3,640$6,697.60$14,302.40
10 years$7,280$13,395.20$7,604.80
20 years$14,560$26,790.40$0 (additional savings of $5,790.40)

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The Ultimate Guide to Electric Vehicle Charging Stations in Australia

smart ev charger home fleet 20

The Ultimate Guide to Electric Vehicle Charging Stations in Australia

As the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) continues to grow in Australia, the demand for accessible and reliable EV charging stations has never been higher. This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know about electric vehicle charging stations in the land Down Under, from the different types of stations available to their locations and benefits.

A Quick Overview of Electric Vehicle Charging

Before diving into the details, let’s first establish a basic understanding of electric vehicle charging. EV charging stations, sometimes referred to as Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE), provide the necessary power to charge an electric vehicle’s battery. Charging stations can be found in various public locations, as well as installed at homes and workplaces.

There are three primary levels of EV charging:

  1. Level 1 Charging: This is the slowest form of charging, using a standard 120-volt household outlet. It provides about 3-6 kilometers of range per hour of charging.
  2. Level 2 Charging: This method uses a 240-volt power source and is the most common type of charging for homes and public locations. Level 2 charging provides approximately 20-30 kilometers of range per hour of charging.
  3. DC Fast Charging: Also known as Level 3 charging, this method uses direct current (DC) to charge EV batteries at a much faster rate, providing around 100-200 kilometers of range in just 30 minutes.

Now that we have a basic understanding of EV charging let’s dive into the world of charging stations in Australia.

Types of Charging Stations in Australia

There are several types of charging stations available in Australia to cater to the diverse needs of EV owners. Here are the most common types:

  1. Public Charging Stations: These stations are located in various public areas such as shopping centers, parking lots, and highway rest stops. They often provide Level 2 and DC Fast Charging options to accommodate a wide range of electric vehicles.
  2. Destination Charging Stations: These stations are typically installed at popular destinations like hotels, restaurants, and tourist attractions. They provide EV owners with a convenient way to recharge their vehicles while enjoying their visit. Smappee EV charging stations, for example, have been installed at the Stone and Wood Brewery in Byron Bay (see Project), offering visitors a unique and sustainable charging experience.
  3. Home Charging Stations: Home charging stations are designed for private use and are typically installed in a garage or driveway. They offer Level 1 or Level 2 charging and allow EV owners to charge their vehicles overnight or during off-peak hours.

Charging Networks in Australia

Several charging networks operate throughout Australia, providing EV owners with a seamless charging experience. Some of the most popular networks include:

  1. Chargefox: Chargefox is Australia’s largest EV charging network, with over 1,000 charging stations across the country. Their network offers a mix of Level 2 and DC Fast Charging stations, allowing EV owners to charge their vehicles quickly and conveniently. Chargefox has also integrated with Smappee chargers, offering a smart and efficient charging solution.
  2. Tesla Superchargers: Specifically designed for Tesla vehicles, the Tesla Supercharger network provides fast and reliable charging for Tesla owners. These stations are strategically located along major routes, enabling long-distance travel with minimal charging stops.
  3. ChargePoint: ChargePoint is another popular charging network in Australia, offering a variety of charging options, including Level 2 and DC Fast Charging stations.

Benefits of Using Public Charging Infrastructure

Utilizing public charging infrastructure offers numerous benefits for EV owners:

  1. Convenience: Public charging stations are strategically located to provide easy access for EV owners, making charging on-the-go a hassle-free experience.
  2. Speed: Speed is another significant benefit of public charging infrastructure. With Level 2 and DC Fast Charging stations readily available, EV owners can recharge their vehicles much faster than relying solely on Level 1 charging at home.
  3. Accesibility: As the number of public charging stations continues to grow, EV owners will have more options for charging their vehicles, no matter where they travel within Australia.
  1. Sustainability: By using public charging infrastructure, EV owners are actively contributing to a greener, more sustainable future by reducing their reliance on fossil fuels.

How to Find Charging Stations in Australia

Locating charging stations in Australia has never been easier, thanks to various apps and websites designed to help EV owners find the nearest charging point. Some popular options include:

  1. PlugShare: PlugShare is a comprehensive global database of EV charging stations, with a user-friendly app and website that allow you to search for charging points based on your location or route.
  2. Chargefox App: The Chargefox app enables you to find charging stations within their network, providing real-time information on station availability and charging status.
  3. Tesla’s In-car Navigation: For Tesla owners, the in-car navigation system automatically calculates the most convenient charging stops based on your destination and remaining battery life.

Smappee Chargers: Smart Charging for a Better EV Experience

Smappee’s line of smart chargers, including the Smappee EV Wall, offer a superior charging experience for EV owners. With features such as load balancing, energy monitoring, and integration with solar power systems, Smappee chargers ensure efficient and eco-friendly charging.

In addition, Smappee chargers are compatible with various electric vehicle models, including popular options like the BYO Atto 3, Tesla, and Nissan Leaf. By choosing a Smappee charger, you’re not only investing in a smarter charging solution but also contributing to a more sustainable future.

In Conclusion

Australia’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure is rapidly expanding, offering EV owners more options and convenience than ever before. By understanding the different types of charging stations, the popular charging networks, and the benefits of using public charging infrastructure, you can make the most of your electric vehicle experience. And with innovative charging solutions like Smappee chargers, you can ensure that your EV charging is efficient, sustainable, and smart.

So, go ahead and explore the world of electric vehicle charging stations in Australia and join the growing community of eco-conscious drivers. The future of transportation is electric, and it’s never been easier to be a part of it!


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Choosing the Right Smappee EV Wall Charger

Smappee EV Charging at Smappee HQ

Finding the Right EV Wall Charger: Tips and Advice

When it comes to charging your electric vehicle (EV), selecting the appropriate Smappee EV Wall charger is essential for a smooth and efficient charging experience. With various options available, making the right choice can be overwhelming. In this article, we will guide you through the process of choosing the perfect Smappee EV Wall charger for your specific needs, while considering important factors such as outlet type, power supply, and compatibility with your vehicle.

Compatibility with Your Electric Vehicle

It’s crucial to ensure that the Smappee EV Wall charger you choose is compatible with your specific electric vehicle and matches your charging preferences. For example, the BYO Atto 3, Tesla models, and the popular Nissan Leaf in Australia all require a Type 2 charging connector, making the Smappee EV Wall chargers with Type 2 options suitable for these vehicles.

byd ev smart wall charger smappee

EV Power Supply: Single Phase 240V or Three Phase 415V?

When deciding between a single-phase or a three-phase charger, consider the charging capabilities of your EV and your daily charging needs. We have to start by considering the power supply.

EV charger Single Phase 240V

Single-phase chargers, like the Smappee EV Wall 7.4kW Single Phase charger, are generally suitable for residential use and small businesses with lower power demands. They can charge most electric vehicles overnight and offer a cost-effective solution for EV owners who do not require rapid charging capabilities.
However, if you require faster charging times or have multiple EVs to charge, a three-phase charger like the Smappee EV Wall 22kW Three Phase charger may be more suitable.

EV charger Three Phase 415V

Three phase 415V chargers are designed for commercial properties, fleet operators, and EV owners with higher power demands. These chargers provide faster charging times and are better suited for locations with multiple EV users or where rapid charging is essential. The Smappee EV Wall 22kW Three Phase charger is an ideal choice for those who require a more powerful charging solution.

Outlet Type: Socket or Lead?

As for choosing between a socket or a lead charger, it largely depends on your convenience and personal preference. A socket charger allows you to plug in your own charging cable, offering more flexibility if you have different EVs with varying connector types. On the other hand, a lead charger comes with a fixed cable, making it easier to plug and charge without the need to carry around a separate cable.

There are two main outlet types to consider when selecting your Smappee EV Wall charger: socket or lead.

Socket / Type 2

A socket Type 2 charger requires the user to plug in their own charging cable, which is connected between the charging station and the vehicle. This option is ideal for residential EV owners and small businesses with a lower demand for power, who own vehicles compatible with Type 2 charging connectors.

Explore the Smappee EV Wall 7.4kW Single Phase charger with Type 2 Socket and Smappee EV Wall 22kW Three Phase charger with Type 2 Socket for these requirements.

Lead / Type 2

A plug Type 2 charger comes with a dedicated charging cable attached to the station, eliminating the need for users to carry their own charging cable. This option is perfect for those who prefer a more user-friendly and convenient charging solution, whether at home or in a commercial setting. Check out the Smappee EV Wall 7.4kW Single Phase charger with 8m Type 2 Lead and Smappee EV Wall 22kW Three Phase charger with 8m Type 2 Lead for this configuration.

Conclusion

Choosing the right charging solution is essential for a seamless and efficient EV charging experience. By considering factors such as outlet type, power supply, and compatibility with your vehicle, you can select the perfect charging solution tailored to your specific needs. Our Smappee EV Wall charger collection offers a range of options designed to accommodate various requirements, ensuring that every EV owner can find the ideal charger for their situation.

Visit our website at vpt.com.au to explore our full range of Smappee EV charging solutions, to make an informed decision that best suits your needs.

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$20 Million in EV Charging Grants for Regional NSW

Smappee EV Base Surrounded by Sunflowers

$20 Million in EV Charging Grants for Regional NSW


Looking for a way to attract more visitors to your region, and encourage them to linger longer? A new NSW grant could help you do just that. The NSW Government is investing $20 million to co-fund the purchase and installation of EV chargers, to support eligible regional NSW destinations.

Installing EV chargers could be a great way of driving tourism and business growth – so here are the must-know details.

What exactly are the NSW Destination Charging Grants?

These grants are part of a larger strategy by the NSW Government to help grow the electric vehicle (EV) charging network while supporting regional areas. Grants will range from $2,000 to $40,000 per site and provide:

  • 75% towards the cost of an eligible 7 kW and/or 22 kW electric vehicle charger(s) 
  • 75% towards the cost of installation (capped at $1,000 per charger) 
  • 50% towards a 2-year EV charger software subscription from the EV charger software list.

Why consider applying?

There are a bunch of great reasons to consider applying. A grant could help to:

  • Attract new visitors to your site and local area
  • Encourage visitors to stay longer and explore what the region has to offer
  • Enhance the visitor experience
  • Bring in business from wider promotions and EV trail maps
  • Foster growth within the local economy, and
  • Support lower carbon emissions.

Think there’s only a limited market for EV drivers? Think again.

The NSW Electric Vehicle Strategy aims to increase EV sales to 52% of all new car sales by 2030-31, and the vast majority of new car sales by 2035.


Who’s eligible?

A range of regional destination types throughout regional NSW may be eligible for the grants, including visitor information centres, cafés and restaurants, hotels and motels, holiday parks, galleries, museums and attractions.

Your site will need to be located in an eligible regional local government area (LGA). There’s a large list of eligible LGAs ranging from Albury City Council through to Yass Valley Council.

There are other eligibility requirements too, which you can find in the charging grant guidelines.

Albury City CouncilArmidale Regional Council
Ballina Shire CouncilBalranald Shire Council
Bathurst Regional CouncilBega Valley Shire Council
Bellingen Shire CouncilBerrigan Shire Council
Bland Shire CouncilBlayney Shire Council
Blue Mountains City CouncilBogan Shire Council
Bourke Shire CouncilBrewarrina Shire Council
Broken Hill City CouncilByron Shire Council
Cabonne CouncilCarrathool Shire Council
Central Coast CouncilCentral Darling Shire Council
Cessnock City CouncilClarence Valley Council
Cobar Shire CouncilCoffs Harbour City Council
Coolamon Shire CouncilCoonamble Shire Council
Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional CouncilCowra Shire Council
Dubbo Regional CouncilDungog Shire Council
Edward River CouncilEurobodalla Shire Council
Federation CouncilForbes Shire Council
Gilgandra Shire CouncilGlen Innes Severn Council
Goulburn Mulwaree CouncilGreater Hume Shire Council
Griffith City CouncilGunnedah Shire Council
Gwydir Shire CouncilHay Shire Council
Hilltops CouncilInverell Shire Council
Junee Shire CouncilKempsey Shire Council
Kiama Municipal CouncilKyogle Council
Lachlan Shire CouncilLake Macquarie City Council
Leeton Shire CouncilLismore City Council
Lithgow City CouncilLiverpool Plains Shire Council
Lockhart Shire CouncilLord Howe Island (Unincorporated Area)
Maitland City CouncilMid-Coast Council
Mid-Western Regional CouncilMoree Plains Shire Council
Murray River CouncilMurrumbidgee Council
Muswellbrook Shire CouncilNambucca Valley Council
Narrabri Shire CouncilNarrandera Shire Council
Narromine Shire CouncilOberon Council
Orange City CouncilParkes Shire Council
Port Macquarie-Hastings CouncilPort Stephens Council
Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional CouncilRichmond Valley Council
Shellharbour City CouncilShoalhaven City Council
Singleton CouncilSnowy Monaro Regional Council
Snowy Valleys CouncilTamworth Regional Council
Temora Shire CouncilTenterfield Shire Council
Tweed Shire CouncilUnincorporated Far West
Upper Hunter Shire CouncilUpper Lachlan Shire Council
Uralla Shire CouncilWagga Wagga City Council
Walcha CouncilWalgett Shire Council
Warren Shire CouncilWarrumbungle Shire Council
Weddin Shire CouncilWentworth Shire Council
Wingecarribee Shire CouncilYass Valley Council

How do I find the right products?

There’s a handy list of EV chargers and EV charger software that are approved for the grant applications. The right product and software for your site may depend on specific factors such as power supply to your site, where the car park/s are to be situated, and the style you’re looking for.

Good to know:

Here at VPT we supply and install the Smappee EV Wall (wall-mounted) and Smappee EV Base (pedestal-mounted) charging stations, which are both approved for the NSW Destination Charging Grants. As well as being feature-packed, these chargers also have a minimalistic style which ties in well with modern, classic and heritage buildings.

Smappee EV Charging Strata Car Park
Left to right – Smappee’s EV Wall, EV Base, and EV Base Ultra (DC)

You’ll need to obtain a commercial quote for your chosen EV charger to include with your grant application. We’d be happy to provide site-specific guidance and an obligation-free quote to help you with this process.

What about billing software…

We can also support charger management and consumer billing with our very own VistaCharge app. You can check it out at vistacharge-app.com.au. Also available for your Android or IOS.

The VistaCharge app allows users to start a charging session just by scanning a QR code on the charging station. Once the session is complete the platform will bill their credit card. The charging station owner will then be reimbursed on a monthly or quarterly basis.

VistaCharge App
VistaCharge App available on the Google Play Store

Do I pay for the electricity?

The cost of electricity used by the chargers will be covered by the charging provider, not the site host. If you’re running a site such as a hotel or motel, with the right product you could potentially choose to charge an extra fee (say, $15) per night to customers who require access to a charger.

Round one applications are now open There could be great benefits to applying, but it can also be challenging to understand which EV charger and software will be right for your site. The VPT team would be happy to help you clarify your requirements, assess potential load control and provide a commercial quote for supply and install.

All of the information outlined above was accurate at the time of publishing this page. For full up-to-date eligibility and grant information, be sure to head over to the official grant page.



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Guide to Smart EV Charging in Strata Car Parking

Smappee EV Charging Strata Car Park

Guide to Smart EV Charging in Strata Car Parking

Smappee’s EV Line Providing Smart AC and DC EV Charging Solutions

Many would agree that an oversimplified yet accurate way to describe installing and managing EV charging in a strata car park would be somewhat complicated.

The following guide provides insights and important considerations when looking into EV charging in a strata complex. Also provided is a list of solutions that can be combined to make the process much more palatable and manageable.

Key considerations include:

  • Power Monitoring to Determine Capacity
  • Electrical Infrastructure Requirements
  • Load Management to Prevent Overload
  • Usage Reporting to Allocate Costs
  • Automating Electricity Cost Recovery
  • Sourcing Finance for Project Costs

As the authorised agent for Smappee in Australia, and experts in energy monitoring and EV charging, Vista Power Technologies can provide a solution to all the above hurdles. This makes implementing an EV charging network within a strata facility as simple as it can be, by leveraging the latest technologies and best practices.

Let’s break down each of the challenges that may be presented in an EV charging project and look at the solutions we have available.

Smappee Web-Base Dashboard Reporting on site Consumption and Solar Production

Power Monitoring to Determine Capacity

The first step any facility should take in evaluating their capacity for EV charging infrastructure is collecting some electrical consumption data over a period of 1-3 months. This is to determine what additional capacity they have for EV charging and whether an upgrade to the supply for the building is required.

For example: the building may have a 200A three-phase supply, but how much of that capacity is left over after household consumption and common loads?

Thankfully this can be achieved quite easily by installing a Smappee Infinity system at the main switch board. This can collect grid import data and provide reporting on electricity usage over time via a cloud-based dashboard, accessible via the free web app.

Typically costing less than $3,500 for supply and installation of this system, facility managers and owners corporation members can quickly gain access to this valuable data and determine what charging capacity they have available to work with.

The other benefit of installing the Smappee Infinity system for this purpose is its ability to be used for overload protection and dynamic load balancing of the EV chargers (see load management section).

Electrical Infrastructure Requirements

Once a strong understanding of available supply capacity has been developed, a decision can be made as to the size of the EV charging supply. Typically, a separate power distribution board (EVDB) will be installed to feed the charging stations. This would be rated to a little above the maximum excess capacity measured during the power monitoring step.

Previously, industry practice would be to install individual circuits for each charging station. This significantly adds to the cost for circuit and earth leakage protection, cable tray, cabling, and labour. Not to mention the issue of potentially hundreds of cable runs throughout the car parking areas to individually feed power to each car park.

Our solution for this is to utilise a specially developed flat cable system that can supply multiple charging stations off each circuit breaker. This significantly reduces cabling and cable tray requirements, whilst also providing a much tidier solution.

Flat Cable System Example

One of the key benefits of this cable system is that it can be initially installed as backbone electrical infrastructure. Apartment owners can then easily tap into this system at the time of making the switch to an electric vehicle.

Load Management to Prevent Overload

EV charging is no small load. At 7.4kW for single-phase charging stations, and up to 22kW for three-phase units (when referring to AC type charging), the total potential load can grow rapidly. Just 10 x three-phase charging stations have a load potential of 220kW or more than 300 amps. Many buildings just don’t have the capacity to support these sorts of loads.

This fact alone makes a load management system a critical requirement to any site looking to install many EV charging stations – even when a large supply capacity is available.

Overload protection aside, there is also the need to fairly share the available load across all the charging stations. This is called dynamic load balancing. In a nutshell, the system needs to monitor the available (excess) capacity at the grid connection, and then spread any available power across all the active charging stations.

The good news is that when Smappee EV Wall charging stations are used, the Infinity system installed at the power monitoring step can also be used for overload protection and load balancing control.

There is only an upfront cost to enable this feature on each charging station and no ongoing fees for this functionality. This makes the Smappee EV charging load management solution one of the lowest cost options on the market when considering both upfront and ongoing costs.

Where there are existing EV charging stations on site, or the property owners want the option to use various brands of charging stations, a third-party system can be used for this load management functionality. However, this option does come with ongoing annual fees.

Usage Reporting to Allocate Costs

Okay, now we have the electrical infrastructure and load management sorted. We now need to consider how billing will be managed. Because the power is typically drawn from the site’s common supply, EV charging sessions need to be tracked to ensure apartment owners can cover the costs for the electricity required to charge their vehicles.

Smappee EV Charging Management Dashboard – Whitelisted User Consumption Reporting

Where the strata want to manage things with minimal ongoing costs, the owners corporation can manually manage the billing of apartment owners for their EV charging consumption. This would involve running a monthly or quarterly report via the Smappee EV charging management dashboard, on a per user basis. This will allow a bill to be raised based on an agreed cost per kWh.

Automating Electricity Cost Recovery

If it’s preferable to have billing managed automatically, then there are third-party platforms available including our own Vista Charge service.

Utilising a third-party platform has its benefits, including being hardware agnostic. This allows apartment owners to choose any EV charging station compatible with the latest Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP).

These solutions are typically used for automated billing management, where the user downloads a smartphone app, creates an account, and adds their credit card details. The charge point operator (CPO) then takes payment at a set amount per kWh after each charging session and reimburses the strata owners corporation on a monthly or quarterly basis.

The only drawback with this scenario is that there are ongoing costs, which typically include annual service fees and transaction fees. However, this is often considered to be worth paying to reduce the responsibility placed on property management.

Sourcing Finance for Project Costs

Now that we’ve packaged everything up and are ready to go ahead with a solution for EV charging infrastructure in strata car parking, there’s one final hurdle: managing the upfront costs.

Most apartment owners aren’t going to want to fork out more than $1,000 each to cover these costs. Especially the ones that aren’t yet ready to switch to electric propulsion, regardless of the tangible increased value on their property for EV ready car parking.

With this in mind, we recommend talking to a strata finance specialist who can package up the project costs for payment over a 3-5 year period (for example), allowing apartment owners to incorporate the project costs into their quarterly OC payments. This might be somewhere in the vicinity of an additional $100-$150 extra per quarter.

By managing things this way there is a little less financial shock to everyone, and the barrier of approvals by apartment owners can be somewhat reduced.

Conclusion

So, there we have it. By utilising the right technologies and solutions available, the complicated challenge of EV charging in a strata car park is made a little less daunting and a little more approachable.

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ACT Sustainable Household Scheme and Smart EV Charging with Smappee

Smappee EV Wall Solar Charging System
Smappee EV Wall Solar Charging System
Smappee EV Wall with Home Energy Monitoring and Optimised Solar Charging

Some amazing news if you own residential property in the ACT: The Sustainable Household Scheme is now live!

This brand-new State Government initiative provides zero-interest loans of between $2,000 to $15,000 to eligible households in the ACT, designed to help homeowners invest in energy efficient home upgrades. These loans are provided through loan partner Brighte and can be made payable over 1-10 years with no fees or interest, excluding $4.99 late payment fee. With the pilot program now launched, now might be the perfect time to invest in smart EV charging for your home.

Which home upgrades does the ACT Sustainable Household Scheme cover?

If eligible, you could take a 0% interest loan out for:

Category A: Energy generation, storage & EV charging​​​  Category B: Replacement of gas or inefficient electric appliancesComing soon: Category C : Electric Vehicles (EVs)
Household rooftop solar PV systems
Household battery storage systems
Electric Vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure
Electric heating & cooling systems – reverse cycle
Hot Water Heat Pumps (HWHP)
Efficient electric stovetops

Currently, you can choose to bundle options from categories A or B up to a maximum loan of $15,000. And if you need to upgrade to 3-phase power to support these new systems, you could also choose to include this upgrade within your 0% interest loan amount.

What’s the right EV charging system for my home?

You can search the Scheme’s website to request quotes from different providers (including us!) and request quotes for EV charging infrastructure.

One brilliant option is the Smappee EV Wall, which supports solar-only or solar-optimised EV charging, home energy monitoring and smart scheduling to suit your driving needs. This system also enables load-balancing if multiple chargers are installed. The European-designed Smappee EV Wall looks great and it’s very flexible in its settings. For example, you could choose to simply plug and charge; limit and track usage via RFID cards; or even monetise your charging station if you so choose.

Example of the Smappee dashboard reporting card showing solar only charging for a Tesla Model 3

What are some ways I could save money over time with the ACT Sustainable Household Scheme?

  • Make the most of feed-in tariffs with a new rooftop solar system
  • Save on petrol costs by driving an electric vehicle (EV)
  • Maximise your savings from solar power through optimised EV charging
  • Minimise your heating, cooling and cooking costs so you receive smaller power bills
  • Capture your solar panel production for use at night with a battery system.

The Sustainable Household Scheme is set to be open to new applications for five years, but consider the advantages of acting early. By locking in today’s prices with a 0% interest loan, you could potentially pay off your home upgrades far sooner through those cost savings. Sounds smart to us!

How do I get started?

Head on over to the Brighte website to find eligibility details and suppliers in your area. There’s also a handy buyer’s guide to investing in an electric vehicle charging system for your home, and full terms and conditions can be found at the official ACT Sustainable Household Scheme website.

Of course – if you have any questions for our team at Vista Power Technologies about EV charging or home energy monitoring, simply get in touch.

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