Help us plan for an EV future

If, in 20 years, a large number of Kiwi homes have an electric vehicle (EV) charging in the garage each night, significant changes will need to be made to Powerco’s network to support customer choices and energy efficiency.

To prepare for the future, we’re running a three-year project to better understand the way Kiwi EV drivers charge their vehicles at home. We will install EV smart charging units into the homes of participants for free and collect information about their charging habits and its impact on our network.  

This will help us better understand the network requirements as uptake in EVs increase – and to ensure EV owners have a positive experience using the network to charge their vehicles.

Get involved

If you’re an EV driver and would like to be involved, click here to take our online survey and see if you’re eligible. This 10-minute survey lets us know if your house and EV are suitable for this project.

If you are successful, we will contact you in 2-3 weeks to arrange a visit to your property to ensure it is suitable for a smart charger.

All personal information you provide will be dealt with in accordance with Powerco’s privacy policy.

By joining our project, at the end of the three-year period you will get to keep the EV smart charger/install package (worth around $2500) for free*. You’ll be able to charge your EV at home up to twice as fast as a standard 3-pin socket.

*T&Cs apply – see below


 Our Smart EV Charging Project at a glance


Powerco will install EV smart charging units into the homes of up to 80 participants.  We’ll collect information from the chargers, electricity retailer and the charger app. At times we’ll manage when the units operate to avoid periods of high electricity demand.


The project will use 7.4-kilowatt electric vehicle home smart charging units, which will be installed at participants’ homes for free. The units can send, receive and collect data, allowing us to see when you charge your EV at home. Later in the project, we will also manage the periods during which you charge, to avoid times of peak electricity demand.

Powerco will collect data direct from the smart chargers, electricity retailer and the charger app – there is no expectation for participants to submit their data. We know your time is precious and don’t anticipate this project being at all onerous for you.  The only time we’ll reach out for your involvement will be during the managed charging stage of the project; you will occasionally be asked to complete a short online survey answering some questions about the managed charging.


We’re looking for EV owners from across the North Island living in areas where Powerco delivers electricity. This includes, Coromandel, Bay of Plenty, South Waikato, Taranaki, Whanganui, Manawatu and Wairarapa.


Recruitment for participants begins in September 2020, followed by scheduled house visits so we can ensure a charger can be installed. We hope to have all smart chargers installed in participants’ homes by January 2021. At this time, we can begin collecting data on charging habits. The project will run for an initial period of two years with an option to extend for a third year.

What’s involved 

EV Home Smart Charging Project timeline

Recruitment of project participants

  • 80 places available (participants must live in area of Powerco’s electricity networks)
  • Selected participants sign Participant Agreement.
  • Installation of the EV home smart chargers in participants’ homes.

Project begins

  • Year 1 of the project begins, with a focus on collecting baseline data from the EV home smart chargers.
  • Some managed charging begins.

Year 2 of project

  • Year 2 of the project will look at further managed charging. Participants will be split into groups and given different charging schedules.
  • At the end of the year, participants have the option to opt-in for a third year.


  • Year 3 of the project will focus on load management, simulating a new market offering by opening it to third parties.
  • At the end of the project, participants have the option to keep the EV home smart charger free of charge.

What is a home smart charger?

An EV home smart charger is a device hardwired into the household electrical system, either in the garage or adjacent to the EV carpark. 

Smart chargers have a communication link to an operating system which records information on charging activity and allows them to be controlled remotely.

When a vehicle is plugged into a smart charger it can manage a range of functions including the timing and speed of charging that take place.

Smart chargers give home users the ability to access off-peak rates for electricity where those rates are offered by energy retailers.

Smart chargers can charge an EV much faster than a standard wall socket. The ability to schedule charging times can help to avoid peak demand on the network. 

By charging off-peak you generally use electricity generated from a higher percentage of renewable sources so create a lower carbon footprint and further assist with national emissions reductions.

Participant Agreement

To participate in the Smart EV Charging Project, you’ll be asked to accept the terms of the Participant Agreement. Read the full terms here.

As part of the agreement, Powerco will:

  • assess your property to see if it meets our requirements for the Smart EV Charging Project. If it does, we’ll install an EV charger at your property.
  • collect, use and share data from the EV charger and app for our EV home smart charging project.
  • buy the EV charger and pay for its installation at your property.
  • own the EV charger during the 3-year project period.
  • give the EV charger to you at the end of the 3-year project period – for free! – as long as the agreement hasn’t been terminated beforehand e.g. because of a breach, or because you choose to exit early.
  • repair, replace or remove the EV charger if it fails while we own it (unless you caused it to fail).
  • manage the amps the EV charger delivers to your electric vehicle (until ownership transfers to participants), and we may temporarily reduce the amps to zero.
  • remove the EV charger from your property if the agreement is terminated before the end of the project period. If we cause damage when we remove the EV charger, we’ll fix it.
  • only be liable to you for loss or damage to your physical property caused by the EV charger being faulty or not properly installed, or by our breach of the agreement or negligence.

By signing the agreement, you’ll:

  • use the EV charger to charge your vehicle.
  • give us access to electricity use data for your property, through your smart meter, which will obtain direct from your retailer.
  • give us (and our contractors) access to your property to install, maintain, repair, replace, upgrade or remove the EV charger.
  • complete surveys we send you about how you use and operate the EV charger.
  • have the option to exit on the first or second anniversary in which case you can buy the EV charger from us.
  • pay all other costs (except for the cost to buy and install the EV charger at your property) e.g., your electricity charges for your property, the running costs of your vehicle, insurance etc. You won’t be paid to participate in the project.
  • have all your rights under the Consumer Guarantees Act 1993.

When will the agreement end?

The EV home smart charging project will run for two years with the possibility of a third if participants wish to continue. You can terminate the agreement before the end of the project period by giving us 21 days’ notice and likewise, so can Powerco.  A shorter notice period (14 days) applies if there has been a breach of the agreement by you or us.

We care about your privacy

If you participate in the Smart EV Charging Project, we’ll collect a lot of personal information about you and data about your use of the EV charger.  We’ll collect this directly from you as well as from your electricity retailer (through the smart meter on your property), from the contractor who installs the EV charger at your property, from the EV charger itself and from the app that you use with the charger. Except where necessary for the specific use of any particular data we collect, we’ll remove any identifying information about you and your property from that data.  The Privacy Act 1993 and our Privacy Policy apply to all data that is your personal information.

We hope you’ll join our project

If you have any questions or would like to talk to someone further about the project, please contact 0800 387 765 or email

Frequently Asked Questions

For more information check out our FAQ's page.

Last Updated: 17 Sep 2020 - 08:55:09