AusNet trial pays customers to charge their electric vehicle

Woman charges electric vehicle in garage (ausnet charge)
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In an Australian first, network operator AusNet will pay customers when they alter their electric vehicle (EV) charging behaviour, with the long-term aim of keeping infrastructure costs down.

AusNet has developed the tariff and is encouraging retailers to offer it to customers. By signing up to the tariff via a participating retailer customers will be paid to charge their EV between 10am to 3pm. They will also receive a separate SMS that asks them to either start or stop charging, to access an additional rebate.

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AusNet executive general manager strategy, regulation and corporate affairs Liz Ryan said that by providing customers with an incentive to change their EV charging behaviour, AusNet may be able to better balance demands on the network and potentially reduce overall network costs paid by all consumers.

“AusNet will provide customers participating in the trial with a rebate when they respond to SMS requests to change their charging behaviour,” she said.

“The SMS would be activated to help AusNet manage high excess solar capacity in the network or when there is high electricity demand.

“The aim of this trial is to see if EV customers respond to network pricing signals and to get a better understanding of customers charging patterns. From this, we hope to gain the knowledge to better manage potential network issues which may arise as the take-up of electric vehicles increases.

“Ultimately, this could mean that less infrastructure needs to be built in the future, keeping network costs down for all customers,” she said.

Electric vehicle sales worldwide have increased more than 50% in the last year, making up a total of 14% of all new cars sold in the world. In Australia, around 4% of new cars purchased are electric.

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The three-year trial will run from July 2023 to June 2026.

“We encourage AusNet’s distribution network customers with EVs to contact their retailer and ask about this trial,” Ryan said.

“Learnings from the trial will help inform the development and design of tariffs to complement the adoption of electric vehicles and other emerging technologies.”

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