July 5, 2024

How to Save Money with a Level 2 EV Charger At Home


6 Min. Read

Electric vehicles (EVs) create clear benefits in terms of environmental impact and cost savings.

However, when electricity fuels your transportation, as well as powering your house, home energy independence is a key concern and for electric vehicle drivers, having a reliable source of charging and power is especially critical.

Being able to charge your electric vehicle (EV) at home creates clear benefits in terms of convenience and efficiency, but did you know that installing a Level 2 EV charger for your home not only saves you money but can actually help you gain energy independence as well?

In this article, we explore how EV drivers can use a Level 2 EV charger at home alongside other cutting-edge energy transition technologies to cut their costs and ensure their EV is powered up when they need it most.

Understanding Level 2 EV Chargers

A Level 2 EV charger is ideal for most EV owners. In fact, 80% of EV drivers primarily rely on at-home charging to fuel their daily driving needs and prefer the convenience and benefits it brings.

Level 2 EV charging uses a dedicated 240V circuit to deliver an average of 32 to 60 amps of power to an EV battery, with newer charger models even going as high as 80 amps. On average, Level 2 EV chargers can add 20 to 40 miles of range per hour of charging and refill an EV battery in 4 to 10 hours, which is more than sufficient to meet most drivers’ daily needs after a night of charging.

For most EV owners, charging at home with Level 2 equipment is an accessible solution. The upfront cost is affordable, and the installation process is straightforward with the help of a qualified EV installer.

In addition, Level 2 EV charging is far more convenient than relying on a Level 1 EV charger.

While Level 1 EV chargers can conveniently use a standard 120V outlet—meaning that little to no electrical upgrades are needed—these “slow chargers” can only deliver up to 2 to 5 miles of range per hour of charging. This means that Level 1 EV chargers can take days to fully charge an EV, making it difficult to rely on residential charging as a primary method of powering your vehicle.

If your utility offers “time-of-use” rates with higher energy rates during peak-hours, keeping your EV plugged in with a Level 1 EV charger could mean paying even more to charge than using a Level 2 EV charger for efficient overnight charging when electricity demand—and energy prices—are lower.

Level 2 EV Chargers and Home Energy Independence

Many homeowners are developing an interest in energy independence, as it offers incredible benefits such as reducing energy bills, decreasing dependency on fossil fuels, and even gaining independence from an electric grid that is becoming increasingly unpredictable.

Additionally, having energy independence can mean keeping your home powered even when disaster strikes and inclement weather causes grid outages in your area.

Level 2 EV chargers can be an integral component of a successful energy-independence strategy, especially when coupled with bidirectional charging or other electrification technologies such as solar, battery storage, or a smart electrical panel.

Access to at-home charging makes EV ownership much more convenient, allowing you to unlock the full benefits of going electric and achieving independence from fossil fuels for transportation.

Renewables and Storage Solutions

Another way to further reduce your environmental impact and save money is by using renewable energy for EV charging. You may be able to join a clean energy program offered by your utility provider or generate your own renewable energy with residential solar for EV charging, helping you to become even more energy independent.

You can also leverage the latest technologies by combining EV charging, residential solar, and battery storage allowing you to produce clean energy during the day, store it, and use it to charge your EV overnight.

Bidirectional Charging

A growing number of EV manufacturers are offering bidirectional charging, a new technology that allows electricity to flow in and out of an EV battery, turning an unused load into a source of energy.

Level 2 EV chargers that support this feature allow you to upload unused energy to the grid to enhance resiliency at the community level. You can also explore vehicle-to-home (V2H) or vehicle-to-building (V2B) applications to power your home and appliances with your EV battery. EV models with bidirectional charging capabilities that are currently available in the market claim they can power a home for up to 21 days with the appropriate charging equipment and installation, and this technology is continually performing better and decreasing in price.

Cost Savings and Financial Benefits

Beyond being convenient and supporting energy independence, Level 2 EV chargers come with significant cost savings.

At-Home Vs. Public EV Charging

Installing an at-home Level 2 EV charger comes with an upfront cost of around $800 to $2,000 for the installation, but you’ll also need to consider the cost of your charger and any additional infrastructure needs your home may have to support adding an EV charging station. For example, older homes may have smaller electrical panels that are nearing or at their physical or electrical capacity, and this will require a panel upgrade or load management solution depending on your circumstances.

Once your charger is installed, you will have the costs of routine upkeep and care, as well as paying residential electricity rates to charge your EV, with an average rate of around $0.16 per kWh.

By comparison, a public Level 2 charging session typically costs between $0.20 and $0.25 per kWh. DC Fast chargers, which deliver much faster charging speeds, cost $0.40 to $0.60 per kWh.

Note that you can save even more by charging at home if you take advantage of time-of-use pricing and plug in your EV when demand is low. Some utility providers also offer preferred pricing programs for EV owners, helping to further your cost savings.

The good news is that high rates of EV ownership and overnight charging habits are contributing to lower residential electricity rates and trends show that at-home charging will likely become even more affordable in the future.

Programs and Incentives

You can save even more on at-home EV charging by taking advantage of various rebate programs and other incentives. For example, if you have a tax liability, you can claim a 30% Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Credit on the installation of your Level 2 EV charger.

You can combine this credit with additional savings programs offered through your state or utility provider to save even more.

Integration with Smart Home Technologies

Smart home technologies like smart chargers, smart panels, or smart load management solutions can help you get more out of at-home EV charging.

While these smart appliances represent an upfront investment, offsetting this cost within a few years is possible since driving an EV saves you an average of $800 to $1,000 per year and you can save even more when pairing EV charging with other energy-efficient electrification technologies.

Smart home technologies can help you manage EV charging and other electric loads to ensure optimal performance and safe load distribution. You can also automatically schedule EV charging to take advantage of low energy rates and gain more visibility into your electricity consumption to identify areas where you can save.

Qmerit Makes At-Home Charging Affordable and Accessible

Level 2 EV charging is a highly appealing option for EV drivers, enhancing both the accessibility and convenience of home charging. Additionally, installing a Level 2 EV charger at home can lead to significant savings compared to using public charging stations and help you increase your energy independence when paired with other technologies or utilized strategically.

Qmerit can help you explore electrification options that fit your needs. As the largest network of certified EV charger installers in North America, Qmerit is the most trusted EV charger installation partner recommended by automakers, EV charger manufacturers, utilities, businesses, and homeowners alike.

But don’t just take our word for it. Rated #1 in customer satisfaction, Qmerit’s experienced network of certified electricians has installed more than 450,000 EV charging stations in homes and businesses across the U.S. and Canada!

Complete our online EV assessment or contact us today to find out why we’re North America’s most trusted EV charger installation service provider!

Author: Tom Bowen

Tom Bowen

President, Qmerit Solutions and Commercial Electrification