ESAG: e-charge@homeThe local utility ESAG supplies the Lyss region and the surrounding area with electricity, water, heat and telecommunications. The company has been using the eCarUp backend since 2020 to continue growing in the area of charging infrastructure.
Electromobility represents a growth opportunity for the utility. Although the company has been working with a charging solution for public charging stations since 2015, a suitable, stable solution for apartment buildings and companies has not yet been found. Jürg Rihs, who has been with ESAG since 2019 and is responsible for energy business and large customers, remembers: “The challenge was that more and more tenants and condominium owners were asking for a charging station and we needed a tool to bill their charges.“
“More and more tenants and condominium owners were asking for a charging station and we needed a tool to bill their charges.”
Rihs also knew that ESAG also had to offer charging solutions for corporate customers in order to position itself successfully on the market. Various users use company charging stations: customers, employees and visitors. However, ESAG lacked a tool that could bill their loads inexpensively and easily. This challenge was particularly severe because other billing solutions typically involve on-boarding fees and high recurring costs.
ESAG was therefore looking for a solution that would enable it to stay up to date despite the constant changes in the industry, to master the challenges of the various use cases and charging hardware, and at the same time to build a business case. For ESAG, eCarUp was the perfect solution.
Positive results when using the charging infrastructure
In May 2020, ESAG introduced e-charge@home for property management companies. The solution is based on a modular structure. “If customers have a parking space ready to have an EV charger installed, an e-charging station can be rented or bought directly using the contact form.” If a parking space has not yet been developed, you must first contact the owner. Then the desired number of parking spaces with a basic installation including WLAN must first be developed by an electrician. The basic installation is carried out according to ESAG specifications and at the expense of the owner. The user then buys or rents the charging station. Billing, load management as well as support and maintenance are covered by a monthly basic price. The administration does not incur any expenses for the settlement.
Simple administration, low operating costs
ESAG supports corporate customers in commissioning the charging solution and connecting and setting up the eCarUp system. After that, the charging infrastructure will be operated by the corporate customers themselves. The customer determines the rights of use and tariffs himself. ESAG also uses this itself at the company’s own locations. Visitors and guests can charge their electric cars there for free. The charging stations are activated directly upon receipt with a mouse click. Other users can also easily start the charging stations on site using a smartphone, at a current rate of 40 cents/kWh. “eCarUp is exactly what we needed. The software is user-friendly and allows us to customize the charging solution to our different use cases,” says Rihs. Public charging is now taking place seven to ten times a week at the company’s own charging stations, and the trend is rising.
Continue on the road to success
The data from the charging stations, ESAG uses easee chargers, integrated into the eCarUp platform can be called up in the cloud at any time. Firstly, maintenance can be greatly simplified and secondly, consumption-based and transparent billing can be created. A 24-hour customer service ensures that the charging stations run smoothly. This uses the maintenance tool of the eCarUp platform. This allows a supporter to access the charging station remotely and, for example, restart it or unlock the cable. In addition, ESAG is Lyss Gold Partner and can therefore use all the functions of the charging solution for utilities from eCarUp. The energy supplier can therefore use the API, IS-E and MSCONS interface and transfer the charging data to its own billing system.
In recent years, the eCarUp platform has been continuously expanded and has also given ESAG the opportunity to continuously develop. “Functions have matured and new practical functions have also been added. That has also allowed us to grow with the tool over the years.” Jürg Rihs particularly emphasizes the reports of the eCarUp platform, which have been expanded over time. In his opinion, eCarUp is particularly suitable for companies that want to grow in the e-mobility sector. Speaking of growth: According to Rihs, one of ESAG’s future goals is to expand the solution across the Lyss region. “We want to position ourselves more broadly and grow as a result.”