When is billing functionality required?
Billing is required if you want to track the usage of an EV charger and recoup the costs. The billing requirements will change depending on the setting.
- Residential building: the resident’s individual chargers will be using the building’s power so the Owners Corporation will need a way to track and recoup the residents usage.
- Public charging location (such as a pub, club, café, winery, or hotel): patrons will need to be directly charged for their usage at the time of charging.
- Workplace: employers may choose whether or not to charge employees and this will impact whether or not they need billing.
What billing and payment options are there?
There are a range of billing options available depending on your requirements.
Manual Billing – This option is more applicable in residential building settings and if the Owners Corporation doesn’t want to invest in an automated billing system. It would involve someone manually recording each meter and then charging tenants for their usage. This would be a cost to the Owners Corporation as they would need to pay for someone to handle the manual process on an ongoing basis. We would only recommend this approach in a very small building as the time it would take for someone to do the process at scale would probably equate to a similar cost for automated billing software and has more room for human error.
Automated Billing Software – In a residential building, automated billing software can be used to automatically track and charge residents for their usage. When a resident charges it would track their usage and automatically charge their nominated account. The Owners Corporation would then be reimbursed in set intervals. The Owners Corporation could also choose to make a mark up on the electricity the residents are using as the residents are using the building’s power which is charged at wholesale rates vs retail rates. This can become an additional source of revenue for the Owners Corporation (tax implications would need to be considered). The automated billing software also allows for visitors to be charged for their EV charging. They would simply download the app and then set up their account and nominated card to be charged.
Payment Gateways – In a public charging setting, chargers can be enabled with payment gateways so that people can be charged on the spot for their usage. This is particularly important when there are different people using the same charger. Some of the chargers require the user to download the app and link their nominated card to be charged and others allow payment via tap and go without an app. We can help you to decide which option is best for you and the suitable hardware and software providers.