Should You Let Your Friends and Family Charge at Your Place?

You wouldn’t think twice about letting your friend charge their phone at your house, but what about their car? Are you worried it’ll cost you a lot more? Let’s look at what it may cost to let someone else charge their vehicle at your house.

Electricity Billing
The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) sets specific rates for residential electricity billing based on Time of Use (TOU) and Tiered pricing plans.

TOU Billing

If you have TOU billing, the time of day your visitor plugs in will affect how much you pay. These rates differ depending on the season. The Winter period runs from November 1 to April 30, and the Summer period is from May 1 to October 31.

The rates in effect at time of writing (October 2022) for TOU electricity billing are listed below.

Off-peak: 8.2¢/kWh
Winter & Summer: weekdays from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., all day weekends, and all day holidays
Mid-peak: 11.3¢/kWh
Winter: weekdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Summer: weekdays from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

On-peak: 17¢/kWh
Winter: weekdays from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Summer: weekdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Tiered Billing

For Tiered billing, customers may use a certain amount of electricity every 30 days/each month. If you go over this threshold, the billing rate will increase. For residential customers, thresholds change depending on the season.

The following rates currently apply to Tiered electricity billing.

Tier 1: 9.8¢/kWh
Winter: residential customers up to 1,000 kWh/month

Summer: residential customers up to 600 kWh/month

Tier 2: 11.5¢/kWh
Winter: residential customers over 1,000 kWh/month

Summer: residential customers over 600 kWh/month

You can use the OEB’s bill calculator to help determine which pricing plan is best for you.

Calculating EV Charging Costs

Residential Electric Digital Meter

This is the tough part. Not every EV charges at the same pace. Depending on the model and battery capacity before plugging in, one EV may charge up faster than another. The voltage of the outlet you use will also affect the time it takes.

There are three levels of EV charging, but only two are possible in residential areas. Level 1 requires a 120V outlet, Level 2 requires a 240V outlet. The higher the level, the faster the EV will power up.

If you don’t have an EV of your own, the most you can offer without unplugging your oven or dryer is a Level 1 outlet, such as the external outlet you might use for your Christmas lights or gardening equipment.

So, what might that cost you? Without getting into really complicated math, you can at least get a good estimate.

For example, the 2020 Kia Soul EV comes with a 64 kWh battery and charge power of 7.2 kW AC. According to this calculator, it takes about 37 hours to charge from empty to full at 120V, 15 amps. The cost of charging a battery of that capacity at Ontario’s peak TOU rate of 17¢ is $10.88. During Ontario’s off-peak TOU rate of 8.2¢: $5.25.

(This is slightly inaccurate. Not only is some power is lost during charging at such a slow rate, but none of Ontario’s TOU periods lasts 37 hours.)

So…someone plugging into your external 120V outlet for two hours while they visit for a coffee, even Thanksgiving dinner…? The cost to charge an electric vehicle this way and for this long is negligible. For more information about EVs, check out our blog.