Home charging survey results

Home charging survey results

For years users with EVs leveraged the Day-Night meters to take advantage of the cheaper night tariffs. ESBN has announced that from now on they will replace all meter systems with Smart Meters. So this got some attention from us to review what the impact could be on our community. 

Overall we had 833 responses. 

For more information on the ESBN plans, click here:




In the interest of our members, we wanted to have a better understanding of the current use of meters and meter plans for charging at home. The vast majority of members charge their cars at home and a large group still have day/night or standard 24hr meters installed. Based on the average charging patterns of EV owners, the current EV smart plans on the market aren’t sufficient for the needs. Current plans are typically 3 hours at night, but with the single phase charging capabilities it is barely covering 50% of the needed charge. This would have been sufficient back in the day of the smaller size batteries, but nowadays the average is 60kWh and with the average of charging 3 times a week, the offered 3 hours per night while 6 is needed is cutting it short. That said, for some it would be a matter of changing the charging pattern to spread out their needed charge over the rest of the week. However there is still a large group that charges every day already. 

A large proportion of EV owners have also invested in Solar PV at home and some have extra home battery storage, as well as benefit from the excess solar to charge their cars, but that is a small amount of kWh that gets added and not sufficient in the majority of cases. 

The majority of EV owners travel infrequently on longer distance trips and that shows the need for more hubs across the country, something we have been advocating for, for a long time. 

Should your energy plan be up for renewal expect the smart rate plans to be more attractive than your current plan (if you are not already on a smart rate plan). A recent article in the journal posted that Energia is dropping its prices for the smart plans more than for the standard rate plans. Just this Friday, also SSE Airtricity announced price drops and prior to that also Electric Ireland. Do your numbers, check out different suppliers and don’t forget the standing charges! 

Note, you are able/allowed to block the change of your meter to a smart meter, but as mentioned, expect suppliers to focus the pricing on smart plans vs standard/day-night plans to encourage you to move to a smart rate plan.  

Not everybody requires the frequency of charging at home and have other needs for energy use, eg. home heating. Just because one plan is better for one, doesn’t mean it is better for someone else, so shop around. If you are not keen on doing this yourself, there is a service provided by https://www.billgenie.ie that provides the recommendation for you on your energy needs. And it is free. We are in no way associated with this service but have seen members use it.

NOTE: from ESBN: "the deemed export calculation will cease for Day/Night customers who opt out of a smart meter installation".  This means that EV owners on Day/Night who also benefit from Solar export, will no longer avail of the solar export Feed-in-Tarrifs. 


What is a smart meter?

This is what ESBN has to say about Smart Meters:

  • A smart meter allows you to take more control of your electricity consumption and enables you to access your usage data 
  • There is no change to your electricity price plan following the installation of a smart meter unless you initiate a change with your supplier.  
  • A smart meter reduces the need for estimated bills, as your electricity usage is automatically read. They update every 30 minutes 

The smart meter would also allow for adjustable plans to accommodate optimal grid use and steer consumers to use it less at peak times (5-7pm). 

The way smart meter plans are currently implemented isn’t necessarily smart yet. Some of you may have heard of Octopus Energy in the UK and they apply a pricing every 30 minutes and these prices could also be negative, which means getting paid to charge your car. This way they can optimize the energy production and in return provide a more adaptable unit price. 

In Ireland the smart plans that can be applied with smart meters are often more expensive, having a higher standing charge and also higher unit rates, but we expect this to change to encourage the move to smart meters as part of this roll out. 

For EV owners there are EV plans that offer a cheaper rate from 2am to 5 or 6am, but is that really enough especially for those of us who would have been used to using day/night systems?   

Current energy prices

Energy prices have not yet calmed down to “normal” levels both for home energy, business and public charging. With recent new entrance to the market (Yuno Energy) and announcements of price drops, it hasn’t really yet shifted the price dramatically. On average the day rate irrespective of the plan type is around 42c vs the rest of the EU which is around 26c. A recent article published by Switcher.ie The Cost of Charging Electric Cars in Europe and UK | EV rates | EV insurance found that the average EU charging costs for a 100km road trip surged by 21% at the end of 2022 vs the first half of the year placing Ireland on the 31st rank (and one of the most expensive) among the EU countries. 

Survey Results

Our survey was aimed to get insights into 3 parts of this research. First, do people charge mainly at home? Second, do they have renewable energy sources? Third, what is the typical charging behaviour? 

Do people mainly charge at home?

The big benefit of an electric vehicle is that you can charge at home, should you have the facilities to do so and that is also what our survey has confirmed. 87.9% charge primarily at home and 8% at their workplace. 

It is also no surprise that the current EV ownership is largely with owners who have charging facilities at their homes. With over 88% who can charge off-street. Currently, the charging facilities for those who do not have their own driveway is scarce and often difficult to get due to restrictions or due to management companies not willing or unable to put infrastructure in place.


Public Charging

For the public charging network we hope to see a reduction in pricing as eCars recently announced and following what Tesla has been doing recently. Ireland is currently one the most expensive countries in the EU when it comes to public charging. 

Also continuous investment into charging infrastructure in urban areas as well as en-route DC charging is something we continuously advocate for on our members behalf. Here, Ireland is also not having the greatest infrastructure as of yet. 

With the ability to charge at home, it comes as no surprise that public infrastructure is mostly used infrequently and for long distance trips across the country, where the availability of hubs is very slowly starting to emerge, but more hubs are needed to address this need as the EV fleet in Ireland is growing at a rapid pace but the infrastructure installation isn’t following at the same rate. 



We wanted to understand which meters people have in place. Just over 54% do not yet have a smart meter installed, so ESBN certainly has got their work cut out for them. 


Still 42.7% of owners have a day-night meter. So let’s dig a bit deeper to understand what this could mean when all day/night and standard meters are being replaced, which would leave suppliers with the option to shift all tariffs to smart rate plans. Let’s not forget that this is what it is all about, once all premises are on smart meters, there will be a good reason for an energy supplier to switch off (pun intended) the day/night and standard rates altogether. This is already starting by making the non-smart rates less attractive. 

Based on the responses the below table shows the average prices people currently pay for their plans.


What type of electricity meter do you currently have?

AVERAGE of EV/Smart low tariff rate

AVERAGE of What do you pay for Day/Smart High tariff rate

AVERAGE of Night rate

Day/Night with Day/Night rate plan



Smart with Smart rate plan




Smart with standard rate plan




Standard with standard rate plan




We also wanted to get an idea which supplier is preferred by most EV owners


So what do our members report as the average prices for their plans with the top 5 suppliers?


Electricity provider

Meter Plan


AVG EV/Smart

AVG Night rate


Day/Night with Day/Night rate plan





Smart with Smart rate plan





Smart with standard rate plan



Standard with standard rate plan



Bord Gais

Day/Night with Day/Night rate plan





Smart with Smart rate plan





Smart with standard rate plan



Standard with standard rate plan



Electric Ireland

Day/Night with Day/Night rate plan





Smart with Smart rate plan





Smart with standard rate plan



Standard with standard rate plan




Day/Night with Day/Night rate plan





Smart with Smart rate plan





Smart with standard rate plan



Standard with standard rate plan




Day/Night with Day/Night rate plan





Smart with Smart rate plan





Smart with standard rate plan



Standard with standard rate plan



Charging Pattern

Of course, the rate plan for at home charging is one of the dimensions to consider, the other is the charging pattern of the users as that will determine the frequency of charging and how a smart meter plan benefits, or not. 



Close to 50% of responses say that they charge their car 2-5 times a week, but also a group of users that would charge their car every day. 


If we then take into account the average battery size of our users, we can see that more than 75% of EV owners have a battery larger than 50kWh. 

Smart EV plans? 

Our average EV owner would charge their car 3 days a week, with an average size of 60kWh. That is 126kWh of charge (in most cases people charge from 20% to 90%). The average household has a maximum of 7kW charging speed, that would be 18 hours of charging/3 days = 6 hours per day charged. 

Current EV smart plans offer a discounted rate from 2am to 5am… that is 3 hours, but as our average calculation shows, the average EV owners would need at least 6 hours to charge their cars to benefit from the lower rates. For some this just means charging more frequently to benefit from the lower rates during the week. For others, who charge daily, this could mean an increase in their cost of charging daily if they do a lot of mileage each day and need a full charge. 

Renewable Energy at home

Our assumption has been that EV owners have an interest to also have solar panels installed at their premises to reduce the cost of driving an EV full-stop and to stop burning stuff. Just under 42% have solar panels installed, while the rest do not yet have solar panels installed. 


Within the group of solar panel users, there is also a group that have expanded their solar setup with a home battery. 

A small percentage of Solar PV setups do not have home battery installations. Remember that we had 833 responses and 58.6% did not have solar, so 73.1%-58.6% = 14.5% that do not have a home storage battery system. 


For the members that have Solar installed, how many actually charge their car with the available excess by Solar PV?

Related Posts

Irish EV Registrations – April 2022

Another strong month for plug-in vehicle registrations in Ireland, accounting for 23.78% of all new...


Irish EV Registrations – May 2022

Plug-in vehicles accounted for 20.43% of all new cars registered in Ireland this month. Excluding...


Over 8% of cars sold in 2021 were battery electric

According to stats released by SIMI, 8.24% of all cars sold in 2021 were fully electric. That...